Myasthenia gravis is a chronic disorder characterized by weakness and rapid fatigue of any of the muscles under your voluntary control. It’s caused by a breakdown in the normal communication between nerves and muscles.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that results in progressive skeletal muscle weakness. MG causes rapid fatigue (fatigability) and loss of strength upon exertion that improves after rest. Myasthenia gravis is caused by a defect in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles. Normally when impulses travel down the nerve, the nerve endings release a neurotransmitter substance called acetylcholine. In myasthenia gravis, antibodies produced by the body’s own immune system block, alter, or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine.
Types of Myasthenia gravis
Myasthenia gravis can be classified according to which skeletal muscles are affected. Within a year of onset, approximately 85–90% of patients develop generalized myasthenia gravis, which is characterized by weakness in the trunk, arms, and legs.
About 10–15% of patients have weakness only in muscles that control eye movement. This type is called ocular myasthenia gravis.
Other types of MG include congenital, which is an inherited condition caused by genetic defect, and transient neonatal, which occurs in infants born to mothers who have MG. Congenital MG develops at or shortly after birth and causes generalized symptoms.
Transient neonatal MG is a temporary condition that develops in 10–20% of infants born to mothers who have MG. Transient neonatal MG is caused by circulation of the mother’s antibodies through the placenta and it lasts as long as the mother’s antibodies remain in the infant (usually a few weeks after birth).
Incidence and Prevalence of Myasthenia gravis
Myasthenia gravis affects approximately 2 out of every 100,000 people and can occur at any age. It is most common in women between the ages of 18 and 25. In men, the condition usually develops between 60 and 80 years of age.
Symptoms of Myasthenia gravis
Initially, people with myasthenia gravis may complain about specific muscle weakness, particularly in the eyes, face and neck. They may have difficulty swallowing, chewing or speaking, and may have double vision. They also may feel fatigue, especially later in the day. Symptoms can be aggravated by emotional stress, systemic illness such as a viral respiratory infection, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, and other factors.
Myasthenia gravis Treatment
Myasthenia gravis can be controlled. Some medications (Cholinesterase inhibitors, such as pyridostigmine (Mestinon) and corticosteroids) improve neuromuscular transmission and increase muscle strength, and some suppress the production of abnormal antibodies. These medications must be used with careful medical followup because they may cause major side effects. Thymectomy, the surgical removal of the thymus gland (which often is abnormal in myasthenia gravis patients), improves symptoms in certain patients and may cure some individuals, possibly by re-balancing the immune system. Other therapies include plasmapheresis, a procedure in which abnormal antibodies are removed from the blood, and high-dose intravenous immune globulin, which temporarily modifies the immune system and provides the body with normal antibodies from donated blood.
Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies for Myasthenia gravis
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc.
Following homeopathic medicines have been found effective in many cases of Myasthenia gravis:
Alumina, Conium Gelsemium
The following medicines may also prove useful according to the indications:
Zincum, Cabo-an, Niccolum, Psorinum, Sepia, Guare, Cadmium, Graphites, Cocc.