Muscular dystrophy is not one, but multiple health issues that lead to loss of muscle mass and muscle weakness. The persons who suffer from this condition experience mutations that prevent the production of proteins. In order your muscles to properly function, they need proteins. There are multiple types of muscular dystrophy, and their signs and symptoms differ from a case to another. Therefore it is quite difficult people to be diagnosed with this health issue. In order to diagnose this issue, there have to be made multiple tests and physical exams. Also, the specialist will analyze the medical history of the family and will recommend a muscle biopsy. The process of diagnosing implies nerve conduction tests, genetic testing, muscle biopsy and blood enzyme tests. The role of the tests is not only to diagnose the patient but also to show what muscle proteins are abnormal or missing.
Once being diagnosed with this health condition, the sad news is that you will never find a cure for it, but there are medications and therapy that can improve your lifestyle. Researchers try to find treatments to insert working dystrophin gene into patients’ muscles, but until then, it is important to know what treatment options you have.
What medications can be recommended?
Depending on your particular health state the doctor can prescribe you one of the following medications:
Eteplirsen – it is the first treatment approved by FDA to be used for dealing with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is important to note that it was approved conditionally, and it is continually checked to see if it is effective. Although it is considered a safe variant, there are no studies to show how effective the medicine is. It does not cure the issue as the organization Muscular Dystrophy Canada showed, but it improves muscle strength.
Corticosteroids – It is stated that this treatment has the role to delay the progression of the health condition. Also, it can help your muscles become stronger. Studies show that a prolonged use of corticosteroids can lead to weight gain. This may weaken your bones on time, so it is advisable to ask the doctor if it is the right treatment for you.
Heart medications – there are cases when muscular dystrophy affects the muscles of the heart, and in this situation, you should check if you should have heart medications.
You can use therapy to improve your health state
Organisations as Muscular Dystrophy Association promote therapy as part of the treatment. Therapy has an important role in improving your lifestyle, so you should not skip this part. Your flexibility can be restricted by muscular dystrophy, so it is recommended to perform stretching exercises. You can keep your joints flexible if you perform motion exercises.
In order to prevent contractures, it is recommended to wear braces because they can improve your mobility and they offer support to your muscles if they are weakened by the disease.
There are cases when patients need wheelchairs, walkers or canes in order to move. There is no other way to help them be independent. In case the respiratory muscles are weakened, then breathing assistance may be required.