Muscular Dystrophy treatment

What is Muscular Dystrophy ?

Muscular dystrophies, or MD, are a group of inherited conditions, which means they are passed down through families. They may occur in childhood or adulthood. There are many different types of muscular dystrophy. They include:

  • Becker muscular dystrophy
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy
  • Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy
  • Myotonia congenita
  • Myotonic dystrophy


    Symptoms vary with the different types of muscular dystrophy.

    All of the muscles may be affected. Or, only specific groups of muscles may be affected, such as those around the pelvis, shoulder, or face. Muscular dystrophy can affect adults, but the more severe forms tend to occur in early childhood.

    Symptoms include:

    • Mental retardation (only present in some types of the condition)
    • Muscle weakness that slowly gets worse
      • Delayed development of muscle motor skills
      • Difficulty using one or more muscle groups
      • Drooling
      • Eyelid drooping (ptosis)
      • Frequent falls
      • Loss of strength in a muscle or group of muscles as an adult
      • Loss in muscle size
      • Problems walking (delayed walking)


There are no known cures for the various muscular dystrophies. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms.

Physical therapy may help patients maintain muscle strength and function. Orthopedic appliances such as braces and wheelchairs can improve mobility and self-care abilities. In some cases, surgery on the spine or legs may help improve function.

The person should be as active as possible. Complete inactivity (such as bedrest) can make the disease worse.
This is what you will find so far when you search for a treatment for Muscular Dystrophy on Google or any browser.

What i will share with you is not a TREATMENT but what you can do to really help and maintain the person with a muscular dystrophy disease healthy until they found a cure.

My brother is 22 now and has the Duchenne muscular dystrophy he was hospitalized several times and nearly die so many times but right now the only thing we can do is wait for a treatment and keep him until they finally found a cure.

So i decided to share what i have learn on what can keep any person with Muscular Dystrophy longer in good health because when the respiratory tract are touched the illness is very dangerous .

Balance Diet

Consider a Vegetarian Diet

What is a Vegetarian?

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, and poultry. Vegans are vegetarians who abstain from eating or using all animal products, including milk, cheese, other dairy items, eggs, wool, silk, and leather. The key to a healthy vegetarian diet, as with any other diet, is to eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Limit your intake of sweets and fatty foods.

 Vegetarian Nutrition overview


Vegetarians easily meet their protein needs by eating a varied diet, as long as they consume enough calories to maintain their weight.
It is not necessary to plan combinations of foods. A mixture of proteins throughout the day will provide enough “essential amino acids.”

SOURCES OF PROTEIN: beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, tempeh, chickpeas, peas… Many common foods, such as whole grain bread, greens, potatoes, and corn, quickly add to protein intake.


SOURCES OF IRON: dried fruits, baked potatoes, mushrooms, cashews, dried beans, spinach, chard, tofu, tempeh, bulgur, and iron-fortified foods (such as cereals, instant oatmeal, and veggie “meats”) are all good sources of iron. To increase the amount of iron absorbed at a meal, eat a food containing vitamin C, such as citrus fruit or juices, tomatoes, or broccoli. Using iron cookware also adds to iron intake.


SOURCES OF CALCIUM: Good sources include broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, tofu prepared with calcium, low-fat dairy products, fortified soymilk, and fortified orange juice.

Vitamin B12

The adult recommended intake for vitamin B12 is very low. Vitamin B12 comes primarily from animal-derived foods. A diet containing dairy products or eggs provides adequate vitamin B12. Fortified foods, such as some brands of cereal, nutritional yeast, soymilk, or soy analogs, are good non-animal sources. Check labels to discover other products that are fortified with vitamin B12. Tempeh and sea vegetables are not a reliable source of vitamin B12. To be on the safe side, if you do not consume dairy products, eggs, or fortified foods regularly, you should take a non-animal derived supplement.


To maximize production of DHA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and made by our bodies), include good sources of alpha-linolenic acid in your diet. Alpha-linolenic acid is found in flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, tofu, soybeans, and walnuts. You can also obtain DHA directly from foods fortified with DHA from microalgae (in some brands of soymilk) and supplements containing microalgae-derived DHA.

Children and Vegetarianism

According to The American Dietetic Association, vegetarian and vegan diets can meet all nitrogen needs and amino acid requirements for growth. Diets for children should contain enough calories to support growth and have reliable sources of key nutrients, such as iron, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

Why a Vegetarian Diet will be more than benefit for a person who have a muscular Dystrophy disease.

Stable weight, as the person with muscular dystrophy have a sedentary life he can gain weight easily who is not good for his own health. Also it will be more difficult for people to move him around.

Vegetarian diet will keep you away from junk food, sodas and bad nutrition habits. If it’s not good for the healthy people it’s worst for people who are fighting to stay alive.

Be careful before changing the diet of a person drastically schedule a meeting with a nutritionist that will guide you through the process and assess the person  condition. 

Add Super Foods to the diet of the person who have the muscular dystrophy disease.

