Muscular Dystrophy Explained
Contrary to what you might believe, muscular dystrophy isn’t one single condition. More specifically, it’s a term that refers to multiple different genetic diseases, which tend to be inherited. As mentioned previously, it’s a progressive condition that worsens the longer you have it.
Essentially, muscular dystrophy will result in extreme muscle weakness. It begins by targeting one muscle group, making it weaker, then spreading to other groups around the body. Many people may experience troubles with the muscles in their hands, then it progressively affects their arms, legs, and so on.
What Causes Muscular Dystrophy?
Like most genetic conditions, MD is caused by gene mutations. Here, the genes that are mutated are the ones that control the way your muscles work, and how they’re formed. The alterations to these genes mean that your muscle fibres no longer function properly, which will ultimately change the way the muscle acts.
In the majority of cases, mutations are passed down from generation to generation. If your family has a history of muscular dystrophy – particularly if your parents have/had it – then you’re at risk of this condition.
If you’re looking for muscular dystrophy care to help look after a relative or parent, then we suggest you also think about undergoing genetic testing. This is a test that will help you figure out if you’ve got a significant chance of developing this condition or passing on any mutated genes to your children.
What Is The Most Common Type Of Muscular Dystrophy?
There are well over 60 types of MD out there, and some are far rarer than others. When we talk about muscular dystrophy, most people are referring to Duchenne MD. Unfortunately, this also happens to be one of the worst forms of it. Boys are the most at risk of developing it, and they usually get it when they’re very young. Sadly, the life expectancy for people with Duchenne MD is around 30 years old.
Some of the other common types of MD include:
- Becker MD: closely related to Duchenne, but it starts developing later on in a child’s life. The progression is far slower as well, with the life expectancy being somewhat improved.
- Myotonic MD: this is the most common form of MD found in adults. It affects your ability to control muscle contractions, and they get weaker and weaker until they waste away. Typically, the muscles around your head/neck are the first affected, and there’s often no impact on the life expectancy.
Any other forms are less frequent, but the best way to understand if you, your child, or someone you love has MD is by looking out for some of the most common symptoms. Seeing as this is a progressive condition, the earlier you spot it, the better. By identifying the condition early on, it allows us to offer muscular dystrophy care from the beginning. This makes it easier for someone to live with MD, and it will improve their quality of life.
What Are The Symptoms Of MD?
So, what symptoms should you look out for? Seeing as there are many forms of MD, this means there are multiple symptoms. You can find the most common ones down below, but these are more strongly associated with Duchenne MD:
- Difficulty climbing the stairs
- Inability to run around and play sports anymore
- Struggling to lift objects and feeling generally weaker with no explanation for this
- Pain in muscles along with chronic stiffness
- Finding it hard to remain standing for long periods
It’s important to look for these symptoms in yourself, and anyone else you suspect might have muscular dystrophy. These are the earliest signs of it, but you could also experience the following as the condition gets worse:
- Trouble walking
- Falling over all the time
- Breathing problems
- Spinal curvature due to weak muscles in the back
- Problems swallowing because throat muscles aren’t working properly
Can Muscular Dystrophy Be Cured?
Sadly, there’s currently no cure for this horrible disease. Once the diagnosis comes in, the only thing you can do is prepare for what lies ahead. To do this, it’s highly recommended that you seek out muscular dystrophy care and support. This will ensure that you have the right support and structure around you to deal with the condition. Anyone suffering from the disease will benefit from an improved standard of living, and there will be no need to move into residential care homes where they feel cut off from their old life.
Thankfully, we offer the best muscular dystrophy care around, so you’re in the right place!
What Muscular Dystrophy Care & Support Do We Offer?
At Home Caring, we’re dedicated to offering solutions for those in need. A big part of our muscular dystrophy care service is that we provide support in your home. This helps MD sufferers by allowing them to retain a sense of independence. They don’t have to move out and live in a separate residence; it lets them remain somewhat in control of their life and daily routine. We also believe that staying in the home helps everyone cope with the diagnosis as it keeps the family unit close together. It allows you all to support one another, which helps everyone move forward after the diagnosis.
All of our team members are vastly experienced and have undergone extensive training in this specific medical condition. We make it our mission to provide you with carers who know about MD and can talk to you about any symptoms. They will guide you through the process and provide you with a support plan that’s tailored to your specific needs. After all, our job is to make people with muscular dystrophy feel more comfortable. We want to help them do all the things they want to do – so each plan can be built around their schedule.
If you want a more detailed look at what our muscular dystrophy support entails, then here’s an overview of what our staff can do for you:
- Assistance around the house with various tasks like meal preparation, conducting regular chores, toileting, bathing, and even medical administration
- Bespoke physical therapy sessions to help support the muscular degeneration that will occur
- Emotional support for both the individuals suffering from MD and their family members
- Adaptable visiting care that you can alter and change as the condition worsens
- Night care for anyone that requires it
- Full-time caring services as the condition enters the worse stages
- A comprehensive assessment of your needs and requirements before any care begins
- A detailed support plan that outlines everything we will do, tailored to you
- Support whenever you need it with our 24/7 service
- Help with any activities the individual wants to do – this can include playing sports, going for walks, or anything they like.
We know that no two patients are the same, which is why we aim to offer a flexible home care service. No matter what you need help with, we strive to provide the support you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for counselling or advice from our carers as they’re always there to help. We know that you may face some tough decisions when looking after someone with MD. Our team of MD carers are incredibly empathetic and can help you make the right choices whenever the time comes.
Contact Us Today
It’s understandable that you might think twice before letting strangers into your home to care for a loved one. But, if you want what’s best for them, then you need bespoke muscular dystrophy care. We can provide this, giving someone a chance for a much better life after receiving their MD diagnoses. Please get in touch with us today if you need our assistance, and we’ll happily answer any questions while providing you with as much information as possible.