What are some common diseases of the muscular system?

When you think about muscles, what comes to mind? Powerlifters grunting in a gym, or the straining veins on your dad’s arms as he shows off his guns? It’s easy to admire big muscles and forget about little ones. But just like humans come in all shapes and sizes, so do their muscular systems – and with that variation comes an array of diseases.

Let’s Talk About Skeletal Muscle Diseases

Skeletal muscle diseases are illnesses or injuries that affect your skeletal muscles. These are the most common types of muscular disorders. They can be caused by genetics, infections, medications or toxins.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – A Death Sentence for Young Boys

This is probably one disease most people have heard about before. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rare genetic condition characterized by progressive weakness resulting from degeneration and death of muscle cells, including those responsible for respiratory function.

If you see young boys waddling around like ducks while walking on their toes (bless them), it might just be due to this particular condition.

This disease primarily affects males because they inherit two copies of mutant genes on their X chromosomes from their mothers. Onset typically occurs between ages 3 and 5 years with characteristic symptoms such as:

  • Frequent falls,
  • Difficulty running/walking upstairs,
  • Clumsiness
  • Delayed motor development

Sadly there is no cure at present but early diagnosis enables access to proper medical care which can help reduce complications associated with this disease.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy – Not Just Another Genetic Disease

Another form of genetic disorders belonging in this category is spinal muscular atrophy (mostly abbreviated SMA).

It’s almost impossible not to hear anyone shouting “Stop it!”, when mothers hug babies too tight; forcing them into funny poses like the infamous ‘Superman’ pose.

SMA is a genetic condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and wasting, usually starting in infants between 1-6 months old. The disease leads to degeneration of spinal motor neurons that control movement.

The severity and progression of SMA varies greatly depending on the type but can lead to difficulty breathing or even paralysis.

Smooth Muscle Diseases Are Also a Thing

Just like skeletal muscles, smooth muscles are prone to diseases too… today you’re meeting their entourage.

Gastroparesis – Or When Your Tummy Says “No More!” After Every Meal!

Isn’t it weird when your stomach just stops working? Well, gastroparesis is exactly what happens when food moves through your digestive tract slower than it should, leading to uncomfortable symptoms such as:

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Bloating

This slowing down due weakened or damaged nerves makes digestion near impossible especially for people who have diabetes or autoimmune diseases.

Treatment options range from medication prescribed by qualified physicians aimed at helping with pain relief &quickly moving food through colon walls (FYI: no magic cures here). Note this takes time and might require a few changes in diet.

Urinary Incontinence – But You Don’t Have To Keep Running

You giggle non-stop while watching naughty comics pee all over themselves…but it’s less funny if its happening without warning! Urinary incontinence is simply involuntary loss of bladder control that mostly occurs among adults above 50 years old, though other factors like prolapsed pelvic floor conditions can also cause this problem (Here’s where Kegel exercises come into play)

People living with urinary incontinence experience leakages which may lead towards interwoven emotional distresses including depression/severe anxiety. Some treatments include behavioral modification – encouraging healthy behaviors e.g., drinking lots of fluids and avoiding possible triggers, exercises of the pelvic floor muscles & medicines aimed at increasing blood flow to the affected areas.

Cand Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia? Really?

Muscular system diseases can affect not just your physical ability but also your heart.

Yes! You read that right! One such muscular system disease is catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). It’s a bit like tongue twister but far more dangerous.

CPVT is genetic in nature and causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) triggered by exercise, strong emotions or adrenaline surges due this recurrent episodes which may prove fatal if left unaddressed.

Treatment options include medical therapy e.g., beta-blockers, implantation of pacemaker/implantable cardioverter-defibrillator devices implanted around chest cavity.

There’s so much happening with our bodies every second – it’s only right we take a moment to appreciate how amazing they are…and remember certain actions come with consequences whether big muscles or little ones…so play safe folks and stay fresh 😉

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