I – Overview
Human beings are always proud of the idea that we are the most intelligent and the most evolved species among all existing animals on planet Earth. We can stand up straight on our own feet. We can use fingers for holding. And if birds can fly, fish can swim, or wolfs can fight with their sharp fangs, human beings can survive with the intelligent. Many inventions and discoveries throughout history have confirmed our advanced development. However, nothing is perfect. Sometimes, there is a mistake happening inside our structures and leading to many problems of the whole bodies. They are called in many names like diseases, infection, syndromes, or disorders. Muscular dystrophy is one of these troubles that hurt our vulnerable body and make our life miserable. In this article, AllRemedies.com will give you a specific picture of muscular dystrophy from causes, symptoms, and muscular dystrophy treatment as well.
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II – All About Muscular Dystrophy Treatment Options
1. What Is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy  is not as popular as other diseases such as asthma, cancer, or diabetes. According to statistics in the United States in 2007 for every 100,000 males from 5 to 24 years old, there will be 15 people being diagnosed with one kind of muscular dystrophy. The number may be small, but it is a severely terrible nightmare for those people sticking with it. Generally, muscular dystrophy is a set of all diseases that badly affected our muscles, making them weaker and less flexible. The problem appears when there is something wrong in genes that are supposed to keep muscles healthy. Upper arms and upper legs will show weakness first, and then the disaster will spread to brain, throat, stomach, or heart. Many people have to suffer muscular dystrophy from the very first day they were born while somebody only gets it when they are at the middle age or older. Therefore, no one can forecast the future for 100% that this muscular dystrophy will never come to them. Researchers show that males are more likely to be affected than females. The range of effects of muscular dystrophy on sufferers varies and depends on the kind of diseases they have. Sometimes, there is still a miracle for some people when they can live in an amazing way with mild symptoms. Sadly, for most of the cases observed, the situation will only get worse and worse over time until when patients lose their walking, talking, or reacting ability.
2. Major Forms Of Muscular Dystrophy
Base on different categories such as the age of sufferers when the first symptom appears, the muscles it influences on, the genes causing the diseases, or the speed of diseases getting worse, muscular dystrophy can be divided into 30 kinds or nine major forms listed below.
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common type of all forms. Up to half of the patients getting muscular dystrophy under the DMD form. It typically happens mostly on boys aged from 3 to 5. The danger of this DMD is that its progress is very fast. People with DMD don’t have a choice but losing their ability by their early teens and then die when they are about early 20 years old.
- Becker muscular dystrophy is the second form and considered as Duchenne, except milder. This form is diagnosed in people at the later age than those getting DMD, from 11 to 25 years old. Becker muscular dystrophy results from the dystrophy deficiency and its severity is unpredictable. Normally, people with this form will have to use a wheelchair for moving even when they receive muscular dystrophy treatment.
- Myotonic muscular dystrophy is very common for adults. The first symptoms normally appear in their 20 or 30. The reason of Myotonic is the repetition of CTG code on a large scale. The symptoms are various. Patients with Myotonic can be found with heart diseases, eye problems or fertility problems. One thing that differentiates Myotonic from the first two forms is that both males and females are at the same risk of getting Myotonic.
- Congenital muscular dystrophy may be the evilest thing all mothers worry about when they get pregnant. Caused by the insufficiency of proteins surrounding muscular fibers, Congenital muscular dystrophy is often spotted in infants under 2 years old. It affects the central nervous system of the child, leading to young dying or mild disabilities in children and infants. It is the dangerous and cruel disease that takes a child, either male or female, out of the mother’s hands. Without in-time muscular dystrophy treatment, infants with Congenital muscular dystrophy will suffer poor motor function and difficulties in breathing and swallowing.
- Limb-Girdle muscular dystrophy is the result of gene mutations. It is a threat that both males and females should be concerned about. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy is a form that often happens to people in their late teenage and sometimes in early adulthood. This form of muscular dystrophy will finally take the ability to walk of patients
- Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD MD)  may be a difficult name to remember, but the high risk it happens to both sexes will make you pay attention and care about muscular dystrophy treatment. FSHD often damage the muscles of the face, upper arms or shoulders. People with FSHD MD will find it difficult to do eye- related movement, to smile, talk, swallow or even breathe. The average age of getting FSHD MD is from 15 to 40.
- Distal muscular dystrophy is considered as a mild form of muscular dystrophy due to its slow progress. Resulting from dysferlin protein defects, this Distal muscular dystrophy will negatively affect feet, forearms, arm and lower legs. Patients who have Distal muscular dystrophy will be unable to stretch fingers or walking. This form of muscular dystrophy is very popular for adults and older people aged from 40 to 60. Patients should ask for muscular dystrophy treatment as fast as possible.
- Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy is also once again a result of protein defect. Happening in both sexes in their forties or fifties, Oculopharyngeal’s severity is very different based on particular situations. However, the symptoms are common for all patients. They include drooping eyelids (ptosis), weakness in the face, shoulder, and neck muscles, poor vision, heart problems and swallowing and walking difficulties.
- Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy is the last form to be mentioned, which can be divided into two typical types of different muscular dystrophy treatment. Both of them have influence mainly on boys more than girls, especially those children around age 10. Some of the common symptoms are muscle shortening, shoulder deterioration, and locked elbows. Sometimes, patients will suffer from heart failure or pulmonary if their symptoms appear later in their twenties.
3. Who Are At Risk?
From all the information above, we can conclude some major things about muscular dystrophy. It is a bad dream that may happen for everyone, from a little infant who just comes to life or an older person who has gone half of the way. No one can be safe from muscular dystrophy. Its severity, as well as symptoms, are various and very hard to predict, leading to the difficulties in muscular dystrophy treatment. Many people, especially males, have to suffer a lot of pain and end up in dying in their very early 20s while some people still can survive and have a normal life with mild symptoms. Every year, there are more than 50,000 Americans were diagnosed with different types of MD. With the new advance in medication, we now can figure out the reasons for muscular dystrophy and come to muscular dystrophy treatment.
4. Causes Of Muscular Dystrophy
When people get diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, the first question they ask is not about muscular dystrophy treatment but the reasons why they get it. “Only 15 out of 100,000 people get muscular dystrophy, why does it choose me?”, “Why me?”, “why not the others?” Unlike other diseases which can be explained in many ways, the answer for muscular dystrophy in most cases is genes. As mentioned before, muscular dystrophy happens when there is a deficiency of dystrophy genes, which are in charge of healthy muscle function and structures. This dystrophy proteins act as glue, attach muscles together and help them to perform in the best way. When our bodies fail to produce enough amount of dystrophy genes, muscles can not operate properly, leading to massive damage to our health. So, why do some people get gene defect while the rest population of the world does not? The reason will be clarified by inheritance.
Your genes are the combination of both your mom’s and your dad’s genes. If one of them has gene deficiency, you are more likely to that this in your own body. When that broken genes can not transfer the information about the protein your body needs, the problem starts. And the bad news is that the broken genes can run in your family. It is hard to avoid getting muscular dystrophy if your parent has the broken genes inside them. Sometimes, the shortage can be defined when you are in your mom’s tummy, but on many occasions, it is hidden and only turns up when you are in middle age. It is the reason why some forms of muscular dystrophy are common for infants and kids while some other forms only happen to adults.
There is one more cause that is believed to be responsible for muscular dystrophy is random spontaneous genetic mutations. In fact, for every three patients get muscular dystrophy, there will be on person get that disease during the pregnancy. For some unknown reasons, genes of that person mutate and change the function of cells even when that patient’s family has no history of muscular dystrophy. Many theories have shown toxins or nuclear power can affect genes in a negative way.
5. Signs & Symptoms Of Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular dystrophy is obviously dangerous. It comes to you anytime in your life without notice. You wake up once day, feel a little pain in your arms, but you neglect it. You think it will pass away in no time. You don’t know it is a sign of a cruel disease waking up inside your bodies until one day; you find out you can not move a finger. It may be too late for muscular dystrophy treatment. Therefore, let spend some minutes to look at the following symptoms because maybe some of them can save your life. The sign of your body under the influence of muscular dystrophy can be divided into two stages.
+ The first stage is when the disease just appears. You can fell pain inflexibility in the muscles. You can find it difficult to run and jump or even to do the simple thing such as sit up and stand up. Some patients who are still students when they get muscular dystrophy also have problems in learning while those people born with the broken genes cannot develop speech as the normal people.
+ The second stage happens when you feel the symptoms become more severe. It is time you cannot move on your own feet but using a wheelchair. The muscles and tendons around contractures become shortened, limiting the mobility. Moreover, when the muscles are not strong enough, they fail to hold the spine straight. Sometimes, the situation gets worse, and patients are unable to breathe by themselves. Breathing assistance device is necessary to maintain the life. The time of using ventilator will lengthen over time. First patients only need it at night for supporting as a part of muscular dystrophy treatment, but finally, they cannot live without it.
Another sign of body with muscular dystrophy comes from the heart. We all know that muscular dystrophy will limit the effectiveness of muscle, even heart muscles. And once again, we know what will happen to our bodies when the hearts fail to work properly. It gets weaker and weaker, blood cannot be transmitted, and finally, our life goes to end. It is the reason why muscular dystrophy is related to dying of many patients. During the disease time, patients’ bodies may get feebler due to the swallowing problems. They prevent the bodies from receiving the needed proteins and nutrition, leading to aspiration pneumonia development.
All the symptoms are very easy to recognize. The sooner you get muscular dystrophy treatment, the more chances for you to live and recover. Therefore, don’t underestimate every change in your body and your health. Even people born with muscular dystrophy should concern about these sign because they are the mirror reflecting their health situation.
