Causes of Muscular Dystrophy
Muscle dystrophy is a genetic disease that causes progressive muscle weakness. This weakness can develop into a more sever condition that may lead to total loss of muscle strength. Although there are other forms of this disease that has different terms when it comes to severity and onset, they are all relatively the same in kind.
This medical condition is not contagious. This means that it cannot be passed on to one person by close contact. Since it is a genetic condition, one can only have muscle dystrophy through inheritance or through a specific genetic combination. To further discuss this, here is a thorough explanation as to what is the main cause of muscle dystrophy.
In 1986, researchers found out that a specific type of gene, when defective, will cause a certain type of muscle dystrophy. It is called Duchenne muscle dystrophy. The year after that, it has been known that the protein that is associated with the said gene is called dystrophin. The following is then concluded:
Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs when that specific gene is unable to produce dystrophin. This protein is essential for muscle growth and strength. Without this, a certain group of muscle will then start to deteriorate and lose its function.
Becker muscular dystrophy occurs when there is a different mutation in the same gene. As a result, it will produce some dystrophin. However, it is either the quantity is less than what is needed or the quality is not good enough to be used by the body especially the muscles.
Muscular dystrophies are almost always a form of an inherited disease that is known as an X-linked disorder. It is a genetic disease that only women are the carriers and it is only their sons can have the said disease. In this kind of set-up, the mothers are just the carriers but they are not affected by the disease process.
Genetically speaking, men and women have different set of chromosomes that make up a specific gene. For men, they carry one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. On the other hand, females carry two X chromosomes. Using these facts, in order for a female to acquire a disease like muscle dystrophy, she has to have two defective X chromosomes. This is a very rare incident because this would mean that her father would have muscle dystrophy and her mother would have to be a carrier as well. This is why males have the higher chance of having this medical condition as they only have one X chromosome.
There are a few other types of muscle dystrophies that are not inherited. There are also times that a muscle dystrophy can occur because of a genetic mutation or an abnormality.
These are mostly the sum of all the explanation as to how a person can have a muscle dystrophy. Also, since it is a genetic disease, the occurrence of the symptoms may be as early as childhood and can be as late as adulthood. The occurrence depends on the response of the body especially the muscular system to these changes.
Managing Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is hard to manage because of its persistent and relapsing symptoms. This is the actual trend of symptoms, despite complete compliance to medication regimen. It is important to understand that managing chronic bronchitis usually involves ensuring patency of airway, improving breathing pattern, improving nutrition, increasing activity tolerance, and improving sleep pattern.
Ensure airway clearance by eliminating all pulmonary irritants, particularly cigarette or tobacco smoking. Cessation of smoking will result in lesser pulmonary irritation, sputum production, and cough. Make sure the immediate surroundings are dust free. Add a humidifier inside the house if possible. Use postural drainage positions to aid in the clearance of secretions. The person is positioned so the diseased areas are in near vertical position, and then gravity is used to assist drainage of the specific segments. Liquefied excessive secretions are typical in chronic bronchitis. Drink plenty of fluids, at least 8-10 glasses or 2-2.5L of fluid daily. However, caution is observed that hydration is within level of cardiac reserve. Provide inhalations of nebulized water to humidify bronchial tree and keep secretions liquid. Dairy products are avoided as these increase sputum production.
Breathing pattern is improved by the use of breathing exercises like pursed lip breathing. Breathe in through the nose and out through pursed lips (like you are whistling), with a long, slow expiration. Position yourself for better breathing by leaning forward while sitting with elbows on table or resting on knees. Use relaxation techniques such as listening to soft music, imagining you are in a quiet place, or having someone give you a soothing massage. Use supplemental oxygen only when absolutely necessary to avoid dependence.
Chronic bronchitis usually involves having a poor appetite. Compensate for this by eating six or more small meals or snacks rather than three larger meals. Eat slowly. Sit forward with elbows propped on the table. Make sure the dishes look appealing and the smell is inviting. Unless otherwise directed, try a high-protein, moderate fat, and lower carbohydrate diet of sufficient calories to cover the increased work of breathing. Consider a high-protein, high-calorie drink if you do not feel like eating at all.
Reemphasize the importance of graded exercise and physical conditioning programs. This enhances delivery of oxygen to the tissues. This also allows a higher level of functioning with greater comfort. Do not stop physical activity. Instead, learn hot o manage planning activities to conserve energy. Start with an easy to follow exercise program and gradually increase your activity. Do this exercise at least 3-7 days a week to increase physical endurance.
Finally, lessen fatigue by improving your sleeping pattern. Maintain a balanced schedule of activity and rest. Avoid use of sedatives that may cause respiratory depression. Sleep with head elevated using several pillows or in a reclining chair to reduce shortness of breath and increase rest. If awakened by cough, sit up, sip fluid, and use an inhaler to try to clear your lungs from phlegm.
Chronic bronchitis is easy to manage when a person knows how to. Frustration with the disease often stems from a lack of knowledge on how to go about the symptoms that accompany it. Being aware of these management tips will help you and other chronic bronchitis-stricken persons deal positively with the condition.