Muscle Weakness: A Breakdown of Muscular Dystrophy

Extreme muscle weakness can be a sign of muscular dystrophy, a genetic, degenerative, and progressive condition where muscles gradually weaken from muscle loss. Dystrophy results from defective genes as an effect of mutations, which prevents the production of vital proteins needed to create new muscle cells. Patients often inherit this condition from their parents.

There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. However, proper care and treatment from experienced physicians can help improve the quality of the patient’s life and help them slow down its effects well enough to live a normal life.

Understanding Muscular Dystrophy

Early signs of dystrophy will manifest in childhood and include physical limitations such as difficulty walking, running, rising, standing up from a sleeping or sitting point, general muscle pain and rigidness, and extreme muscle weakness.

There are different types of muscular dystrophy, and they start in pre-puberty, commonly in male children. The severity and version of the disease can be affected by the patient’s age, the type of genes, the affected muscles, and its rate of progression. A primary care doctor can confirm these signs.

  • Becker Muscular Dystrophy

In this class of dystrophy, there is a lack of a vital muscle protein called dystrophin needed for normal functioning muscles. It is a less intensive and slower form of the disease, showing up from teenage years to early adulthood.

  • Congenital Dystrophy

This type of dystrophy may appear in both boys and girls at birth or by the age of two. It also varies in growth and severity and can either be mild and slow or fast-progressing. and It is often severe in scope and can be unpredictable, even to primary care doctors.

  • Duchenne-type

It is the most common type of dystrophy and has a more common occurrence in males. Symptoms include large calf muscles, growth problems, and even learning disabilities—in addition to the usual symptoms. Females can be carriers as well, but they usually only experience mild symptoms.

  • FSHD or Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy

This type occurs in the face, hips, and shoulders. One sign is the extreme positioning of the shoulder blades on raised or lifted arms. It is commonly first seen in the teenage years or adulthood as late as fifty years old.

  • Limb-Girdle 

This type affects hip and shoulder muscles. Physicians note that patients have difficulty moving their front feet and are prone to tripping. The disease may start in childhood and teens.

  • Myotonic

This type of dystrophy affects the face and neck muscles. Patients cannot recover and relax their muscles after contractions, making it difficult to settle them down. Common physical conditions in patients are long thin faces, droopy eyelids, and long thin necks. 

Getting Help

Serious debilitating diseases demand the utmost level of care and treatment. Muscular dystrophy can demand a lot from a patient just trying to get through life normally. It can take a toll on physical and mental health, so it is important to seek the help of primary care doctors.

We at Garden State Medical Group will provide a primary care doctor for personalized treatments. Combined physical and mental care is a more effective and complementary treatment. Optimum mental well-being helps the physical care aspects be more effective and humane for patients, especially those with extreme conditions.

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