Neuromuscular disorders occur in 1.5 million Americans each year, causing debilitating symptoms that are often progressive. These disorders happen due to damaged nerve cells and neurodegeneration.
These disorders of the myoskeletal system are due to various causes which are most often hereditary, metabolic and/or inflammatory.
Some examples of neuromuscular disorders include the following:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Severe myasthenia – Myasthenia Gravis
- Spinal muscular atrophy
Symptoms of neuromuscular disorders
Symptoms that affect the eyes are often the first to appear. The throat and jaw are also often affected early. This can affect speech, chewing, swallowing and head control. Symptoms also include weakness, paralysis, respiratory distress, aesthetic changes, balance difficulties and other problems that significantly affect quality of life.
What are the causes?
There are different causes for these diseases. Many of them are genetic. This means they are inherited or caused by a new mutation(s) in the genes. Some neuromuscular disorders are autoimmune diseases, while sometimes the cause is not known. For example, some genes found in the genetic material of individuals are those that make them more likely to develop the disease.
How is it diagnosed?
Neuromuscular disorders are motor unit disorders that include the lower motor neuron, the nerve root, the peripheral nerve, the myogenic joint, and the muscles. Any classification of neuromuscular disease can be somewhat arbitrary and the physician should keep in mind that the pathological process may involve several parts of the nervous system and muscles. For example, neuropathies can lead to progressive, peripheral motor and aesthetic impairment along with autonomic dysfunction. Disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can progress rapidly to death, while some chronic neuropathies such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or autonomic syndromes such as familial dystrophy may develop more slowly.
Diagnosis as well as treatment can be extremely difficult and requires specialized physicians starting from the clinical evaluation and determination of a course of care. Diagnosing neuromuscular disease can be a complicated process. A wide range of diseases can affect the nerves and muscles and often produce similar symptoms, such as weakness and numbness. Diagnostic tests include:
- Biochemical and genetic testing
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Nervous and muscle biopsy
- Conductivity studies and electromyography (EMG)
The modern medical treatment
Targeted correction of organic imbalances can be a powerful tool in the physical treatment of almost all cases of neuromuscular disorders. The clinical context that combines diet and lifestyle factors with the correction of environmental factors in the incidence of chronic disease is now the new medical approach. Every specialist physician must evaluate the imbalances at the cellular level. This helps explain why the disease has happened. By understanding each of these imbalances, the physician with the patient can make adjustments to correct the cause.
There are often many factors that need to be tackled such as nutritional deficiencies, stress, poor immune function and hormone imbalances.
This is why, there are natural remedies that treat the disease through boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation and correcting nutrient deficiencies that can worsen the condition. Possible natural remedies depend on individual needs. The best course of action, understanding and examining the body holistically to identify possible causes and address them through nutritional, natural hormonal rehabilitation and complementary support.
Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.
Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).
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