Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size

Just Clumsy, or Something Serious?

Experts explain when being clumsy is a sign of medical trouble, or just plain klutziness.

High Sugar, Clumsy Feet

Arvind, 52, has lived with diabetes for almost 15 years. Sometimes he controlled his blood glucose levels tightly; other times, he let it slip. But Arvind noticed more and more that he was tripping on rugs and the edges of stairs. He also felt that it was harder to keep his balance at night.

Diagnosis: nerve damage caused by diabetes.

"Peripheral neuropathy is a disease of nerves associated with sensory loss in the hands and feet, and can affect coordination," according to Harrison. Tight control of blood sugar is essential for diabetes patients to avoid this complication, which can lead to serious foot ulcers.

A Gardener's Growing Problem

Madeline, a 68-year-old woman, loves to garden. Recently she felt her right hand get heavy and numb while planting flowers. She said it felt like it went dead on her. This lasted only a few minutes before returning completely to normal. She remembered an almost identical episode about a year ago.

Diagnosis: transient ischemic attack (TIA), or "mini-stroke."

"This is serious," says Harrison, because TIAs make a "real" stroke more likely in the future. "Identifying risk factors for stroke, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking," and treating those risk factors, will reduce the risk of stroke, adds Harrison.

Initial symptoms of stroke and TIA can be the same.The American Stroke Association lists these warning signs of a possible stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Call for emergency medical help at the first sign of those symptoms. Don't wait to see if they go away and don't judge for yourself how bad they are.

Can a Klutz Be Cured?

While it's necessary to rule out medical causes of clumsiness, the vast majority of people with coordination problems are medically "normal." What about the millions of us who are just tired of bumping into walls and banging shins on coffee tables? Can a normal (but clumsy) person improve his or her coordination? In other words, can a klutz be cured?

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
mature woman with glass of water
Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
Take your medication
Hand appearing to hold the sun
Hungover man
Welcome mat and wellington boots
Woman worn out on couch
Happy and sad faces
Fingertip with string tied in a bow
laughing family