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Muscle diseases

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

There are a whole range of illnesses and diseases which might be classified as muscle diseases.  The whole body is formed of a mass of bone, muscle and nerves, thus we might view all organs as muscles - the heart is a muscle, the stomach is a muscle, the lungs are operated via muscles, the intestines operate via muscles, the tongue is a muscle, the throat operates via muscles, as do our arms and legs. 

Thus if there is any faulty gene that affects muscle tissue, or a parasite that likes muscle tissue more than other sorts of tissue, or a virus that specifically targets muscle tissue, or a toxin that affects muscle tissue more than for example bone, or bacteria that attack muscle tissue, or some mineral or vitamin deficiency that affects the way muscle tissue develops or operates, then every organ will be affected, every organ.

This is why we ache all over when we have 'flu, the flu virus has a liking for muscle tissue and attacks it, so every muscle in our body will be affected - including the heart and lungs.

What is muscle?

 

Muscle is a soft tissue found in most animals. Muscle cells contain protein filaments of actin and myosin that slide past one another, producing a contraction that changes both the length and the shape of the cell. Muscles function to produce force and motion.

They are primarily responsible for maintaining and changing posture, locomotion, as well as movement of internal organs, such as the contraction of the heart and the movement of food through the digestive system via peristalsis.

Muscle tissues are derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells in a process known as myogenesis. There are three types of muscle:

  • skeletal or striated
  • cardiac and
  • smooth.

Muscle action can be classified as being either voluntary or involuntary. Cardiac and smooth muscles contract without conscious thought and are termed involuntary, while the skeletal muscles contract upon command, although their actual action is of course also autonomic.  The Will sends its orders and the Autonomic system then carries them out. "Skeletal muscles in turn can be divided into fast and slow twitch fiber".

Muscles are predominantly powered by the oxidation of fats and carbohydrates, but anaerobic chemical reactions are also used.

 Symptoms

 

 

 

Symptoms of muscle disease may include muscular weakness, rigidity, loss of muscular control, myoclonus (twitching, spasming), and myalgia (muscle pain), atrophy, loss of muscle tone, aching, fatigue, fibrosis, haemorrhage, hypertrophy and just plain damage.

 

 

Muscle Illnesses and diseases

The medical profession refer to all the types of disease of muscles as ‘Neuromuscular disease’ and this term is a very broad one that encompasses many diseases and ailments that impair the functioning of the muscles, either directly, being pathologies of the muscle, or indirectly, being pathologies of nerves or neuromuscular junctions.  So the definition they use is not based on cell type but classifications of symptoms.

 

This means the whole area is one of complete confusion, as since muscles are under the influence of nervous system control, the definition has to get extended and Neuromuscular diseases then encompass not only those that directly affect the muscle tissues, but also nervous system control. Again, if you have problems with the nervous system you will undoubtedly get muscle problems, as problems with central (or upper motor neuron) nervous control can cause either spasticity (from upper motor neuron conditions) or some degree of paralysis and weakness.

It gets even more complicated if you concentrate on symptoms and not causes or cell type.  Muscles are controlled by the brain.  So the moment you have anything wrong with the brain – any sort of brain damage - you will get muscle problems.  If you have have had a stroke, or have Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease (Huntington's chorea) or Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, Dementia or Alzheimer’s, Autism or Epilepsy, Manic depression or Schizophrenia, Encephalitis or tumour there is a strong likelihood that you will have problems with your muscle control.

So the medical profession helps neither itself nor you by segmenting diseases of the muscle into symptom based classes.  I had a friend in Belgium who was referred to a muscle specialist because he had become almost crippled from muscle pain.  He was given pharmaceuticals.  They made him ill.  He was given massage therapy, which helped ease the pain but didn't cure him.  And then a friend said to him, why not ask for a brain scan.  And he did and he had a benign tumour on the brain.  It was removed and he was able to walk again.

Types of Muscle Illnesses and diseases

Here are just some of the names given to the diseases doctors may refer to.  You may find the classification occurs under more than one heading on the site because of the problems caused by this symptom based approach. 

I have excluded all the muscles that are also organs as the list would be incredibly long.

You may also find it impossible to tell the difference between all the names given, as do the doctors themselves, arguments on the correct naming of the symptoms can occur for days:

