Muscular dystrophy is a disease that cause the loss of muscle mass and an increased muscle weakness over a period of time. Abnormal genes, referred to as mutations, interfere with the production of proteins that are necessary to make healthy muscles. There are many different forms of muscular dystrophy, and specific symptoms depend on the type. Through medications and therapy, symptoms can be lessened or slowed, but there is no cure for muscular dystrophy.
Causes & Risk Factors
Genetics play a significant role in making the proteins which help protect muscle fibers from damage. If there is a defective gene, in return, muscle fibers are susceptible to damage. Each particular form of muscular dystrophy is caused by a genetic mutation specific to the disease. While many of the mutations are inherited, some occur unexpectedly in the mother’s egg or the developing embryo. These mutations can be passed onto the next generation.
Symptoms usually begin during childhood, and males have an increased risk of developing muscular dystrophy. However, some forms of muscular dystrophy do not show symptoms until adulthood.
The most common type of muscular dystrophy is called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and about one-third of males do not have a family history of the disease. Signs that appear in early childhood include falling frequently, a gait that resembles waddling, trouble getting up from a sitting or lying position, walking on the toes, large calf muscles, muscle stiffness and pain, and learning disabilities.
Progressive muscle weakness affects all aspects of life. Sufferers may have trouble with simple tasks like walking and breathing. They may also experience scoliosis, heart problems, swallowing problems, and experience contractures that can limit mobility.
How Medical Marijuana Can Help Muscular Dystrophy
Traditional treatment options for muscular dystrophy include medications and therapy. However, the unique way in which cannabis interacts with muscular dystrophy makes it a good therapeutic tool for patients. Secondary chronic pain affects two-thirds of sufferers due to muscle cramps or spasms. Medical marijuana can help reduce both the length and the severity of muscle spasms and cramps, as well as provide basic pain relief. It can also be useful in appetite induction as well as sleep improvement.
Visit Greenhouse for Relief
The first step in finding relief is obtaining your registry identification card. From there, visit one of our Chicagoland cannabis dispensaries, and our knowledgeable staff will help find products that are right for you.