Muscular dystrophy is an umbrella term that refers to a group of genetic diseases that cause a progressive weakening and degradation of muscle tissue in the body.
A relatively uncommon condition, muscular dystrophy affects 1 in every 7,250 males aged between the ages of 5 and 24 and is an almost exclusively male disorder, although it’s possible for it to affect women, at a rate of about one in 50 million.
Muscular dystrophy affects men of all races and body types, and is not linked to any particular lifestyle habit or environmental factor. The root causes of muscular dystrophy are genetic, and unfortunately there is no cure for this debilitating disease.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 What Is Muscular Dystrophy?
- 0.1.1 Common Types Of Muscle Dystrophy
- 0.1.2 Muscular Dystrophy Symptoms
- 0.1.3 Other Forms Of Muscle Dystrophy
- 0.1.4 What Causes Muscular Dystrophy?
- 0.1.5 Management & Treatment Methods For Muscle Dystrophy
- 0.1.6 Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosis Methods
- 0.1.7 Muscular Dystrophy Medical Treatments
- 0.1.8 The Future Of Muscular Dystrophy Treatments
- 0.1.9 Natural Treatments For Muscle Dystrophy
- 0.2 Muscular Dystrophy Fast Facts
- 1 Muscular Dystrophy Summary
There are many different variations of muscular dystrophy, but the symptoms of the condition can be generalized as a progressive deterioration of muscle tissue that eventually results in the inability to walk, trouble swallowing, and severe respiratory disorders.
Some individuals diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, however, experience only a small impact on their faculties and are able to live a relatively “normal” life.
Although there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, modern medical advances have made it possible to manage the condition through a combination of muscle health boosting steroids and physical therapy.
There are also a number of natural lifestyle practices that can significantly minimize the impact of muscular dystrophy on the body, such as maintaining an active physical lifestyle, nutritionally-balanced dietary practices that include anti-inflammatory foods, health-boosting supplements, essential oils, and botanical extracts.
These methods can improve the total overall health of the body and slow the onset of the symptoms of muscular dystrophy.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the causes and symptoms of muscular dystrophy, as well as examining some of the treatments that are currently available that minimize the effects of this degenerative disease.
We’ll also provide some natural lifestyle practices that can reduce the symptoms of muscular degeneration and promote an overall higher state of health.
What Is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy, or MD, refers to a group of disorders that cause all of the muscle tissue in the body to weaken and break down over time.
There are multiple different forms of this condition, which all ultimately have the same effect, although the order in which the various muscles of the body are affected vary between specific disorders.
There are more than thirty different forms of muscular dystrophy, which can be classified into nine major categories.
The most common form of muscular dystrophy is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD, which usually manifests in the male body around the age of four.
Other common forms of MD include Becker muscular dystrophy, which affects the muscles of the legs and pelvis, and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, which degrades the muscles of the face and upper arms.
The root causes of these forms of MD are linked to mutations in the genes responsible for the creation of muscle proteins, which are either inherited from parents through a hereditary mechanism or caused by genetic mutation during early development.
There are several other forms of muscular dystrophy that affect the body in different ways, such as congenital muscular dystrophy, distal muscular dystrophy, emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, and myotonic muscular dystrophy, which is more common in adults than children.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common form of MD, accounting for over half of all diagnosed cases.
Roughly one third of individuals diagnosed with this form of MD don’t have any family history of the condition, as it can be caused by abnormal sudden mutation of the genes responsible for muscular development.
Let’s take a closer look at the two most common forms of muscular dystrophy.
Common Types Of Muscle Dystrophy
The primary symptom of muscular dystrophy is a progressive weakening of the muscles. The various different categories of muscular dystrophy affect different muscle groups in different ways, depending on the specifics of the disorder.
Although women can carry the genes that cause muscular dystrophy, it primarily affects men, and is most commonly expressed in the following two conditions:
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD, is one of the most severe forms of MD. With symptoms of the condition manifesting around the age of four, DMD has a fast onset and causes rapid deterioration of the muscles.
The muscle loss caused by DMD generally begins around the pelvis and upper legs, and proceeds to the upper arms. One of the first symptoms caused by DMD is difficulty standing up, which can progress to a complete inability to stand by the age of 12.
Roughly 1 in every 3500 boys are born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy every year, with the total worldwide rate exceeding 20,000 births annually. DMD is a potentially fatal disorder, with the primary cause of death attributed to respiratory failure.