  • Nuts have gotten a bad rap because of their high fat content. But their protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber, and antioxidant content earn them a place on the top 10 list. The key to enjoying nuts, experts say, is portion control. “All nuts are healthful in small doses, and studies show they can help lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss,” says Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer, MS, RD. “I like pistachio nuts because they also contain plant sterols and it takes longer to crack the shell and eat them, making it easier to control the portion. Whether you prefer pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, or pecans, an ounce a day of nuts help fill you up. Nuts add texture and flavor to salads, side dishes, baked goods, cereals, and entrees. They taste great alone, too. Zied recommends putting together your own “100-calorie packs” of nuts for easy and portable snacks.
  • Kiwis are among the most nutritionally dense fruits, full of antioxidants, says Ward. “One large kiwi supplies your daily requirement for vitamin C,” says Ward. “It is also a good source of potassium, fiber, and a decent source of vitamin A and vitamin E, which is one of the missing nutrients, and kiwi is one of the only fruits that provides it.” The sweet taste and colorful appearance of kiwis makes it easy to slice in half, scoop out with a spoon and enjoy alone, or slice it into desserts, salads, or side dishes. Kiwifruit can also have a mild laxative effect due to their high fiber content.
  • Quinoa is now readily available in many supermarkets and is one of the best whole grains you can eat, according to Zied. “It is an ancient grain, easy to make, interesting, high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron,” she says. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, she says. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley. Try to make at least half your daily grain servings whole grains. In addition to quinoa, try barley, oats, buckwheat, whole wheat, wild rice, and millet.
  • Beans, beans, good for your heart — really! Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fiber, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste. They’re also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, and potassium. Bauer favors edamame (whole soybeans) because they also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Beans can easily substitute for meat or poultry as the centerpiece of a meal, says Bauer, but they also work as a side dish, or tossed into soups, stews, or egg dishes. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 cups weekly.
  • Salmon is a super food because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help protect heart health. That’s why the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon twice weekly. Salmon is low in calories (200 for 3 ounces) has lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat. You can simply grill or bake it, top it with salsas or other low-fat sauces, or serve it on top of salad greens. If you don’t like salmon, Lichtenstein recommends eating other kinds of fish, like canned tuna. And what about the mercury content? (Mercury is known to accumulate in fish.) “The benefits of eating salmon or other fatty fish twice weekly far outweigh any risks, but if you are concerned, check with your doctor,” says Zied.
  • Broccoli is one of America’s favorite vegetables because it tastes good and is available all year long. It’s a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight. “Some people think beta-carotene (vitamin A) is only found in orange and yellow vegetables, but broccoli is an excellent source,” says Ward. You can eat broccoli raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled. Eat it as a side dish, or toss into grains, egg dishes, soups, and salads.
  • Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the dark orange vegetable family, which lead the pack in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato (also loaded with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium) for a baked white potato. And before you add butter or sugar, taste the sweetness that develops when a sweet potato is cooked — and think of all the calories you can save over that loaded baked potato. “If we eat more foods like sweet potatoes that are rich sources of potassium, and fewer high-sodium foods, we can blunt the effect of sodium on blood pressure and reduce bone loss,” says Zied. Other dark orange vegetable standouts include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers.
  • Berries pack an incredible amount of nutritional goodness into a small package. They’re loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, low in calories, and high in water and fiber to help control blood sugar and keep you full longer. And their flavors satisfy sweets cravings for a fraction of the calories in baked goods. Blueberries lead the pack because they are among the best source of antioxidants and are widely available. Cranberries are also widely available fresh, frozen, or dried. All can add flavor and nutrition to numerous dishes, from salads and cereals to baked goods and yogurt.

Physical Therapy

  • Perform weight exercises that strengthen and tone the muscles. Stronger muscles can help to delay the impending weakness associated with muscular dystrophy.

  • Engage in range of motion exercises and stretching. Flexibility can help ease the severity of joint contractures, a stiffening of the muscles around a joint that affects most people suffering from muscular dystrophy.
  • Improve memory with scientifically designed brain exercises.
  • Wear braces for your hands or legs. Braces help to keep tendons and muscles stretched, avoiding painful contractures. Many physical therapists use bracing to treat muscular dystrophy.

  • Use aquatic therapy. Many experts agree that water exercises and swimming help to tone and strengthen muscles and joints without putting stress on those parts of the body that are already weakened or weakening.

  • Place emphasis on mobility. The goal of physical therapy to treat muscular dystrophy is to provide the patient with independence for as long as possible by focusing on movement. Develop large muscle groups to make the body stronger and give it more endurance.

Breathing exercises

Respiratory trainings can be used in children starting from 3-4 years old. They increase strength and stamina of respiratory muscles, provide necessary physiological reserves for physical activities. Breathing exercises also help correct speech pathologies and play important role in neuropsychological development of a child. It is mostly due to the influence that respiratory exercises have on vegetative nervous system and brain function and, as a result, on psycho-emotional state of a child.


