There has been gradual increase in the number of children & adults with Muscular Dystrophy we are seeing every month. In our monthly review last week, we noticed that we had seen a spurt of patient visiting us for the treatment of Muscular Dystrophy. But we also noticed that many people keep suffering without knowing that Muscular Dystrophy can be helped with proper Homeopathy treatment for Muscular Dystrophy in the initial stages and offer a pallative treatment for Muscular Dystrophy in the advanced stages.
So what is Muscular Dystrophy?
And what are the options for the treatment of Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular Dystrophy is a general term for a number of hereditary, progressive degenerative disorders affecting skeletal muscles, and often other organ
It is a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal or voluntary muscles which control movement. The muscles of the heart and some other involuntary muscles are also affected in some forms of muscular dystrophy, and a few forms involve other organs as well.
Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue.
Risk factors for Muscular dystrophy:
- It occurs in all ages & both the sexes, but more commonly seen in young boys
- Positive family history has higher risk of developing disease or passing on to their children
Causes of Muscular dystrophy:
- It is a genetic disorder.
- There are different types of Muscular dystrophy; all others are caused by mutation of different genes.
- Duechenne muscular dystrophy
- Becker’s muscular dystrophy
- Myotonic muscular dystrophy
- Limb girdle dystrophy
- Facioscapulohumoral dystrophy
- Congenital muscular dystrophy
- Occulopharyngeal muscular dystrophy
- Distal muscular dystrophy
- Emery dreifuss muscular dystrophy
- Duechenne’s muscular dystrophy :
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves muscle weakness, which quickly gets worse.
It is the most common form of muscular dystrophy in children, the muscles decrease in size and grow weaker over time yet may appear larger.
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy affects most commonly in children especially males. It appears between the ages of 2 and 6.
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy is caused by a defective gene for dystrophin (a protein in the muscles). However, it often occurs in people without a known family history of the condition.
- Because of the way the disease is inherited, boys are affected, not girls. The sons of females who are carriers of the disease (women with a defective gene but no symptoms themselves) each have a 50% chance of having the disease. The daughters each have a 50% chance of being carriers.
Signs & Symptoms:
The main symptom of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive neuromuscular disorder, is muscle weakness associated with muscle wasting with the voluntary muscles being first affected, especially affecting the muscles of the hips, pelvic area, thighs, shoulders, and calf muscles.
Symptoms usually appear before age 6 and may appear as early as infancy. They may include:
- Awkward manner of walking, stepping, or running. (patients tend to walk on their forefeet, because of an increased calf tonus. Also, toe walking is a compensatory adaptation to knee extensor weakness.)
- Frequent falls
- Muscle weakness, begins in the legs and pelvis, but also occurs less severely in the arms, neck, and other areas of the body
- Difficulty with motor skills (running, hopping, jumping)
- Progressive difficulty walking, Ability to walk may be lost by age 12, and the child will have to use a wheelchair
- Muscle contractures , muscle fiber deformities
- Pseudo hypertrophy (enlarging) of tongue and calf muscles. The muscle tissue is eventually replaced by fat and connective tissue
- Skeletal deformities (including scoliosis in some cases)
- Learning difficulties (the IQ can be below 75), learning disorders like (dyslexia ), higher risk of neurobehavioral disorders (e.g., ADHD), it is because of absent or dysfunctional dystrophin in the brain
- Breathing difficulties and heart disease usually start by age 20
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy leads to quickly worsening disability.
- Death usually occurs by age 25, typically from lung disorders.
- . Becker’s muscular dystrophy:
Becker muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves slowly worsening muscle weakness of the legs and pelvis.
- It is an X Linked recessive inherited disorder
- It has a higher risk in positive family history
- Females rarely develop symptoms. Males will develop symptoms if they inherit the defective gene.
- It is more common in boys between the ages 5-15yrs
Signs & Symptoms:
- Difficulty walking that gets worse over time; by age 25-30 the person is usually unable to walk
- Frequent falls
- Difficulty getting up from the floor and climbing stairs
- Difficulty with running, hopping, and jumping
- Toe walking
- Muscle deformities (contractions of heels, legs; Pseudo hypertrophy of calf muscles)
- People with this disorder typically experience a loss of muscle mass (wasting).