Recent medical advances have greatly improved the mortality rate of the condition, however.
According to a study published in Acta Myologica in 2012, the overall mortality rate of DMD has lowered from 100% in the 1960’s to less than 50% due to advances in nocturnal ventilation breathing assistance technology.
DMD is caused by a mutation in the gene for the protein dystrophin, which performs a critical role in maintaining the cell membrane of muscle fiber.
This mutation causes the muscle tissue to slowly degrade, and has a significant effect on the cardiovascular system, leading to difficulty in breathing.
Treatment for this order includes steroid therapy, immunosuppressant therapy to reduce the damage to muscle cells undergoing apoptosis, physical therapy, and respiratory support.
Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy
Becker’s muscular dystrophy is similar in cause and effect to Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but is typically less severe and more easily treated. Like DMD, Becker’s muscular dystrophy is an x-linked recessive inherited disorder that is carried by the female parent of afflicted individuals, and generally begins in the muscles of the legs and pelvis.
Similarly to Duchenne MD, Becker’s MD is caused by a genetic mutation in the gene responsible for dystrophin.
The first signs of Becker’s MD usually manifest around the age of 12, but can sometimes occur as early as 7 or 8. The symptoms of Becker’s muscular dystrophy are less severe than Duchenne MD, with overall quality of life much higher.
Becker’s MD still causes a wide range of cardiovascular, neurological and respiratory conditions, but is far less serious.
Muscular Dystrophy Symptoms
Almost all of the 9 different categories of muscular dystrophy cause similar symptoms, albeit with varying onset and progression rates.
There are a number of symptoms that are unique to some of the rarer forms of MD, however. Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms of the more prevalent forms of muscular dystrophy:
Duchenne And Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy
The primary symptom caused by every form of muscular dystrophy is a gradual loss of muscle mass.
Depending on the specific type of MD, this muscle wasting process will begin in different parts of the body, but in both Duchenne and Becker’s muscular dystrophy the muscle degradation occurs in the pelvis and upper legs, proceeding to the upper arms and shoulders.
Muscle degradation is the first sign of MD, and is usually noticed in childhood by primary caregivers.
The muscle weakness and instability caused by these forms of MD spread quickly through the body, and within a few short years, are able to disrupt the ability to walk in diagnosed individuals. The early stages are normally identified by a number of indicators.
Children that have MD possess an awkward manner of locomotion, and are prone to running on their forefeet due to an increase in calf muscle tone that compensates for the lack of upper leg strength.
Muscular dystrophy causes frequent falling, chronic fatigue, poor gross motor skills and difficulty walking in the early stages, which proceeds to muscle fiber deformities, the enlarging of the tongue and calf muscles, and the eventual inability to walk.
More serious forms of MD such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy can cause neurobehavioural disorders and learning difficulty due to the absence of dystrophin in the brain.
Some of the most serious symptoms of both Duchenne and Becker’s include abnormal heart muscle composition which results in congestive heart failure and heart arrhythmia.
MD can also lead to deformities in the chest and back, muscle contractions and cramps in the legs and heels, increased fat deposits, and respiratory disorders such as pneumonia or an inability to swallow.
Other Forms Of Muscle Dystrophy
Some of the less common forms of muscular dystrophy can cause a number of specific symptoms not found in the more common forms. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, for example affects the facial muscles of the body in addition to the muscles of the upper arms and chest.
This form of muscular dystrophy can present as an inability to whistle and an inability to drink through a straw, and proceed to an inability to perform physical actions such as sit-ups or raise the arms above the head.
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy has a later onset than the more common forms of MD, and generally manifests between the ages of 10 and 25 years old.
The loss of facial and tongue muscle tissue caused by this form of MD can also make it difficult for diagnosed individuals to speak, as well as cause the eyes to remain open during sleep.
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, or OMD, is another form of MD that causes the muscle tissue of the face, eyes, shoulders and neck to become degraded.
Unique in that the symptoms of the condition present after the age of 40, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy is one of the few MD conditions in which the onset begins in late adulthood.
Individuals that suffer from OMD generally have extreme difficulty swallowing, and can lose control of their facial muscles as the condition worsens.
Distal muscular dystrophy is a form of MD that affects the extremities of the body. Early manifestations of distal muscular dystrophy occur in the hands and feet, which proceed into the lower arms and legs.
Muscle mass in the affected regions of the body is subject to atrophy, which can severely limit motion and movement in individuals diagnosed with this rare form of MD.
