Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by weakness and fatigue of muscles under your voluntary control. This weakness and fatigue are caused by a breakdown in the communication between your nerve endings and the affected muscles. Myasthenia gravis can affect anyone of any age, but it is most common in women under the age of 40 and in men over the age of 60. Patients with myasthenia often have a higher incidence of other autoimmune disorders. There is no known cure for myasthenia, but some of the symptoms can be relieved with treatment.
Myasthenia gravis usually affects the muscles in the face, neck, throat, arms, and legs. Symptoms come on gradually and can include:
  • Drooping eyelids.
  • Double vision.
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing and chewing.
  • Limited facial expressions such as the inability to smile.
People with myasthenia gravis may also feel weakness in their arms and legs, although arm weakness is far more common. Those who have weak leg muscles due to myasthenia may waddle when they walk.
Many cases of myasthenia gravis are caused by antibodies that block or destroy the receptor sites that allow the muscles to receive the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Since the muscles fail to receive as much of this chemical as they should, they become weak. Research has also shown that the thymus, a gland that is found in the upper chest behind the breastbone, may be producing the antibodies that destroy the receptor sites.
Although there is no cure for myasthenia gravis, it can be treated with anticholinesterase medications that stimulate the transmission of the nerve impulses that muscles need to operate as they should. Corticosteroids such as predisone have also been shown to be effective. Some patients have had their thymus removed, which also seems to improve the condition. Would you like to know more about myasthenia gravis? See more at Silver Chiropractic & Wellness.