The definition of myositis is inflammation of the muscles. This happens when the immune system attacks the muscles by mistake.
Myositis can affect how you walk, move your arms and hands, swallow, and breathe.
Treatments help to prevent muscle loss and heart, lung, and other problems myositis can cause.
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Doctors define myositis as a rare autoimmune disease. The immune system becomes overactive and attacks the body's muscle tissue.
When the body sends immune cells to the muscles, this causes inflammation. Over time, the muscles get weak.
Myositis can cause problems in muscle groups and other symptoms throughout the body. This includes muscles in the arms and legs as well as the muscles that help you swallow. Myositis can also attack the heart and lungs, causing shortness of breath.
Myositis can cause skin issues, too.
Yes. Myositis can cause health problems that can lead to death without proper treatment.
For instance, if myositis affects the:
There are four types:
Doctors think that some people are prone to getting myositis through genetics. A bacteria, virus, or chemical may then trigger the disease.
But many people don't know what triggers their myositis.
There are risk factors that increase the odds of getting myositis:
Myositis symptoms and complications vary by type and severity. They may come on all of a sudden or slowly get worse over time.
Many people have symptoms that improve or go away only to come back or get worse.
Myositis symptoms and complications include:
A myositis diagnosis often involves a physical exam and tests.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and when they started.
They'll need to rule out other problems that could cause your symptoms, like infections or muscular dystrophy. So, doctors often test for myositis along with other health issues.
There's no single test to confirm myositis. Instead, doctors base the diagnosis on the results of many tests and your pattern of symptoms.
Your doctor may order:
Doctors treat myositis with medicine, physical therapy (PT), and lifestyle changes.
Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medicines. They'll choose drugs that can treat your issue with the least side effects.
Treatment options include:
PT and exercise can prevent muscle loss and help you function in your daily life.
Your doctor can refer you to a physical therapist and suggest the best workout plan for you.
Along with medicine, a healthy diet can help fight inflammation in the body.
Try to eat a diet heavy in:
Getting enough rest and learning to manage stress also helps to reduce myositis symptoms or prevent it from getting worse.
No, there's no cure for myositis, but early treatment can prevent further muscle weakness.
Many people can build back muscle strength through treatments.
Although myositis is serious, doctors can treat this disease. People with myositis can live full, healthy lives.
It does require you to see a doctor who focuses on the disease often to make sure treatments are working.
The Myositis Association is a great support group and resource for people with myositis.Back to top