Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders that are characterized by a progressive loss of muscle mass which results in loss of strength. In some forms of this disease, the heart, as well as other organs too, get affected. There are nine forms of muscular dystrophy that can afflict people, the most common form being- Duchenne muscular dystrophy – that typically affects young boys. Thankfully, there are several alternate methods of treating muscular dystrophy symptoms such as medical marijuana that are highly effective. Read on to know how medical marijuana helps in treating MD.
This condition can rear its ugly head any time from infancy up to middle age and in some cases much later. Its form, as well as severity, depends on the age at which it occurs. While some forms of this disease affect only males; some others suffering from MD live long and have very mild symptoms; others may experience severe and swift weakening and wasting of their muscles in their late teens.
The many forms of MD affect more than 50,000 Americans every year. There is no cure for MD currently. However certain medical treatments including medical cannabis coupled with physical therapy can help in improving symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.
Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy
Progressive muscle weakness is the main sign of MD. Specific symptoms begin in different muscle groups depending on the type of muscular dystrophy.
More than half of the people suffering from muscular dystrophy have Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This disease mostly affects boys. It is interesting to note that 1/3rd of the boys suffering from this form of MD does not have a family history of the disease. The symptoms appear in boys between the age of 2 and 3.
- Frequent falls
- Trouble running and jumping
- Difficulty getting up from a lying or sitting position
- Abnormally large calf muscles
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Waddling gait
- Walking on the toes
- Learning disabilities
What Else It Could Be
Certain forms of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy are sometimes confused with autoimmune diseases as their clinical and laboratory presentations tend to be similar. Dysferlinopathy a type of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, in particular, is often misdiagnosed as polymyositis. According to reports, nearly 25% of patients suffering from dysferlinopathy are misdiagnosed with polymyositis and vice versa.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Transient Ischemic Attacks also have symptoms similar to MD and are often confused with the disease. Many patients diagnosed with MD, in fact, suffer from multiple sclerosis.
How Medical Marijuana Helps Treat Muscular Dystrophy
Scientific evidence suggests that cannabinoids can help alleviate the many symptoms of MD. There are a number of ongoing studies to prove the benefits of cannabis on muscular dystrophy. Medical marijuana is certainly effective when it comes to treating stiffness and pain. There is also evidence that it helps in treating symptoms such as muscle loss and impaired movement. In a study conducted and published in the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, in the year 2010, it was established that cannabis could prevent apoptosis in healthy cells, reduce glutamate transmission, modulate microglial cell activity, and improve the functioning of mitochondria. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties apart from exhibiting neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects. In short, given these benefits of cannabis, it can theoretically as well as practically benefit those suffering from muscular dystrophy.
Why Medical Marijuana Treats Muscular Dystrophy Better Than Alternative Treatments
As mentioned earlier, there is no cure for muscular dystrophy. Conventional treatment helps in controlling seizures and muscle spasms. Exercise, medication to alleviate the symptoms, respiratory care, and physical exercise, can help with both the complications and symptoms of this condition. There are three drugs that are prescribed to patients suffering from MD. These are – Phenytoin, Mexiletine, and Procainamide. These drugs help manage the symptoms of MD but may have side effects such as clumsiness, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, diarrhea, headache, nervousness, extreme discomfort in the stomach, tremors, and nausea.
Living with MD is quite challenging. The disease also leads to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. It is therefore important to follow a treatment plan that reduces pain without causing other side effects. That is not all! Medical cannabis doses can be adjusted for use in young children and those with low body weight too. To cut a long story short, there is scientific as well as anecdotal evidence that medical cannabis can be used to treat MD without having to worry about side effects and drug interactions.
How to Get Medical Marijuana to Treat Muscular Dystrophy
Now, that you know that muscular dystrophy can be managed using medical cannabis, you may be wondering where to lay your hands on some. Remember, that you cannot and must not self-medicate. It is important that you discuss your symptoms with a medical marijuana doctor to ascertain whether you really suffer from muscular dystrophy and if yes which strain of cannabis is suited for you.
If you do not know where to begin your journey with medical cannabis, book an appointment and visit one of the many medical marijuana experts in our MMJ Doctors clinic in Miami. Our doctors will diagnose your health condition after listening to all your symptoms and taking into account your complete medical history. Once the diagnosis is made, the doctor will also approve your state-issued medical marijuana ID card that will enable you to buy cannabis for your treatment. You can use this card to buy weed in Miami from any medical marijuana dispensary.
Get your state-issued Florida medical marijuana card and get a prescription for cannabis with our experts at MMJ Doctors. Our educated physicians will also take you through the details of how medical cannabis can help treat your condition and which strains are best suited for the form of MD that you suffer from. So, what are you waiting for? Book your appointment with a specialist today; call us toll-free on 1-888-578-6704.