Distal muscular dystrophy is one of the few forms of MD that doesn’t affect intellect or brain function, and is less likely to cause cardiovascular complications.
Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy is a form of MD that damages the muscles of the body that are used for movement, such as the skeletal muscle system and the heart.
Early symptoms of Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy include a type of joint deformity called contractures, which restrict the movement of the limbs. These contractures manifest first in the neck, elbows and ankles, and over time can severely limit range of motion.
More advanced symptoms of Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy include heart problems caused by interruptions in the nerve signalling process that controls cardiac function.
Left untreated, these symptoms can eventually result in dangerous heart conditions such as bradycardia, or a slow heartbeat, or frequent fainting. There are three types of Emery-Dreifuss MD- autosomal dominant, X-linked, and autosomal recessive.
What Causes Muscular Dystrophy?
The root cause of almost all forms of Muscular Dystrophy are genetic defects that result in disrupted protein production.
In most cases, this defect is passed down through a hereditary mechanism, but can also be caused by spontaneous mutation that changes the way the body produces protein.
The exact mechanism that causes this mutation is not currently known, and likely varies depending on the form of muscular dystrophy.
Each specific form of muscular dystrophy is caused by a mutation in a different gene. Random genetic mutation accounts for the cause of muscular dystrophy in roughly one third of cases, with the other two thirds caused by inheritance.
Muscular dystrophy can be inherited as an X-linked trait that is passed on by the female parent, and as a dominant or recessive trait.
The X-linked hereditary traits of the mutations that cause muscular dystrophy manifest as MD primarily in males due to the fact that males only possess one x chromosome.
A male receives one x chromosome from his female parent, and one Y chromosome from his male parent. A female receives two x chromosomes, one from each parent.
In the case of females, the body is able to rectify the dystrophin mutation that is carried by one of the X chromosomes with the other, but this is not the case in the male body.
Having only one X chromosome, the male body is unable to rectify this genetic mutation and thus cannot manufacture dystrophin, which causes muscular dystrophy.
Every male child that is born to a mother that carries a dystrophin mutation on one of the two X chromosomes she possesses has a one in two chance of passing on the mutation to any female children she may have.
Carriers of the mutated dystrophin gene don’t experience any symptoms of MD, but are similarly at risk of giving birth to children that will suffer from MD.
It’s impossible for a man to pass muscular dystrophy on, as the male donates a Y chromosome in conception, not an X chromosome.
It’s also possible for a family that has no known history of muscular dystrophy to give birth to a child with a mutated dystrophin gene in two different scenarios.
In the first scenario, a recessive dystrophin mutation may have existed in the family genetic line for several generations without resulting in the manifestation of muscular dystrophy.
In the second scenario, the child may possess a mutated dystrophin gene due to a genetic mutation that occurred in one of his mother’s egg cells.
Management & Treatment Methods For Muscle Dystrophy
Modern medical advancements have made muscular dystrophy a far more manageable condition, with several treatments now available that can significantly reduce the symptoms of this debilitating disease.
Combined with healthy lifestyle choices, it’s now possible for individuals suffering from muscular dystrophy to greatly improve their quality of life.
Part of the reason for these advances in treatment techniques has been an improvement in the methods through which MD can be identified. Prior to advances in genetic testing, muscular dystrophy could only be identified in childhood.
Now, with modern testing procedures, it’s possible for women to be tested before pregnancy to determine whether they carry a mutated dystrophin gene. Let’s take a look at some of the diagnosis methods currently used to test for MD.
Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosis Methods
The most common diagnosis method used to determine whether a child may have MD is a physical examination, combined with an assessment of family medical history.
The physical examination process used to test for MD may include muscle biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of muscle tissue from the patient and subjecting it to a number of tests, or electromyography, which uses an array of electrodes attached to the muscles to test muscle tissue and nerve function.
It’s also possible to perform a blood enzyme test that measures the blood serum levels of creatine kinase, a key indicator of muscular dystrophy. DNA testing advances in recent years have also made it possible to test for muscular dystrophy on a genetic level.
Other diagnosis methods include electrocardiogram assessment that measures the strength of signals between the muscles and the heart, and magnetic resonance imaging, which can determine whether the organs of the muscles have been affected by the muscular degradation caused by MD.
Muscular Dystrophy Medical Treatments
While there is no known cure for muscular dystrophy, there are a number of treatments and techniques that can minimize its effect on bodily function and improve overall quality of life.
