- Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disease characterized by a muscular problem that weakens or degenerates the muscles. Younger males are more prone to this disorder especially those whose age falls between 5 to 25 years. One out of 5000 males is suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This disease is the most common form of muscular dystrophy.
- The reason for this disease is the lack of “Dystrophin” (an essential protein of muscles) in the body. This condition takes place due to the genetic mutation’s interference with the muscle proteins. Muscle proteins are an essential requirement for the production of healthy muscle tissues.
- When voluntary muscles get weakened due to genetic conditions, this disease of Duchenne muscular dystrophy takes place.
- There are several types of muscular dystrophy in the muscles, Weakness of muscles mainly occur due to the loss of muscle mass and the strength in the muscles. Loss of muscle mass occurs firstly in the thighs and the pelvis region then proceeds to the arms, due to which affected person face problems in standing up from the chair and some of them are not able to walk properly even the age of 12. This disease mostly dominates males in their childhood but in some cases, females can also be the target of this disease. Dystrophin is the protein that is important to maintain cell membrane of muscle fibers.
Signs and Symptoms of Duchene Muscular Dystrophy
People affected with this disease are mostly boys, even they don’t have any family history of this disease. Therefore, Hereditary factors cannot be ignored.
- Pain in the muscles and stiffness
- Difficulty in rising from lying position or from sitting to standing position.
- Difficulty in running and jumping.
- Walking on the toes gets affected, sometimes the patient is unable to walk. The tendons of affected organs also get decreased and the spine’s curvature gets abnormal.
- Even the mental health of a person suffering from this disease is also gets affected.
- The patient gets frequent falls while standing.
- Muscles of the heart also get affected due to which cardiac problems get worsen and difficulty in swallowing can also increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia.
Some of the Muscle Dystrophies
1. Myotonic Dystrophy
It is a long-term genetic disorder which affects muscle function, during this dystrophy muscle loss and weakness are the results. It is inherited from the person’s parents who are suffering from this disease.
2. Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy
It is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of rare muscular dystrophies. It is characterized by progressive muscle wasting which affects predominantly hips and shoulder muscles.
3. Emery Defuses
It is the condition that affects mainly the muscles used for the movements, such as skeletal muscles and also affects the cardiac muscles.
4. Becker Muscular Dystrophy
This muscular dystrophy has signs and symptoms which are very similar to those of Duchene muscular dystrophy.
To diagnose muscular dystrophy a thorough physical examination of the patient’s family history is required. It is done by asking patients, either his forefathers have this problem or not. As this is a genetic problem, we have to be very careful about this.
Ayurveda and Duchene Muscular Dystrophy
It is a condition that hits the muscles which help us in the movement of the body, such as skeletal muscles and it also affects the cardiac muscles.
Muscular Dystrophies by the View of the Ayurveda
- Ayurveda considers this condition as Mamsa-Vata-Kashaya (MVK) related to Beeja dosha, muscle enzymes known as “Mamsagni” and hence this condition leads to impairment of in result gets impaired these enzymes, (Mamsagni) deranged Vata and this leads to degeneration of muscles and structures associated with muscle.
- Ayurvedic treatment for muscular dystrophy will involve the pacification of the aggravation of the Vata Dosha which in result prevents the loss of “Mansa Dhatu” (Muscular tissue).
- The fire component “AGNI” is related, to the muscular tissue of the body, Ayurveda corrects this fire component and provides proper nutrition to the whole body and muscle, which helps in maintaining a good range of movement of all joints of the body and strengthening of the muscles.
- Ayurveda cannot change the genes or genetic configuration of a person. But it can minimize the severity of the problem. Herbal remedies are useful not only for a single part of the body but it provides proper nutrition to the whole body, ensuring proper nutrition and growth of muscle also. Maintaining a good range of movement for all the joints.
Herbs Which Could Cure Muscular Dystrophy
1. Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia)
Giloy acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces damage to the muscles, as an antioxidant agent it can also produce good quality antioxidants which prevent muscle tissues against damage caused by free radicals.
2. Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
The muscle mass can be protected with the rejuvenating and regenerative properties of Ashwagandha and it also prevents the problem of wasting and weakness of the nerves as well as muscle mass.
3. Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna)
Cardiac problems can get better with Arjuna as it is one of the proven herbs for the proper functioning of the heart. It can promote regeneration of the muscle cells and it is very useful in restoring and regaining the power in muscle mass.
4. Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
Brahmi possesses rejuvenating properties and improves the tissues in the body. It can also act as an antioxidant and prevents oxidative damage of the muscle tissues.