12 Points to Better Understand Muscular Dystrophy
Some genes are involved in making proteins that protect our muscles from damage. Muscular dystrophy (MD) occurs when one of these genes is defective and prevents the body from producing a protein essential for building and repairing muscles. To help people understand more about this disease, here are 12 important things to know about MD:
- MD is an umbrella term used to describe progressive disorders that lead to weakness in the muscles and loss of muscle mass. The most common form of MD is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which can arise as early as childhood.
- MD is known to be a genetic disorder, as it is passed from parents to their children, so there is no way to stop this disease once the mutated gene has been passed on, even if it is identified and detected early on in the pregnancy.
- The protein known as dystrophin is required for proper muscular formation as well as structure. In the case of MD, this gene is responsible for providing incorrect instructions to produce a protein that causes an alteration in the production of dystrophin. This then leads to the disruption of dystrophin.
- MD is caused by genetics, and the dystrophin gene is carried in the X chromosome. Females have two of these chromosomes while males have just one. MD rarely occurs in girls since they have an additional X chromosome to compensate for the mutated one, but boys only have the one and so are more often affected.
- MD has four stages: early, transitional, loss of ambulation, and adult stage. The symptoms can show up as early as five years of age. The third stage usually starts between ages 10 and 14. The last stage, which is the adult stage, is the deadliest of all.
- MD is more common in Hispanics than in Caucasians, and it is still a mystery in regards to the African-American demographic.
- MD is considered to be a dynamic disease, wherein it changes its form when it is passed from one generation to another. The common form tends to disrupt the production of dystrophin as it is transferred.
- Consuming proteins from any kind of nutritional source will not replace the lost proteins that occur in MD. This is because when one consumes protein, it is broken down into smaller components to serve as energy so the entire body can produce its own proteins. In the case of MD, the body is not able to command protein production, which is very important for the formation of muscles and their structure.
- Those who live with MD have to maintain their joint and muscle flexibility. Certain light exercises are highly recommended to keep the joints and muscles healthy, but patients should take care not to strain any part of the body when performing them.
- MD can affect people in different ways; in certain cases, some live a normal life. It’s all about the views of society concerning the disease.
- Ample support is required from the patient’s friends and family members, as this greatly helps the individual to cope with their disease; knowing they can count on you for support can be greatly beneficial.
- Fight against the disease; do not give up the battle against it. Many MD patients are able to live a normal life and surround themselves with people who give off positive vibes.