6. Muscular Dystrophy Treatment Options
When you receive the result of getting muscular dystrophy, you can be shocking, terrifying or desperate. It is understandable, but there is no time to waste. The first thing you have to do is looking for muscular dystrophy treatment. Right now, doctors still cannot find the cure for this disease. However, there are many muscular dystrophy treatment ideas you can apply to improve the situation and lengthen the life span. Based on the form of muscular dystrophy you get, different muscular dystrophy treatments will be recommended by your doctor.
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6.1. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy may be the most common method applied to this disease. In this treatment, you will be introduced some easy and general ways to practice your muscles, helping them flexible and strong. You can start with general exercises, a set of stretching exercise, and motion that fight against the unavoidable inward movement. When the tendons and muscles shorten, the limbs will somehow get firm and immovable. Therefore, you need to exercise to increase their mobility for longer. Some other suggestions will be suitable if you are afraid of hurting yourself with hard exercise. You can try swimming or simple walking as ways to make to disease development progress slower than its actual speed.
Breathing assistance will provide also a necessary option for you to think about. As mentioned in the symptoms part, patients often get breathing problems due to the limit of breathing muscle function. Therefore, using devices is the muscular dystrophy treatment to solve the problem. This method will make sure that your body receives enough amount of oxygen and that amount is delivered well all your body. It will be dangerous if there is something wrong happen to your breathing ability because you are not conscious of the situation during the sleep. Sometimes, in many severe cases, a patient can only continue to live if using a ventilator that breathes on their behalf. However, if not necessary, patients will be taught some tips to breathe easily as muscular dystrophy treatment before using devices.
6.2. Occupational Therapy
Besides physical therapy, patients can find occupational therapy as another way for muscular dystrophy treatment. Basically, you will learn how to do the best you can in your health conditions. Doctors can teach you what to do, what should be avoided or what can improve your health. With the help of therapists, people with muscular dystrophy can get familiar with mobility aids like canes, wheelchairs, or walkers. Daily activities can also be supported with braces. These devices are supposed to help tendons and muscle to stretch, which is very effective to slow their shortening. You can use braces as mobility aids because they are also useful for users when moving.
For those people who are looking for muscular dystrophy treatment, especially for speaking problems, speech therapy will be the best choice. In this therapy, patients will be instructed to find a suitable way to talk due to their weak throat and face muscles.
Doctors in many cases can give you the advice to use medicines as muscular dystrophy treatment because they are useful in making symptoms ease. There are some typical medicines that are frequently used for the muscular dystrophy treatment. They might be Eteplirsen (Exondys 51) for DMD treatment ; anti-seizure drugs for reducing muscle spasms. Other blood pressure medicines for heart problems, immune suppressants, and steroids like prednisone that helps to slow down the muscle cell damage  and support breathing issues (even sometimes they can lead to dangerous side effects) or Creatine for supplying energy to muscles as well as improving strength. However, remember to ask for your doctors’ recommend before applying medicines as muscular dystrophy treatment because they are that person who understand your condition and know what medicines are suitable for your body.
In some complicated cases, such as heart problem and swallowing difficulties, surgery will be essential, and the only muscular dystrophy treatment patients need to carry out.
Normally, before giving advice about medicine using, scientist and doctors will have clinical trials. It means they will test whether these medicines are safe or not and their side effects. This progress will make sure patients can use these medicines, and they will work effectively. Therefore, you can prepare yourself before muscular dystrophy treatment.
Drugs are the last method in muscular dystrophy treatment. There are two common drugs used nowadays are Corticosteroids  and Heart medications. Corticosteroids receive some controversial options because even they are useful for muscle strength as well as slow progression, they can weaken bone and affect weight if used for a long time. Heart medications such as beta blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)  can be used in cases of the muscular dystrophy influence the heart’s performance. It is the muscular dystrophy treatment that does not have side effects.
7. How To Overcome?
Muscular dystrophy is an unwelcomed guest. No one in the world expects to confront with it in the life. But, we can not run away from it. Once it chooses you, you have to accept that fact and try your best to fight against it. Even people who were born with muscular dystrophy will have to look at the bright side. This disease may take your ability to walk, to breathe, or to smile by affecting your muscle, but it can not have an influence on your mind. Eating properly, taking muscular dystrophy treatment, and following doctors’ advice are what you need to do in order to compete with the disease. Nowadays, with the technology innovation, people with muscular dystrophy can live longer than those in the past. Scientists are still working hard to find out other ways to help patients. Therefore, if you are in trouble with muscular dystrophy, let be optimistic and never give up on trying.
III – Conclusion
In this article, we have introduced about a dangerous disease named muscular dystrophy. To help you get an overview, the causes, symptoms, and muscular dystrophy treatment options have been included. If you have any idea, please share with us! For more information, you can visit our main site Home Remedies.