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What is Inflammatory myopathy?
Inflammatory muscle disease, also known as inflammatory myopathy, occurs when the immune system attacks muscles. This is an umbrella term for several different conditions, all of which are chronic. Inflammatory muscle disease causes weakened and inflamed muscles and sometimes muscle pain. Arteries and blood vessels may also be affected by this inflammation.
Inflammatory muscle disease can occur in both children and adults, although different types of inflammatory myopathies affect different populations. The cause of the condition is unknown; possible causes include allergic reactions to toxins, viruses, bacteria, or other infections.
Symptoms of Inflammatory muscle disease
Symptoms of inflammatory muscle disease, no matter the type, include progressive weakness, fatigue, tripping, falling, and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Some patients experience muscle pain and tenderness.
While inflammatory myopathy cannot be cured, its symptoms can be treated. Physicians often use ultrasounds, MRIs and EMGs to diagnose inflammatory muscle disease. A muscle and/or skin biopsy may be taken as well.
Although inflammatory muscle disease is a chronic condition, its symptoms typically resolve with treatment. Common treatment plans include corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, topical gels, physical therapy, and rest. High doses of corticosteroids such as prednisone are often given as a first treatment.
Immunosuppressants may be added for patients who do not respond well to steroids. Biologic treatments may be used in the most severe cases.
Physical therapy and exercise are recommended to avoid muscle atrophy. Bedrest is generally avoided. In terms of prevention, maintaining a healthy weight through diet, exercise, and rest are also important. A low-sodium diet is often recommended for patients.