Each specific form of muscular dystrophy is managed by different treatment techniques that vary depending on the severity of the condition and the symptoms present.
Treating any form of muscular dystrophy requires a multidisciplinary approach, often combining several different treatment methods for the best results.
Pharmaceutical options available to individuals diagnosed with muscular dystrophy usually come in the form of low-intensity corticosteroids that improve the strength of cardiovascular muscle tissue and maintain muscle tone to prevent cardiovascular disorders.
Other heart disease related medications such as enzyme inhibitors and beta blockers are often used in combination with these steroids to protect the heart.
The pharmaceutical industry of the United States has recently come under fire from the Executive Branch of the US government, with key decision makers stating that US big pharma is guilty of unfair pricing practices that need to be addressed.
These statements have come in response to actions such as those of Marathon Pharmaceuticals, who recently purchased the rights to a common corticosteroid called deflazacort that has been used as a muscular dystrophy treatment for decades and, inflated the price by over 70 times, charging patients up to $90,000 annually for the critical medicine.
Outside of pharmaceutical solutions, however, there are a number of practices that can be used to delay the onset of muscular dystrophy induced muscle degradation.
Physical therapy such as range of motion and stretching exercises can help to prevent the progressive restriction in flexibility caused by MD, while low-impact anaerobic exercise has been demonstrated to improve the condition significantly.
Orthopedic assistance devices such as braces are used to keep the tendons and muscles of MD patients stretched, increasing flexibility and halting the progression of the contractures caused by some forms of MD.
Other assistance devices such as canes, braces, wheelchairs and various mobility aids can assist in maintaining independence of movement and motility, as well as provide support for weakened and degraded muscles.
Speech pathology treatment is also an effective technique used to assist MD patients in which the muscular degradation affects the tongue, such as Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
The Future Of Muscular Dystrophy Treatments
A variety of new treatments for muscular dystrophy are now being researched by medical institutions around the world, with a number of promising solutions presenting potentially dramatic and groundbreaking changes in the methods used to treat the condition.
Gene therapy, or the transplantation of healthy genes to replace defective or mutated genes, falls under the umbrella of genetic engineering.
This futuristic treatment has remained at the forefront of medical technological research for decades, but has recently captured the attention of scientists searching for an effective treatment for muscular dystrophy.
A 2010 meta-analysis of the technique described the technique as offering “great hope” for MD treatment, and referenced a 2009 clinical trial that performed a successful human transgene expression specifically designed to prevent MD.
More recent scientific progress demonstrating the efficacy of gene therapy in treating muscular dystrophy has shown significant progress in this form of treatment.
A study published in 2016 by the University of London found that both gene editing and gene trans-splicing are both extremely promising techniques that can possibly fix the genetic errors that lead to muscular dystrophy.
Stem cell treatment leverages the ability of the undifferentiated cells of the same name to prevent diseases or health conditions by replacing the affected components of the body that cause the condition.
Stem cell therapy has recently shown significant promise in treating MD in a clinical trial that transplanted myoblasts, or undifferentiated muscle cells, into dystrophic muscle.
In the trial, the myoblast stem cell transplantation was observed to repair damaged muscle tissue.
While these forms of treatment are still in their early stages, definitive proof of their effectiveness has been demonstrated. Current scientific endeavors seek to improve the efficacy of these developing methods to make them viable as large-scale MD treatments.
The incredibly fast pace at which both stem cell and gene therapy technology are advancing means that an effective and permanent treatment for muscular dystrophy could be just around the corner.
In the meantime, it’s possible to significantly minimize the effects of muscular dystrophy with a wide range of healthy lifestyle practices and natural cures. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective methods.
Natural Treatments For Muscle Dystrophy
As muscular dystrophy affects the muscles, any activity or practice that involves promoting overall muscular health is able to slow the onset of muscular degradation and MD-induced health disorders.
Dietary practices, mental health exercises and natural medicines can all function as powerful accessory treatments for muscular dystrophy. Here are the top five natural practices for minimizing the symptoms of MD:
Physical Exercise & Strength Training
Promoting muscle health through regular, low impact physical exercise and strength training is one of the most effective ways of delaying the onset of the more severe symptoms of MD.
Even in otherwise healthy individuals, a sedentary and inactive lifestyle causes muscle tissue to degrade as the body does not exert any extra energy on maintaining muscle mass.
