Back to Blog

Myasthenia Gravis. What is it and what are the symptoms?

autoimmune difficulty swollowing diplipia double vision dysphagia mg muscle weakness myasthenia gravis Sep 14, 2023

Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a rare autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that primarily affects the muscles responsible for voluntary movement. It is characterized by muscle weakness and fatigue that worsens with activity and improves with rest. MG occurs when the immune system mistakenly targets and attacks specific proteins, called acetylcholine receptors (ACh), at the neuromuscular junctions where nerves connect with muscles. These receptors are crucial for muscle contractions, and when they are attacked, the communication between nerves and muscles becomes impaired, leading to muscle weakness.

Common symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis include:

  1. Muscle Weakness: This is the hallmark symptom of MG. It typically starts in the eye muscles, causing drooping eyelids (ptosis) and double vision (diplopia). Muscle weakness can also affect facial muscles, making it difficult to smile or chew, and it can extend to limb and respiratory muscles.

  2. Fatigue: Muscle weakness and fatigue are exacerbated with physical activity and tend to improve with rest. This is known as "fatigability" and is a distinguishing feature of MG.

  3. Double Vision (Diplopia): MG often causes double vision due to weakness in the eye muscles. This can make activities like reading or driving challenging.

  4. Ptosis: Drooping of one or both eyelids is a common early symptom of MG. It can vary in severity and may worsen over the course of the day.

  5. Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia): Weakening of the muscles involved in swallowing can lead to difficulty eating and an increased risk of choking.

  6. Slurred Speech: Weakness in the muscles responsible for speech can result in slurred speech or difficulty articulating words.

  7. Weakness in Limbs: In some cases, MG can progress to affect limb muscles, causing generalized weakness.

  8. Breathing Difficulty: In severe cases, MG can impact the muscles responsible for breathing, leading to respiratory distress, especially during physical exertion.

  9. Facial Weakness: Weakness in facial muscles may cause a mask-like expression or difficulty making facial expressions.

  10. Neck Weakness: Neck muscles may become weak, leading to difficulty holding up the head.

MG symptoms can vary widely in their presentation and severity, and they tend to fluctuate over time. It is a chronic condition that can be managed with Chinese herbal medicine.  Chinese herbal medicine involves personalized herbal formulations targeting the patient's unique pattern of imbalance. These formulations can be designed to modulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve neuromuscular function specific to MG. It's essential to do so under the guidance of a qualified Chinese herbalist and in coordination with their healthcare team to ensure comprehensive care and safety.  Early diagnosis and ongoing medical management are crucial for optimal outcomes.

Stay up to date!

New exercises, motivation, and classes delivered to your inbox. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.