Bitemporal Wasting

Causes Of Bitemporal Wasting

Bitemporal wasting goes under several names, and finding definitive information of possible causes, the symptoms, or treatments, can be somewhat challenging. It's helpful to look at the definition first, look at muscle wasting in general, and then focus on just what bitemporal wasting might involve.

A Definition - Bitemporal in medical terms, involves two temporal bones, the bones in the temples, and the general region they occupy. Bitemporal wasting, involves the muscles associated with the temporal bones, specifically the weakening or wasting away of the muscles of both temples. The most prominent symptom is hollowness or sinking observed in the immediate vicinity of the temples. The causes are many, but are usually either the result of a systemic disease, such as HIV which causes muscle wasting, or nutritional deficiencies which can also cause muscles to atrophy or deteriorate.

Bitemporal wasting is therefore not a disease so much as it is symptomatic of an underlying disease or disorder, most often an upper motor neuron disease or Bell's palsy. While it is usually the muscle that is involved, in some instances the main cause of bitemporal wasting is a loss of fat in the region, which can also result in a hollow appearance.

Usual Treatments Don't Work - One of the treatments often prescribed for muscle wasting is exercise. This makes a great deal of sense when the muscles of the limbs are involved. Of course exercise alone won't cure wasting, nutrition, medication or other treatments are required for that, but exercise serves to tone and strengthen the muscles, thereby aiding recovery. As far as the temporal muscles are concerned, an exercise program doesn't make a whole lot of sense, though massage might be helpful in some instances.

We usually can't avoid muscle atrophy altogether, as it is one of the natural results of aging. A certain degree of bitemporal wasting will almost always be observed in the elderly, and this is usually not harmful and of little concern. Bitemporal wasting is a concern when it comes about rather rapidly, and is associated with other symptoms of ill health.

Various Causes of Atrophy Or Weakness - It was mentioned above that neuron disease is one of the major causes of bitemporal wasting. Muscular atrophy in the temples can also occur when there is nerve damage due to an injury. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be contributing factors, although the temporal muscles and joints are usually not affected with those afflictions. Temporal wasting is a fairly common symptom of muscular dystrophy however. Wasting of the temporal muscles is sometimes one of the symptoms of a stroke, though in most cases only one of the temples will be involved. An obvious cause is starvation, which of course will cause atrophy in most of the other muscle masses in the body as well.

Usually An Abnormal Condition - One of the issues faced with bitemporal wasting is that it isn't always apparent a serious problem exists or not. In general, if the loss of muscle mass or weakening of the muscle comes about fairly rapidly, it's highly advisable to consult with a doctor as soon as possible, not just in an attempt to halt the wasting process, but more importantly to see if there is a serious underlying disorder that requires treatment. A seemingly healthy person who has good muscle mass and tone, and an average amount of facial fat, should not be experiencing a rapid wasting of the temporal muscles.  Diagnosis is often easier if there are other symptoms which have cropped up or if other muscles are involved, so it's important to let the doctor know of any recent experiences with anything out of the ordinary.