The following exercises are simple ways to deepen breathing and to cleanse the lungs. These exercises will also increase energy and decrease tension.  Lie flat on your back to get a proper sense of deep breathing. (Have some small pillows available to reduce strain by tucking them under the neck and knees. The natural course of breathing in that position will create a slight rise in the stomach upon inhaling and a slight fall upon exhaling.)

Place your hands palm down on your stomach at the base of the rib cage(The lungs go that far down. What fills them deeper is the pushing down of the diaphragm. The diaphragm creates a suction which draws air into the lungs. the air is then expelled when the diaphragm pushes up. In this process, the life-giving oxygen fills the lungs and gets into the blood stream for distribution to the cells. Carbon dioxide is expelled from the blood into the about-to-be exhaled breath, thus cleansing the body and blood of waste products.)   Lay the palms of your hands on your stomach just below the rib cage, middle fingers barely touching each other, and take a slow deep breath.  (As the diaphragm pushes down, the stomach will slightly expand causing the fingertips to separate somewhat.

This movement indicates full use of the lungs, resulting in a truly deep breath rather than the “puffed chest” breath experienced by many as the greatest lung capacity. Chest breathing fills the middle and upper parts of the lungs. Belly breathing is the most efficient method. Infants and small children use only this method until the chest matures


Surgical and other procedures

Surgical remedies are an option for several of the problems common to muscular dystrophy, such as:

Scoliosis. Surgery may also be needed to correct a sideways curvature of the spine that can make breathing more difficult.

Muscular dystrophy has caused a curvature of your spine called scoliosis. Scoliosis and other back problems are treated by a bone and joint specialist called an “orthopaedic surgeon”. The purpose of this booklet is to give you some information concerning scoliosis and possible treatments. We hope that knowing a little bit about scoliosis treatment will help you and your parents be better prepared for your visit with the orthopaedic doctor.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a problem with your backbone, or spine, causing it to bend sideways and twist. Scoliosis can happen for many different reasons.

Neuromuscular diseases, like MD, can cause scoliosis because the muscles that support the spine start to weaken and can no longer hold it straight up and down. Scoliosis can occur in either the upper back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar) or, very rarely, in the neck (cervical region). Scoliosis can develop slowly or quickly depending on its cause. Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) usually have faster progressing curves than people with other kinds of neuromuscular problems.

Why Worry About Scoliosis?

Up to 90% of people with DMD will develop a severe scoliosis. The curve generally begins shortly after a person can no longer easily walk and needs to use a wheelchair. This usually happens at about 10 years of age. Due to muscle weakness in the back and chest, a person with DMD may no longer keep the spine in an upright, straight position. As the curve gets bigger, it changes the way you sit in your chair and where the pressure points are underneath you. If you use a wheelchair these changes require frequent modifications of your chair to keep you well supported, prevent skin problems, and to keep you as independent as possible. While your chair can help support your spine, it cannot stop the progression of the curve. We also worry about scoliosis because if the curve becomes too large it can crowd your heart and lungs, making it hard for you to breathe properly. This may cause lung problems like pneumonia.

Bracing is not a treatment option for DMD. The treatment of choice for DMD is surgical correction of the curvature. Surgery is done to straighten your spine and to prevent the curve from getting any worse. The doctors decide it’s time for surgery when the curve gets to a certain size, which is usually around 25 degrees in patients with DMD. We do surgery earlier in children with DMD than in other conditions, because we know from research and experience that if a curve reaches 25 degrees in a person with DMD, it will almost certainly continue to get bigger. Deciding to have surgery is a big decision and can be very frightening for you and your family. This booklet was prepared to answer your questions about surgery if you and your doctor decide it is necessary. If you have any further questions, please write them down so you will remember to ask your doctor.

Advantages of Early Sugery
We know that people with scoliosis and muscular dystrophy can develop problems with their lungs, problems with sitting balance and with back pain. Having your spine straightened before these conditions develop may save you lots of problems later on. If you are already having lung problems, having surgery can improve your breathing and help prevent problems like pneumonia. Also, straightening your spine will help you keep your balance better, help prevent back pain, and pain while sitting, allowing you to sit comfortably for longer periods of time. All of this can improve your quality of life.

Changes and Risks Related to Surgery
As a result of your surgery, you might be taller because your spine will be straighter. Being taller may make it harder for you to fit into your car or van. Being taller may also interfere with eating because your arms must move a longer way to get to your mouth. There are always risks involved with the surgery itself and with being put to sleep for surgery. Some of these risks include the possibility of infection or a problem with the metal rod the doctor will attach to your spine. The chance that these complications will occur is very low, and we do everything we can to prevent them. The doctors and nurses will make sure you know what the risks are and will answer all your questions before your surgery.

more information on


Because respiratory infections may become a problem in later stages of muscular dystrophy, it’s important to be vaccinated for pneumonia and to keep up to date with influenza shots.

Found more about the latest discovery on treatment using Stem Cells

New Muscular Dystrophy Treatment Approach Developed Using Human Stem Cells


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