Myasthenia gravis causes muscle weakness and fatigue when affected muscles are active. And muscle strength usually returns after a rest period.
Myasthenia gravis frequently causes problems with muscles in your head region. As a result, you may experience difficulty with:
- eye movement
- neck movement
- facial expressions
The muscles that control your arms and legs may be impaired as well.
Myasthenia gravis can come on suddenly. The first symptom many experience involve eye movements. Its range of symptoms may involve:
- trouble talking
- hard time swallowing
- blurred, double vision
- ptosis ~ droopy eyelids
- facial expression change
- walking problems ~ unstable, waddling
- arms, hands, fingers, legs, neck weakness
Some drugs can worsen, or even trigger, these myasthenia gravis caused symptoms.
A couple of circumstances that might aggravate your myasthenia gravis weak muscle symptoms include:
- extreme heat
- medications ~ beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, quinine, some antibiotics
The major health concern of this disease is myasthenic crisis. This occurs if the muscles that control breathing become too weak, causing respiratory failure. This is an emergency requiring ventilation assistance.
If you have myasthenia gravis, then you are at a higher risk of having these other conditions in concert:
There is no cure for myasthenia gravis, but treatment can help relieve weak muscle symptoms. Medications used to treat this disorder are:
- immunosuppressants ~ alter your immune system
- cholinesterase inhibitors ~ improve muscle contraction &muscle strength
- corticosteroids, such a prednisone ~ limit antibody production by inhibiting your immune system
There are additional treatments available, like plasmapheresis, for the more severe cases.
Since muscle weakness caused by myasthenia gravis worsens with repetitive use, you may find your chewing and swallowing muscles give out before a meals end. You may need to adjust your food consumption routine by:
- avoiding sticky foods
- take your time eating
- resting between bites
- eat more frequent, smaller meals
Because your muscle weakness is due to repeated use, pacing your tasks coupled with rest periods helps you get whatever job done.
Sometimes, myasthenia gravis goes into weak muscle remission. It takes a health degrading pause for a while, or maybe forever.