WHAT IS Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that result in the weakening of the muscles over time. In muscular dystrophy, unhealthy genes interfere with the production of proteins called dystrophy. This insufficiency of proteins, necessary for normal muscle function, makes it tough for the muscles to work normally. The absence of this protein makes coordination among muscles a difficult job.
Muscular dystrophy can occur at any age, but commonly, some forms are diagnosable in infancy or childhood. Other types may appear until middle age or later in life. Young boys are more likely to have this disease than girls, though the signs differ based on which muscles are affected.
All forms of muscular dystrophy grow intense as the muscles lose their strength.
The prognosis for muscular dystrophy depends on the type and severity of the signs. However, for most people, losing strength points out the inability to walk.
There is no cure for muscular dystrophy, but certain treatments are helpful in the management of muscular dystrophy.
Signs and Symptoms
There are more than 30 types of MD, each varying in symptoms and severity.
Duchenne type muscular dystrophy
This is the most common form of MD affecting more boys than girls.
Signs and symptoms, which onset in early infancy or childhood, might include:
- Frequent falls
- Difficulty rising from a lying or sitting position
- Trouble walking, running and jumping
- Walking on the toes
- Scoliosis, which is an abnormal curvature of your spine
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Bone thinning
- Large calf muscles
- Learning disabilities
- Delayed growth
- Lung and heart weakness
- Breathing difficulties
- Swallowing problems
- Lung and heart weakness
Becker muscular dystrophy
This condition tends to be similar to Duchenne muscular dystrophy, just that it appears slowly and the signs seem to be milder. Usually, the signs do not appear until the mid-20s or later.
Symptoms of Becker muscular dystrophy include:
- frequent falls
- muscle cramps
- trouble getting up from a lying or sitting position
Many people with muscular dystrophy do not usually need a wheelchair to move until they are in their mid-30s or older.
Other types of muscular dystrophy
The different types of muscular dystrophy are classified based on where in the body symptoms have started appearing. Examples include:
The muscles on the face and neck are usually the affected area. People with this MD have long, thin faces, drooping eyelids, and long necks. The muscles are not able to relax following contractions in the myotonic MD.
- drooping muscles in your face
- difficulty lifting your neck due to weak muscles
- difficulty swallowing
- early baldness in the front area of your scalp
- poor vision or cataracts
- weight loss
- increased sweating
The signs are primarily visible on the hip and shoulder area. Those with limb-girdle MD find it hard to lift the front part of the foot, and so they trip more often. Other signs include difficulty getting up from the chair, walking, and carrying heavy
The signs of muscle weakness typically begin in the face, hip, and shoulders. When you raise your arms, the shoulder blades might twig-like wings. The signs usually appear in childhood or late in life and may include:
- difficulty swallowing or chewing food
- slanted shoulders
- a crooked appearance of the mouth
Distal muscular dystrophy
Distal muscular dystrophy is also called distal myopathy. It affects muscles in your forearms, hands, calves, feet, heart, and respiratory system. Mostly the condition is diagnosable in the ages of 40 and 60.
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD)
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy affects muscles in your facial, neck, and shoulder. Other symptoms usually include:
- drooping eyelids
- difficulty walking
- trouble swallowing
- voice changes or hoarseness
- poor vision
- heart problems
This type of muscular dystrophy affects both boys and girls and is present at birth or before the age of 2. Some forms of congenital MD progress slowly over time and cause mild disability initially, while others progress inadvertently and cause severe impairment.
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical advice if you notice signs of muscle weakness, such as fall, pain, or discomfort.
Muscular dystrophy is a disorder in which unhealthy genes disrupt the production of proteins that protect muscle fibers.
Each type of muscular dystrophy is triggered by a genetic mutation imputed to that type of disease. Most of these mutations are inherited.
- Muscular dystrophy occurs in both genders of all ages. However, Duchenne MD is more prevalent in young boys.
- People with a family history of muscular dystrophy are at risk of developing the disease or carry the genes to pass it on to their children.
Ayurvedic treatment for muscular dystrophy
For muscular dystrophy, aggravation of the Vata dosha and Sapta dhatus are responsible for maintaining body structure. Sapta dhatus involve Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Asthi, Majja, and Shukra. Each Sapta dhatus has its own digestive fire. When a digestive fire is vitiated in any of these dhatus, nutrients are not properly absorbed, which leads to weakness.
To cure muscle dystrophy, ayurvedic treatment helps to balance the Pitta dosha, and through Ahar and Vihar, it is supported that muscles regain strength and function properly. The power of Ayurveda lies in the use of herbs and spices in the treatment, ensuring the authenticity of the treatment.