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Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy

Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy: Introduction

The symptoms of muscular dystrophy are the result of a deterioration of the body's muscles. This deterioration is due to the death of the muscle cells and muscle tissues and leads to ongoing muscle wasting and muscle weakness. Muscular dystrophy progresses and gets worse over time eventually. This results in difficulty walking, disability, the need for leg and hand braces, and ultimately the use of a wheelchair.

The muscle weakness of muscular dystrophy often begins in the legs. This makes it difficult for a child to walk normally, and he or she may walk with their feet wide apart to help keep balance. The child may use his or her hands and arms to get up from the floor and assist with standing. There may be frequent falls, a waddling gait, limited range of motion and pain in the calves. By 12 years of age, a child is often completely unable to walk and must use a wheelchair.

Over time, muscle weakness gets worse in severity and also progresses to include muscles in other parts of the body. These include muscles in the neck and arms. The muscle in the chest may also be affected. This can result in such complications as deformities in development of the bones of the chest and spine and scoliosis. This can lead to serious complications, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. Some children may also have mental impairment, cardiac arrhythmias or cardiomyopathy.

Muscular dystrophy is more common in boys than in girls. The progression and severity of the symptoms of muscular dystrophy varies greatly between individuals and the type of muscular dystrophy. Some people may not develop symptoms until adulthood, and while many people experience have severe disabilities and eventually die from the disease, others may have mild symptoms, no significant disability, and a normal life expectancy in some cases.

The two most common types of muscular dystrophy include Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Becker muscular dystrophy. The only difference between the two diseases are that the symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy develop earlier in life, by about age three, and progresses more quickly than they do with Becker muscular dystrophy. Children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy eventually die from the complications of pneumonia by their late teens.

Symptoms of Becker muscular dystrophy develop by about age seven and progress more gradually that symptoms of Becker muscular dystrophy. Death occurs by about age 40....more about Muscular Dystrophy »

Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Muscular Dystrophy includes the 10 symptoms listed below:

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Muscular Dystrophy: Symptom Checkers

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Muscular Dystrophy: Complications

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Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Muscular Dystrophy:

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Muscular Dystrophy as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy, it is also important to consider Muscular Dystrophy as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Muscular Dystrophy may cause:

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Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy. This signs and symptoms information for Muscular Dystrophy has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Muscular Dystrophy signs or Muscular Dystrophy symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Muscular Dystrophy symptoms.

 

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