Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disease that affects the neuromuscular structure of the body. The body’s immune system attacks the nerve signals in the muscles as if they were foreign matter. Myasthenia Gravis is a progressive, degenerative disease that can lead to death if untreated. This disease affects both men and women but at different ages, however it is more common in women and is therefore thought to be linked to hormones. The onset begins for men when in their 60’s while women tend to develop it in their 20’s or 30’s. With Myasthenia Gravis, the body’s immune system’s antibodies interfere with the nerve signals to the muscles, making contracting voluntary muscles difficult. The exact cause of Myasthenia Gravis is not known but many contributing factors have been linked to it such as thyroid conditions, stress, certain medications, pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and viral or respiratory illnesses.
Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, the muscles your body uses for movement. The name Myasthenia Gravis, which is Latin and Greek in origin, means “grave, or serious, muscle weakness.” This condition is considered rare, affecting about 20 out of every 100,000 people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke1.
Myasthenia Gravis is characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the body’s voluntary muscles. It often affects the muscles that control the eyes and eyelids, facial expressions, chewing, swallowing, and speaking. But it can also affect other parts of the body. Symptoms often include a drooping eyelid, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, difficulty chewing and swallowing, weakness in the arms and legs, chronic muscle fatigue, and difficulty breathing.
Factors that can exacerbate Myasthenia Gravis include fatigue, illness, or infection, stress, some medications, and extreme temperatures. The clinical hallmark of the disease is fluctuating fatigable muscle weakness that worsens with activity and improves with rest. Early symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis include lack of eye muscle control and focus, slurred speech, and problems swallowing. The facial and throat muscles are often the first areas noticeably affected by the disorder. With the worsening of the condition, one may have a general weakening and loss of control of the limbs making simple tasks such as grasping objects, walking, and controlling facial expressions difficult. If left untreated, muscles in the chest can be affected, which can impair the cardiovascular system. As, with rest, the fatigued muscles recover some, those with Myasthenia Gravis usually feel best in the morning.
Treatment for Myasthenia Gravis
When it comes to treating Myasthenia Gravis, the goal is to manage symptoms and control the activity of the immune system. Conventional treatments may involve medications, therapy, or surgery. However, alternative treatments are becoming more popular as they focus on improving the overall health of the patient, not just treating the symptoms.
Sunridge Medical is an alternative care center for autoimmune disease that offers a different approach to managing Myasthenia Gravis and other autoimmune diseases. We use a combination of traditional medicine and natural, holistic therapies to boost the immune system and promote overall wellness.
Treatment plans are personalized to each patient’s specific needs and may include dietary changes, nutritional supplements, herbal medicines, physical therapy, and stress management techniques. The idea is to help the body heal itself by giving it the tools it needs to fight off disease.
Sunridge Medical also offers treatments for other autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. These conditions, like Myasthenia Gravis, are caused by an overactive immune system that attacks the body’s own tissues. By focusing on boosting the immune system and promoting overall health, Sunridge Medical aims to help patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
In conclusion, Myasthenia Gravis is a serious condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. However, with proper care and treatment, including alternative treatments like those offered at Sunridge Medical, individuals with Myasthenia Gravis can lead active, fulfilling lives.
Additional Information on Myasthenia Gravis
More information on Myasthenia Gravis is available at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Myasthenia-Gravis-Fact-Sheet
For answers and to make an appointment, call toll-free 800-923-7878 to speak with our Patient Care Team.
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