While this one is much more unlikely than some of the other health conditions on this list, it does happen. The health condition surrounding nerve damage is called Peripheral neuropathy. Prevention says it’s common in diabetics, but can also be caused by infection, vitamin deficiencies, genetic disorders, alcoholism, or other trauma that inflicts nerve damage. Not surprisingly, when nerves that are used for movement or muscle control are affected, it can result in a lack of coordination or balance. “When we’re not getting feeling from our feet, we’re not getting feedback from those nerves to our brain — and that’s one-third of our balance right there,” says Bywater to Prevention.
Prevention lists other signs of Peripheral neuropathy like sharp pain, dizziness, muscle weakness, stomach problems, numbness in the hands and feet, excessive sweating, and sensitivity to touch. While nerve damage is almost always irreversible, catching it early can help treat the symptoms.
Issues originating in the nervous system can be the culprits of many postural and balance problems. For instance, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, stroke, or other ataxia-related disorders (atrophy of the brain’s cerebellum cells) often experience a decline in muscle control in the legs and arms, resulting in loss of balance, disturbed gait, and decreasing posture, coordination, and equilibrium.
Parkinson’s disease has a huge impact on balance and coordination because it affects the “substantia nigra” which is the part of the brain that produces dopamine, which is what allows us to perform smooth and coordinated muscle movements. “In PD, the cells of the substantia nigra start to die. When this happens, dopamine levels are reduced. When they have dropped 60 to 80 percent, symptoms of PD start to appear,” writes Healthline.