Myositis – the condition affecting actress Samantha Prabhu – is more common among adult women, say doctors
- It is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system itself attacks the muscles of the body.
- The prevalence of this condition is between 4-22 cases per one lakh population, according to the
Indian Journal of Rheumatology.
- There are different types of
Myositis— Polymyositis and Dermatomyositisare the most common ones.
According to doctors, this condition is more prevalent in young females.
“Patients generally (are) young adults, (it’s) more common in females, and sometimes it can be associated with a rash on the face,” Dr Sheela Murali Chakravarthy, director- internal medicine, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore told Business Insider India.
The prevalence of this condition is between 4-22 cases per one lakh population in India, according to the Indian Journal of Rheumatology.
What is Myositis?
Myositis is an autoimmune condition that causes weakness in the muscles especially in the thigh, or the arms. It is a condition where the immune system itself attacks the muscles of the body.
“This illness comes under the category of autoimmune in which the body considers self as non self and starts producing antibodies against the muscles causing damage to the muscles,” Dr Chakravarthy added.
Muscle pain in thighs, arms and shoulders, difficulty in swallowing, choking, skin rash over eyelids, rashes sensitive to sunlight are some of the common symptoms of Myositis.
Doctors further added that patients usually face difficulty in climbing up stairs, or getting up from a sitting position, which gradually progresses to weakness. Fever, fatigue, joint pain, weight loss and fatigue are some of the other symptoms of this illness.
There are different types of Myositis — Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis are the most common ones. Polymyositis causes muscle weakness which is closest to the trunk of the body, whereas Dermatomyositis causes muscle weakness in thighs, arms shoulders and skin rash.
This disease can be associated with cancer also. “ Any age, right from childhood where it's called juvenile dermatomyositis, to elderly can be affected. It may be associated with cancers also,” said Dr Varsha Bhatt, MD medicine, consultant rheumatologist at Dr DY Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Pune.
Is it a genetic disease?
AdvertisementAccording to Dr Bhatt, the number of studies suggesting Myositis to be a genetic disease are increasing. “Data show that having at least one first-degree relative with myositis is strongly associated with risk of it and that several human leukocyte antigen (HLA) regions are associated with it,” she said.
Myositis is a treatable disease and can be cured with proper medical attention. “Early diagnosis is the key and that is possible if you consult a physician or rheumatologist early as soon as symptoms appear,” Dr Bhatt added.
A patient suffering from this disease will have to be on medications for a long time to prevent this from relapsing. Steroids, oral or intravenous and immunosuppression therapy with drugs like methotrexate and azathioprine can help treat this illness.
“Sometimes you may require high doses of intravenous steroids to halt the progression of illness faster. In resistant cases we use plasma exchange on dialysis machines, intravenous immunoglobulin and
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