Polymyositis is an autoimmune, neuromuscular disease in the myositis family. It is also referred to as a connective tissue disease as it involves the collagen and/or elastin that bind the body together. In Polymyositis, the body’s immune system attacks and degenerates muscles causing painful inflammation. It is more common in women, but it also affects men. The disease is rare, affecting approximately .1% of women in the United States. Doctors are not clear on the direct cause of the disease; however, cancer present in the body is thought to be a trigger for the disease in men.
Symptoms of Polymyositis
The primary symptom of this disease is weakness beginning in the legs and hips. Also common is pain in the joints, however, the pain is not usually accompanied by swelling. Some people may experience shortness of breath, coughing, or trouble swallowing, which could lead to weight loss.
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