- Gait problems, Loss of balance and coordination
- Bones may develop abnormally, causing skeletal deformities of the chest and other areas.
Other symptoms may include:
- Breathing problems
- Cognitive problems (these do not get worse over time)
- Lumbar lordosis
- Eye problems
- Heart disease, particularly dilated cardiomyopathy
- Life span is shortened due to cardiac & breathing difficulties
- It is a slowly worsening disability, it varies from person to person, and some may require wheel chair while some may require walking aids like cranes
3. Myotonic muscular dystrophy (MMD):
Myotonic muscular dystrophy is a common multi-system disorder that affects the skeletal muscles (the muscles that move the limbs and trunk) as well as smooth muscles (the muscles that control the digestive system) and cardiac muscles of the heart.
The most common form of muscular dystrophy in adults.
Myotonic muscular dystrophy affects both men and women, and it usually appears any time from early childhood to adulthood. In rare cases, it appears in newborns (congenital MMD).
Causes & Types:
- MMD is divided into two types.
- Type 1 MMD (MMD1) occurs when a gene on chromosome 19 called DMPK contains an abnormally expanded section.
- Type 2 MMD (MMD2) is caused by an abnormally expanded section in a gene on chromosome 3 called ZNF9.
Signs & Symptoms:
The name refers to a symptom, myotonia — prolonged spasm or stiffening of muscles after use. This symptom is usually worse in cold temperatures.
The disease causes muscle weakness and also affects the central nervous system, heart, gastrointestinal tract, eyes, and hormone-producing glands.
Symptoms of myotonic dystrophy might include:
- Difficulty releasing one’s grip (myotonia).
- Weakness of muscles in the hands and feet
- The characteristic appearance of a “haggard” or “mournful” face is caused by facial muscle wasting
- Frontal hair loss
- Frequent falls
- Drooping eyelids & open mouth
- Difficulty swallowing and abnormal heart rhythms.
- Recurrent jaw dislocations & voice changes.
- Non-muscle symptoms may also include learning difficulties, daytime sleepiness, infertility and early cataracts.
- In most cases, daily living isn’t restricted for many years. Those with myotonic MD have a decreased life expectancy.
4. Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD):
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophies are inherited disorders, which first affect the muscles around the shoulder girdle and hips. These diseases get worse, and may eventually involve other muscles
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) isn’t really one disease. It’s a group of disorders affecting voluntary muscles, mainly those around the hips and shoulders.
- An important risk factor is having a family member with muscular dystrophy.
- This appears in the teens to early adulthood and affects males and females.
- LGMD is caused by a mutation in any of at least 15 different genes that affect proteins necessary for muscle function.
- In most cases, both parents must pass on the non-working (defective) gene for a child to have the disease (autosomal recessive disorder). However in some rare types only one parent needs to pass on the bad gene to affect the child (autosomal dominant disorder).
Signs & Symptoms:
In its most common form, Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy causes progressive weakness that begins in the hips and moves to the shoulders, arms, and legs. Within 20 years, walking becomes difficult or impossible. Sufferers typically live to middle age to late adulthood.
Other symptoms include:
- Abnormal, sometimes waddling, walk
- Joints that are fixed in a contracted position (late in the disease)
- Large and muscular-looking calves (pseudo hypertrophy), which are not actually strong
- Loss of muscle mass, thinning of certain body parts
- Low back pain
- Atrophy can lead to limited mobility and an inability to raise the arms above the shoulders
- Palpitations or passing-out spells
- Cardiopulmonary complications sometimes occur in later stages of the disease
- Weakness of the muscles in the face , & lower legs
- Disease tends to have weakness & gets worse in affected muscles & spreads
- The disease causes loss of movement or dependence on a wheelchair within 20 – 30 years.
- Heart muscle weakness and abnormal electrical activity of the heart can increase the risk of palpitations, fainting, and sudden death. Most patients with this group of diseases live into adulthood, but do not reach their full life expectancy.
5. Facio-scapulo-humoral muscular dystrophy (FSHD):
Facio-scapulo-humeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a genetic muscle disorder in which the muscles of the face, shoulder blades and upper arms are among the most affected.
This form of muscular dystrophy appears in the teens to early adulthood and affects males and females.
- It is a genetic disorder.
