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Last Updated: Nov 09, 2019
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Myasthenia Gravis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Myasthenia Gravis- What is it? What are the early symptoms of myasthenia gravis? What are the causes of Myasthenia Gravis? What is the best treatment for myasthenia gravis? What causes myasthenia gravis crisis? What are the risk factors of myasthenia gravis? Which drugs are contraindicated in myasthenia gravis? What are the home remedies for myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia Gravis- What is it?

The disease Myasthenia gravis results in muscles that tire and become weak easily. It may interfere with everyday activities as common as chewing food. If a patient has this disease his jaw muscles may tire soon and affect his food intake. After some rest, they may let the patient continue as usual. In fact, this tendency of tiring with little use then resumption of the normal state with a little bit of rest is the characteristic hallmark of this particular disease.

What are the early symptoms of myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia gravis is a condition in which neuromuscular systems if damaged and affecting skeletal muscles. When the eye muscles are affected, the symptoms such as eyelid drooping, blurry or double vision are complained by the patient. The severity of damage to the neuromuscular system is varying person to person.

Other symptoms such as difficulty in walking, swallowing, pronouncing words and chewing, muscular weakness in regions such as arms, hands, fingers, legs and neck, the occurrence of hoarse voice, effect of paralysis on facial areas, fatigue are also associated with myasthenia gravis condition. Some people also complain about problem of breathing that is occurred due to reducing the strength of muscle of respiratory system and neck regions.

What are the causes of Myasthenia Gravis?

In the case of normal operations of nerves and muscles, nerves send directions to muscles to work by sending chemical messages through an area which is known as a receptor in biological terminology. The message is delivered through the chemical acetylcholine. The muscle knows it’s time to contract when acetylcholine binds itself to a nerve receptor. If a person is suffering from myasthenia gravis basically they have lesser amounts of acetylcholine receptors than what is needed by the body to function normally.

This disease is an autoimmune disorder. In cases of such diseases, the antibodies of the body mistakenly attack ones’ own body parts eventually destroying them. Antibodies are special proteins with the purpose of protecting the body from threats like viruses, bacteria or fungi. If one is affected by myasthenia gravis his or her antibodies attack, block or destroy the acetylcholine receptors that are essential for contraction of muscles. The disease is suspected to be connected with the thymus.

What is the best treatment for myasthenia gravis?

As myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease, there is a first need for controlling the immune system. Depending on the age of person, medical history and overall health, current symptoms, ability to handle medication, therapies or procedures, etc, the decision about the suitable treatment is taken. The control on the immunity system can be primarily possible by use of medication such as immunosuppressive agents (prednisone, azathioprine, tacrolimus).

Other treatments recommended or prescribed for Myasthenia gravis are anticholinesterase medications (Mestinon, pyridostigmine), Plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin therapies, and Thymectomy (surgical removal of thymus gland). The surgical removal of thymus gland is performed for people to not only overcome symptoms of Myasthenia gravis but also to reduce risk of cancer. When this condition reaches to severe stage, Plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin therapies are suggested.

What causes myasthenia gravis crisis?

Myasthenia gravis is a disease associated with the neuromuscular system and it occurs when there is a defect in transmission of nerve impulse. This disease is the result of misinterpretation of the human immune system and called an autoimmune problem because healthy tissues are attacked by the body’s What are the early symptoms of myasthenia gravisimmune system and causing harm to the body itself.

There are some essential neurotransmitters in human body required for proper functioning such as acetylcholine, epinephrine, etc. In this disease, immune system is producing antibodies to damage or reduce the effect of acetylcholine leads to impaired transmission at the neuromuscular junction. Some researchers have also represented a study in which they had found the reason behind the attack on acetylcholine by antibodies is a viral or bacterial protein. The inhibition of acetylcholine blocks the stimulation of muscle contraction.

What are the risk factors of myasthenia gravis?

If a person is having any type of autoimmune disease history in family or personal levels, then he or she will be at higher chances of occurrence of myasthenia gravis. In general, myasthenia gravis is found in women age 20 to 40 years while after the age of 60 years in men. But it can occur at any stage or age of life and it can be worse if a person is having stress, fatigue or other illness. This disease cannot be compared with other diseases that are inherited. A very rare occurrence of myasthenia gravis in infants or children is observed that is coming from mother with myasthenia gravis. If so, then the symptoms will generally disappear after two to three months.

Which drugs are contraindicated in myasthenia gravis?

Acetylcholine’s action is affected at the neuromuscular junction and reduces the muscle contraction by myasthenia gravis and some important precautions should be taken during the treatment of this disease. Some medications can worsen the activity of this disease because they can influence cholinergic transmission. So, before starting the treatment of myasthenia gravis, the previous medication and medical history are important aspects.

The list of drugs like aminoglycoside antibiotics (tobramycin, gentamycin, neomycin, etc.), fluoroquinolones antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin), tetracycline antibiotics (clindamycin, sulfonamides), macrolide antibiotics (azithromycin, clarithromycin), quinidine, chloroquine, magnesium-containing antibiotics, antipsychotic drugs (sulphide, atypicals), beta-blockers (propranolol, timolol, atenolol,labetalol), calcium-channel blockers (verapamil), anticonvulsants drugs (phenytoin, barbiturates, gabapentin), other cardiac drugs (bretylium, trimethaphan, procainamide).

What are the home remedies for myasthenia gravis?

Home remedies to overcome symptoms of myasthenia gravis can be lifestyle changes and diet changes. The things that should be accepted to treat myasthenia gravis are consumption of more fruits and vegetable along with food rich with omega -3 fatty acids, potassium, replacing the animal protein with the other plant protein, removing milk and milk products from diet and replace them with other substitutes of calcium, scheduling frequent rest periods during any type of activity etc. If a person is experiencing double or blurry vision, then use an eye patch to relieve the problem. Other remedies can also include the use of safety precautions at home such as railings, and grab bars in the bathroom and being stress-free.

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