In MD patients, regular physical exercise is paramount and can make a significant difference in the speed at which muscular degradation occurs.
There is a large body of scientifically proven clinical evidence that supports the efficacy of regular physical exercise in treating muscular dystrophy.
A 2013 clinical study released by an international research team composed of MD experts from multiple research institutions assessed over 50 different clinical investigations into the effect of physical exercise and strength training on the progress of muscular dystrophy.
The trial concluded that all available evidence demonstrates that physical exercise has a positive effect on muscular structure in MD patients.
A clinical trial performed in 2001 in Sweden found that, while physical training is effective in delaying the onset of muscular dystrophy, high weight resistance exercises can have a potentially negative effect.
According to the study, strength training should commence as early as possible while a substantial amount of muscle fibers remain healthy.
Stretching exercises have also been found to deliver significant results in the treatment of several forms of muscular dystrophy, with yoga and traditional Indian ayurvedic breathing practices delivering the best results.
A 2014 study performed at the University of São Paulo found that yoga breathing exercises such as hatha yoga, a circular breathing technique, are able to significantly improve pulmonary function in participants.
In the trial, 76 individuals diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy were instructed in hatha yoga breathing techniques and practiced the method three times daily for ten months, which resulted in a statistically significant increase in lung function.
Regular muscular stretching has been demonstrated in a 2012 meta-study to decrease the rate at which contractures reduce the overall range of motion of individuals that have been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.
These stretching practices can be made more effective when combined with aggressive positioning and orthotic assistance, increasing range of motion and slowing down muscle degradation.
Regular physical exercise also has the ability to improve overall cardiovascular health, and thus should be considered a powerful treatment method for MD.
Physical Exercise & Muscular Dystrophy Treatments:
- Yoga & circular breathing techniques
- Regular muscle stretching
- Lightweight strength training & resistance exercises
Anti-inflammatory Dietary Practices
Inflammation and the systemic disorders that are caused by inflammation are closely linked to many forms of muscular dystrophy.
A function of the body that occurs in reaction to damaged cells or external pathogens, inflammation is a protective response that involves a wide variety of immune system behaviors, blood vessels, and mediator elements.
A 2005 clinical trial conducted by the University of California found that the immune system responses that cause inflammation have a complex and close relationship to muscular dystrophy, concluding that increased inflammation has a negative effect on the overall health of individuals that have been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.
Inflammation, as a systemic issue, is influenced greatly by the types of foods that are consumed in the diet. More than 50% of the immune system is influenced by the bacteria in the digestive system, a link that has been observed in multiple clinical trials.
These foods are all rich in phenolic compounds and antioxidants, both of which are used by the body to reduce oxidative stress, a leading cause of inflammation.
A 2010 clinical investigation performed by the Foundation for Integrated Medicine in New York determined that the Mediterranean diet, which is typically rich in fiber, fatty acids, legumes, grains and leafy greens, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Another trial performed by a multi-institution research team in 2014 found that inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease can be effectively treated through probiotic foods that encourage positive gut health and fatty-acid rich diets.
Other dietary practices, such as high protein consumption, have been demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of some forms of MD. Minimizing other external factors that cause excessive inflammation can also reduce the overall inflammatory effect of MD.
Many cleaning chemicals, artificial food additives, and environmental pollutants can increase inflammation, so following a healthy, organic lifestyle and minimizing chemical use can definitely improve overall health and slow down the progression of muscular dystrophy.
Anti-inflammatory foods for treating muscular dystrophy:
- Leafy greens
- Grains & legumes
- Fatty acid rich foods such as nuts and fish
- Olive oil
Muscle Health Boosting Supplements
Muscle health boosting supplements and nutritional aids that promote faster muscle growth are commonly used in the fitness and bodybuilding world in the pursuit of an athletic physique, but also have a number of properties that make them highly effective in minimizing the effect of muscular dystrophy on the body.
Almost any supplement that has been conclusively proven to increase muscle health is a worthwhile addition to the diet of an individual that has been diagnosed with MD, but some are more effective than others.
Creatine is a popular supplement that is commonly used in the sports world to increase athletic performance.
Present in small amounts in most animal food products, creatine has a demonstrated scientific ability to increase the rate at which the body is able to repair damaged muscle cells.
A 2006 clinical trial provided evidence that the musculoskeletal and neuroprotective properties of creatine monohydrate are able to decrease the rate of degradation in muscle tissue caused by muscular dystrophy.
