Muscular Dystrophy is not a single disease but a group of hereditary muscle destroying disorders. There are more than 30 types of these disorders, vary in their inheritance pattern, rate of progression, initial muscle attacked and age of onset.
The skeletal muscles are the main group of muscles affected in this disorder. The skeletal muscles are used during the voluntary body movements. There is progressive weakness and degeneration of these group of muscles.
The disease may occur in adulthood or childhood, but the more severe form tends to occur in early childhood.
Causes of Muscular Dystrophy
It is an inherited disorder, means it is passed down through generations in a family. Many cases occur from spontaneous mutation, that are not found in genes of either of the parent, and this defect can be passed to next generation.
Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy
The day to day activities of the patient is affected. Some of them are
- inability to walk
- poor balance
- loss of bowel control
- drooping eyelids
- waddling gait
- respiratory difficulty
- limited range of movements
- frequent falls
- loss of strength in a muscle or a group of muscles as an adult
- low muscle tone (hypotonia)
- joint contracture (club foot, claw hand or others)
- abnormally curved spine (scoliosis)
Some types involve heart muscles, causing cardiomyopathy or disturbed heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
Diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy:
The diagnosis is based on the combination of characteristic clinical presentation and the results of muscle biopsy.
Prognosis of Muscular Dystrophy
There is no remission in this disease. The severity of the disability depends on the type of muscular dystrophy. Some cases may be mild and progress very slowly over a normal lifespan, while others produce severe muscle weakness and functional disability. All types of Muscular Dystrophy slowly get worse, but how fast this happens varies widely.
Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy
It is not an incurable disorder, rather a genetic disorder for which no satisfactory treatment has been found in any system of medicine.
The treatment is aimed at controlling the symptoms.
Progressive loss of muscle mass is primarily responsible for reduced quality and length of life. The drug treatment is based on slowing the process of muscle degeneration and thus improvement of the quality of life. Corticosteroids are known to extend the ability of these patients to walk, but have substantial side effects and their mechanism of action is unknown.
Inactivity (such as bed rest and sitting for long periods) can worsen the disease.
Physical therapy, exercises, orthopedic instruments (wheel chairs and standing frames), speech therapy and corrective orthopedic surgeries may help to preserve muscle function and prevent joint contractures.
Occupational therapy may be given as a supportive line of therapy for being self sufficient to do daily activities (self care, self feeding etc)
Homeopathic treatment for Muscular Dystrophy
Homeopathic treatment helps to slow down the process of muscular degeneration, and can work on bringing some symptomatic relief, such as improving muscle power. It is aimed at better quality life.
Homeopathic medicines are prescribed after the detailed case study consisting of physical, emotional and genetic make up of an individual. Homeopathic medicines help to reduce the muscle weakness and control the disease progression. There are some specific Homeopathic remedies, which help for muscle paralysis and weakness and which have been found effective in the treatment of Muscular Dystrophy. Homeopathic treatment is recommended.