Muscular dystrophy is when you have thin and weak muscles. You usually fall frequently and you run very strange. You have difficulty getting up and you can’t sit up straight. It usually affects boys (rarely girls). “People with Muscular Dystrophy have incorrect or missing information in their genes.”
The symptoms of muscular dystrophy are when you have poor balance and you can’t walk straight. Sometimes you can have a curve on your spine; kind of like scoliosis. You tend to walk on your toes because you can’t put your feet flat. You can’t even climb stairs. If the Childs heart and breathing muscles get weak, they could die before reaching the age 20 from heart failure or pneumonia.
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In 1830 Sir Charles Bells discovered that Muscular Dystrophy is an x-linked genetic disorder that causes children to have progressive muscle weakness; most boys inherit this mutation from their mothers. People are born with this problem. It’s not contagious and you can’t catch it from someone else who has it. Some people develop this disease when they are adults. But usually, the signs of a child having muscular dystrophy appear around the age’s three to five.
There are many different type of muscular dystrophies. Such as, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Becker dystrophy, Emery- Dreifuss Muscular dystrophy, Myotonic muscular dystrophy, Limb- Gridle dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, Congenital dystrophy, Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy and Distal muscular dystrophy. Duchenne Dystrophy occurs 2 out of every 10,000 young men. It is the most severe disease out of all of the muscular dystrophies. It occurs mostly in young boys that affects children today. The signs and symptoms of muscular dystrophy may include sudden falls, Large calf muscles, difficulty getting up when lying or sitting down, difficulty running or jumping, weak leg muscles, and “ Mild mental retardation, in some cases “.
Becker muscular dystrophy is milder than Duchene. It affects older boys and young men, but it progresses slower than others. The signs and the symptoms of Becker dystrophy are similar to Duchenne except that Becker usually appears between the ages 12 to 16. But the latest it can appear is around the ages 25 to 30. This disease can also cause severe heart problems.
Emery-Dreifuss dystrophy can appear in your early childhood or teenage years and it can only affect males. “It causes muscle weakness and wasting in the shoulders, upper arms, and lower legs.” There can also be life threatening heart problems to the carriers. Such as the mothers, the sisters and the daughters. “Muscle shortening (contractures) occur early in this disease.” It can weaken your chest and pelvic muscles; that means that when you breathe, it is hard to inhale oxygen because your muscles don’t let you move your chest. This progresses slowly, but it causes less muscle weakness than other muscular dystrophies.
Myotonic muscular dystrophy is the most common in adults. “It affects both men and women and it can appear from any time from early childhood to adulthood. In some rare cases it can appear in newborns.” This symptom can get worse in cold temperatures. It not only affects your whole body but it affects your nervous system (the brain). Which means it is going to affect your hormones and how you do simple things. Because your brain is like the command center, a normal person can go through puberty and do simple things like picking up a phone. But when you have these diseases, you can’t grow and you can’t do certain things because your brain has a dysfunction.
Limb-gridle can appear in the early teens and early adulthood and it can affect males and females. “Limb-girdle causes progressive weakness that begins in the hips and moves to the shoulders, arms, and legs.” In 20 years, walking can be almost impossible. Sufferers are able to live there late adulthood.
Facioscapulohumeral affects the face, shoulder blade, and the upper arm bone. “This form of muscular dystrophy appears in the teens to early adulthood and affects males and females.” You can have short periods and rapid deterioration. The percentage is very mild for you to be completely disabled. About 50% of the people that suffer from this disease can walk their whole lives; they can usually live a normal life span.
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People with Congenital muscular dystrophy are born with problem and it can affect either male or female. The doctors can figure out if the baby has muscular dystrophy in the first few months of the Childs life or at birth. “Along with severe and early contractures.” You can often have seizures when you get older.
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy can appear in men and women in there 40s, 50s and 60s. It causes weakness in the eye and face muscles, which may lead to difficulty swallowing and sometimes choking. “Weakness in pelvic and shoulder muscles may occur later.
Distal dystrophy is one of the rare forms of muscular dystrophy that affects both men and women. It causes muscle weakness in the forearm, hands, lower legs, and feet. Generally, distal dystrophy is less severe and it progresses very slowly than others.
Muscular dystrophy is dominant trait. And the expectancy of muscular dystrophy ranges from 2-40 years old. “The overall frequency of all LGMD (limb-gridle) syndromes has been estimated to be 5-70 per 1 million populations in several countries.” But muscular dystrophy is most common in Brazil.
There is no cure for muscular dystrophy but doctors and scientists are working hard to find one. “Some are even trying to fix the defective genes that lead to muscular dystrophy so they will make the right proteins. Others are trying to make chemicals that will act like these proteins in the body.”
Things that will help Muscular Dystrophy
- Certain exercises such as physical therapy can help them with stiffening muscles near the joints.
- Some times teens use special braces to “ensure flexible joints and tendons.”
- Surgery is some times used to reduce pain.
- Medication can help sometimes.
- People with heart problems are very important that heart specialists monitor their heart.
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