Does Myasthenia Gravis Cause Weight Gain?

Myasthenia gravis is a condition in which the voluntary muscles get weakened and quickly exhausted. This happens due to a loss of communication between muscles and nerves.

Does Myasthenia Gravis Cause Weight Gain?

Does Myasthenia Gravis Cause Weight Gain?

Myasthenia gravis may lead to weight gain in many patients. This is because of the limited muscle activity, as the muscles get tired with even a little amount of work. The muscle weakness does not permit you to do any significant activities and hence, you end up putting weight. Also, certain medications like prednisolone can increase the appetite. The increased food consumption and the decreased level of activity is a sure recipe for weight gain.

It is evident that increased weight can lead to significantly more problems in old age and otherwise.

That said, in some people with myasthenia gravis, weight loss can be another problem. This is particularly so if there are problems with chewing and swallowing. As a result of these problems, one does not feel like eating for the sheer scare of getting choked on food. This decreases the food consumption and as a result there is weight loss. Switching to a soft diet and eating smaller, soft meals but frequently, can help in solving these problems. (1)

Other Complications Of Myasthenia Gravis

Most of the complications found in this condition can be treated. However, few of them can be quite serious and become hazardous.

Myasthenic Crisis-

  • Myasthenic crisis is a serious condition in which the muscles that are responsible for respiration become so weak that they cannot perform their job
  • This condition needs to be treated on an emergency basis
  • Mechanical breathing may be required in some people
  • Blood filtering processes and medicines may help people in normal breathing again

Thymomas-

  • Several people with myasthenia gravis have a tumor in their thymus gland
  • These tumors, however, are not cancerous

Hypoactive Or Hyperactive Thyroid Gland-

  • People with myasthenia gravis tend to have either a hyperactive or a hypoactive thyroid gland
  • This may result in weight loss or weight gain problems, issues with heat and cold and sleep problems

Other Autoimmune Disorders-

Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies For Myasthenia Gravis

Certain lifestyle changes and home remedies when given together with the conventional methods of treatment can help in alleviating the symptoms and cope with the condition better.

Adjusting The Eating Schedule-

  • It is advisable to eat when there is maximum energy in your body
  • It is good to chew slowly and also take small breaks between bites. A little rest in between won’t tire your muscles very easily
  • It may also be helpful to take small frequent meals through the day instead of taking one large, full meal

Making Arrangements At Home-

  • Putting up a bar or railing near the staircase may help you in balancing better. This will also lower your risk of tripping and falling
  • Keeping the floor clear and clutter free will ensure that you do not slip or fall accidentally

Using Power Tools-

  • Using mechanical efforts instead of physical efforts can help you in conserving your energy
  • For example, using an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one can help you save on your energy levels

Wearing Eye Patch-

  • In case you suffer from diplopia or double vision, an eye patch can help you get rid of this problem
  • Use eye patch while reading, watching TV etc.
  • Switch in between the eyes to avoid overstraining one eye

Planning Ahead-

  • Planning the tasks that require the most of your energy in such a way that you do them at those times during the day when you have the most energy, like in the morning or after waking from an afternoon nap, can help in saving on your energy levels. (3)
  • Myasthenia gravis may commonly cause weight gain in people due to lack of muscular activity.

References-

  1. https://www.myastheniagravis.org/life-with-mg/one-thing-can-lead-to-another/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myasthenia-gravis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352036
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myasthenia-gravis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352040

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