Another 2009 study supports this data with an observation that creatine is able to increase overall muscle strength in individuals with MD, increasing motility.
An intensive investigation into the efficacy of dietary supplements in the treatment of muscular dystrophy released in 2012 published by the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America provides a great deal of insight into the interactions between both green tea extract and branched chain amino acids and MD.
The investigation, which assessed 75 different individual clinical trials, found that both of these supplements have the ability to slow the degradation caused by MD.
In the study, branched chain amino acids, a supplement commonly used in the bodybuilding world, was found to significantly increase both overall strength and endurance in dystrophic muscle tissue.
Green tea extract was found to ameliorate the degradation of muscular tissue, which is, in part, caused by oxidative stress.
Several clinical trials reviewed in the study found that green tea extract is able to protect muscles from degeneration and causes muscle fibers to exhibit a morphology similar to non-diseased muscle fibers.
From the evidence available, it’s clear that there are some supplements that have a powerful effect on the progression of muscular dystrophy on the body. Green tea extract, branched chain amino acids and creatine are all potent supplements for treating MD.
Extracts of foods that contain high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds are also effective in minimizing some of the symptoms of MD, such as omega fatty acids and antioxidant-rich extracts.
Supplements for treating muscular dystrophy symptoms:
- Creatine monohydrate
- Branched chain amino acids
- Green tea extract
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements
Essential oils have shown a great deal of promise in delivering therapeutic relief from some of the more persistent symptoms of muscular dystrophy.
There aren’t any specific clinical investigations into the efficacy of essential oils as a treatment for the condition, but they have been shown to reduce muscle pain and inflammation in many nonspecific investigations.
Eucalyptus oil has been shown to reduce inflammation as well as deliver analgesic properties that can minimize some of the muscular pain induced by MD.
Similarly, both cinnamon and lavender essential oil possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties and contain high amounts of antioxidant compounds that can minimize oxidative stress.
The assisted breathing devices that have shown effectiveness in improving the survivability of many forms of muscular dystrophy, such as CPAP machines, can sometimes cause dehydration and uncomfortably dry airways.
Humidification devices have been demonstrated to reduce upper airway dryness when used in combination with CPAP devices.
Adding a few drops of essential oil to a humidifier is a great way to reduce dryness and take advantage of the many health benefits of essential oils, which include reduced anxiety, reduced inflammation, and lower stress levels.
Essential oils for minimizing muscular dystrophy symptoms:
Group Support & Therapy
Lastly, group support and individual therapy are powerful techniques for minimizing the psychological stress induced by muscular dystrophy.
There are many support groups available for individuals that have been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy that provide a wide support network, such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Many clinical studies advise that psychological support is critical in the management of muscular dystrophy, which is important for both diagnosed individuals and caregivers.
Psychological support has been demonstrated to increase quality of life, with behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy providing the best results.
Psychological therapy has also been demonstrated to deliver significant results in helping caregivers assist family members suffering from MD in their daily lives.
Benefits of group therapy in managing muscular dystrophy:
- Reduced anxiety & stress
- Increased quality of life
Health & Safety Precautions
While these natural techniques are effective in assisting with the treatment of muscular dystrophy, managing this condition should always involve a multifaceted approach that includes professional medical assistance, healthy lifestyle choices, and group support.
Early identification plays an important role in the management of muscular dystrophy, so if you believe your child may exhibit any signs of MD, it’s essential to consult a medical professional immediately.
Muscular Dystrophy Fast Facts
- There are nine distinct forms of muscular dystrophy, with no known cure
- The most common forms of muscular dystrophy are Becker’s MD and Duchenne MD
- Muscular Dystrophy is most commonly a hereditary disorder, but can occur spontaneously
- Modern medical advancements are providing MD-diagnosed individuals with greater quality of life
- Stem cell therapy and gene therapy are promising future treatments for muscular dystrophy.
- The symptoms of muscular dystrophy can be significantly minimized through physical exercise, anti-inflammatory foods and muscle health boosting supplements
Muscular Dystrophy Summary
Though the application of modern medicine, physical therapy, healthy eating habits and a positive mental outlook, muscular dystrophy has changed from a fatal condition to a manageable disease over the last forty years.
While there is currently no known cure for muscular dystrophy, the rate at which modern medicine is developing new and innovative treatments for the condition is providing individuals diagnosed with muscular dystrophy a great deal of hope for the future.