- It appears in both men & women & may develop in a child if either parent carries gene for the disorder
Signs & Symptoms:
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy is muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue that gets worse over time.
Facioscapulohumeral refers to the muscles that move the face, shoulder blade, and upper arm bone however can also affect muscles around pelvis , hips & lower legs
- Eyelid drooping
- Mild to moderate disability in talking , chewing , swallowing & walking may be seen
- Inability to whistle
- Decreased facial expression
- Depressed or angry facial expression
- Difficulty pronouncing words
- Shoulder muscle weakness causing sloping of shoulders
- Weakness of the lower legs is possible as the disorder gets worse. The weakness can be severe enough to interfere with walking.
- Hearing loss and abnormal heart rhythms may occur, but are rare.
Disability is often minor. Lifespan is usually not affected.
6. Congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD):
Congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) refers to a group of muscular dystrophies that show them at or near birth. Muscular dystrophies in general are genetic, degenerative diseases primarily affecting voluntary muscles.
The two forms that have been identified — Fukuyama and congenital muscular dystrophy with myosin deficiency which cause muscle weakness at birth or in the first few months of life, along with severe and early contractures (shortening or shrinking of muscles that causes joint problems). Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy causes abnormalities in the brain and often seizures.
- Congenital muscular dystrophies progress slowly and affect males and females.
- CMD is caused by genetic mutations affecting some of the proteins necessary for muscles and sometimes for the eyes and or brain.
Signs & symptoms:
- Muscle weakness with stiffness & looseness of joints.
- Spinal curvature
- Respiratory insufficiency
- Learning disabilities or mental retardation
- Eye defects or seizures
7. Occulophayngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD)
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is a rare genetic muscle disorder with onset during adulthood most often between 40 and 60 years of age. OPMD is characterized by slowly progressive muscle disease (myopathy) affecting the muscles of the upper eyelids and the throat.
- It is an inherited genetic defect from either one or both the parents.
- It affects men & women equally
Signs & symptoms:
- Drooping of eyelids
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Difficult in swallowing (Dysphagia)
- Muscle weakness esp. legs & arms , in some cases may cause difficulty in walking
8. Distal Muscular dystrophy (DD):
DD is a class of muscular dystrophies that primarily affect distal muscles, which are those of the lower arms, hands, lower legs and feet.
It is generally less severe, progresses more slowly, and affects fewer muscles than other forms of muscular dystrophy.
This group of rare diseases affects adult men and women.
- It is an inherited autosomal dominant or recessive pattern disorder
- It is caused by mutation of atleast 8 genes that affect proteins necessary
- Weakness & wasting of distal muscles (forearms, hands, lower legs, feet)
- Some forms of distal muscular dystrophy affect the muscles used for speaking or swallowing, and others may affect the heart.
- Most forms of distal muscular dystrophy are progressive, age of onset and rate of progression can vary widely from one type to the next.
9. Emery-dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD):
Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD) is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic, degenerative diseases primarily affecting voluntary muscles.
This rare form of muscular dystrophy appears from childhood to the early teens and affects only males.
- EDMD is caused by mutations in the genes that produce proteins in the membrane surrounding the nucleus of each muscle cell.
- Weakness & wasting of muscles in shoulders, upper arms, lower limbs.
- Muscle shortening (contractures) occurs early in the disease.
- Weakness can spread to chest and pelvic muscles.
- The disease progresses slowly and causes less severe muscle weakness than some other forms of muscular dystrophy.
- Life-threatening heart problems are common and can also affect carriers
Muscular Dystrophy Treatment through Homeopathy:
We have consulted for a number of children and adults suffering from Muscular Dystrophy. The treatment for Muscular Dystrophy can be a long drawn process and can take upto 3-5 years for complete cure. The improvement can be experienced in 6-8 months in most of our patients. Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy involves a detailed pre-treatment interview with the patient and the close relatives of the patient to customize the treatment for every patient individually.
We have experienced some wonderful results in the treatment for Muscular Dystrophy through the following Homeopathy medicines prescribed accordingly to the homeopathic philosophy and analysis.
- Hydrophis cyanocinctus
You can talk to our consultants in the clinic or discuss with our consultant available online to know how Welling Homeopathy can make a difference in the treatment for Muscular Dystrophy