Degenerative Muscle Disease Symptoms

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Degenerative Muscle Disease Symptoms

Degenerative muscle disease symptoms cause progressive weakness in the muscle mass it affects. The disease affects the cells of the muscles and results in muscular damage and weakness. (See Reference 1) There are many kinds of degenerative muscle disease, and each one affects muscle mass differently, and hence causes different symptoms.

Walking Problems
The disease that affects the muscles of the legs and buttocks causes problems in walking. This is seen in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is one of the most prevalent kinds of muscular dystrophies and afflicts kids. Kids with this kind of dystrophy have problems walking from an early age. They tend to walk with legs spread apart, and can often stumble or fall as the upper muscles of the legs are weak. As the disease gets progressively worse, the kids lose their ability to walk. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, kids suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy end up in a wheelchair by the time they reach the age of 12. (See Reference 1)

Diminished Strength in the Muscles
As the cells of the muscles get damaged, degenerative muscle disease results in progressive loss of strength in the muscles that are affected. Often, the loss can be quite severe. This particular symptom is present in all kinds of degenerative muscle diseases, but different muscle groups are affected in different diseases, and hence, loss of strength occurs in different parts of the body. For instance, in myasthenia gravis, the muscles of the face and eyes are affected, and hence a person suffering from this disease will suffer from loss of muscle strength in the facial region causing the eyelids to droop or having an odd expression on the face. On the other hand, in Lou Gehrig's disease, the muscles of the fingers and hands are affected and this makes it difficult for the person to write, button or unbutton shirts or open jars. (See Reference 1)

Muscular Fatigue
As the cells of the affected muscles are damaged and destroyed, more load is put on the undamaged cells. This causes muscular fatigue, often with just doing a little bit of muscular activity. According to Merck's Manual for Healthcare Professionals, myasthenia gravis causes significant loss of strength when the affected muscles are used. However, once the muscles are rested, they regain their strength by end up suffering from rapid fatigue when those muscles are used. (See Reference 1)

Breathing Problems
When the disease affects the muscles of the chest, it causes problems in breathing. Unfortunately, when the respiratory muscles are affected due to degenerative muscle disease, it means that death is close for the person. As the disease progresses, the person will require a ventilator to breathe. (See Reference 1)

Besides the above symptoms, degenerative muscle disease can cause problems in speech, swallowing and chewing. This occurs when the muscles of the throat and mouth are affected. Myasthenia gravis, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig's disease often display this symptom. (See Reference 1)

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Degenerative Muscle Disease Symptoms Reference
1. Livestrong: Degenerative Muscle Disease Symptoms