 
  • Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is both a muscle and fascia related disease as well as a nervous system disease
  • Myasthenia Gravis - is defined as "an autoimmune neuromuscular disease leading to fluctuating muscle weakness and fatigue".
  •  Atonia and atonic seizures - Atony is the name give to the semi-paralyzed or extremely relaxed state of skeletal muscles in rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep).  One of the features of atonia, however, is that it can also occur to people who are not asleep, in which case it is known as an ‘atonic seizure’.
  • Dermatomyositis – inflammation of the muscles and skin.
  • Eosinophilic fasciitis also known as "Shulman's syndrome", a form of fasciitis, the diseases that affect the fascia, the connective tissues surrounding muscles, blood vessels and nerves.
  • Polymyositis  is a type of chronic inflammation of the muscles.  Low grade fever and 'peripheral adenopathy' may be present. 
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is the common name for a group of significantly debilitating medical symptoms characterized by persistent fatigue and muscle weakness. 
  • Lambert–Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS, also Lambert–Eaton syndrome, or Eaton–Lambert syndrome) is classified as a so called autoimmune disorder that is characterized by muscle weakness, but is caused by  antibodies, which are  formed against presynaptic voltage-gated calcium channels, which probably means it is an allergic reaction.
  • Motor neurone disease  - a debilitating disease characterised by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, muscle spasticity, difficulty speaking (dysarthria), difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and difficulty breathing (dyspnea).  It is classified as both a muscle and a nervous system disease.
  • Rhabdomyolysis  is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle tissue (Greek: ραβδω rhabdo- striped μυς myo- muscle) breaks down (Greek: λύσις –lysis) rapidly. Breakdown products of damaged muscle cells are released into the bloodstream; some of these, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure. The severity of the symptoms, which may include muscle pains, vomiting and confusion, depends on the extent of muscle damage and whether kidney failure develops.
  • Muscle Tumours and cysts  - According to the medical literature, “In general, muscle tumours are rare, since muscle cells are not constantly dividing cells”.  This rather overlooks the role of parasites in the formation of cysts and tumours.
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica (which takes its name from the word Πολυμυαλγία "polymyalgia" which means "pain in many muscles" in medical-scientific Greek) abbreviated as PMR, is a syndrome with pain or stiffness, usually in the neck, shoulders, and hips. The pain can be very sudden, or can occur gradually over a period.  Patients who have polymyalgia rheumatica may also have temporal arteritis, an inflammation of blood vessels in the face.
  • Muscular dystrophies - including Duchenne's and Becker's, are a large group of diseases, many of them are classified as hereditary or resulting from genetic mutations, where the muscle integrity is disrupted. They lead to progressive loss of strength and decreased life span.  Muscular dystrophy affects the whole body and all its muscle controlled organs

Causes

What can affect muscle tissue specifically?  Not the nerves which I have covered separately, not the blood supply to the muscle which I have covered separately, not weaknesses in the bone which is also covered separately, but the actual muscle tissue itself.  In effect, what attacks our muscles giving us the symptoms shown above?

Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals are a known cause of muscle and fascia diseases.  I have provided a link from the various conditions to the eHealthme site so that you can see which specific pharmaceuticals are linked to which conditions.  The eHealthme site includes the symptoms of muscle pain [5000 drugs], muscle necrosis [1800 drugs], muscle function loss [3,300 drugs], muscle fatigue [7000 drugs], muscle atrophy [3,300 drugs], muscle aches [5000 drugs], muscle fasciculation [3500 drugs], muscle fribrosis [1500 drugs], muscle hypertrophy [1500 drugs], muscle haemorrhage [1200 drugs], muscle injury [2500 drugs], muscle weakness [7000 drugs], rhabdomyolysis [4100 drugs], and according to the eHealthme website, some are even implicated in muscular dystrophy - see LINK.  Why all these symptoms are not grouped into one overall category is beyond me - it may be something to do with the medical staff who originally recorded them. There are yet more that I didn't have the patience to include - twitching, stiffness, swelling, tightness.... The types of drugs include for example [this list is not meant to be complete but representative, there are many more types]:

According to a study released by the Mayo Clinic
earlier in 2014, nearly 70 percent of Americans
take some sort of prescription drug.
Sensationalist - but true!!

It may be worth mentioning that Cerivastatin alone within the class of statin drugs has well over 7000 ADRs from people suffering from its effects. Lipitor has over 2000 and so it continues.   Statins seem particularly likely to reduce you to a wheelchair.  But there are others.....

Posted by lisabug on Jan, 14, 2014 at 3:45 am:  eHealthme case studies
Who:   Age: 38   Gender: female; Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Neuropathy, Rhabdomyolysis; Medications: Lyrica
Details:  I was on Lyrica for 6 weeks and it almost killed me. I was so weak at the end that my daughter had to help me get out of bed go to the bathroom. I gained 22 lbs in 10 days. I gained over 40 lbs in 6 weeks. My ankles and feet were so swollen that the skin was starting to break open. I was in and out of the hospital until one of the doctors realized that my muscle tissue was breaking down and causing my kidneys to shut down. I have permenant nerve damage and issues with my speech and memory. I could not even take care of my children. I had to have someone with me at all times. I still have issues with my kidneys and edema. I lose my train of thought have through a sentence. I can no longer do basic math in my head. This drug forever changed my life.

 and another example...........

Posted by JB on Oct, 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm: 
Who:   Age: 61   Gender: female; Conditions: Vasculitis, Rhabdomyolysis, Neuropathy Peripheral; Medications: Avelox, Prednisone, Nabumetone
Details:   I was prescribed that combination of drugs in January 2013 when I went to my family doctor with a bad chest congestion and painful knees. After starting on the drugs, I got a severely painful neck and thumb and noticed some tingling in my left foot. I took the whole course of the avelox and prednisone, though I discontinued the nabumetome. I kept getting weaker and weaker till I could hardly walk. I ended up in the emergency room and was first diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis but rushed to a bigger hospital for further diagnosis and treatment. I was close to needing blood, my kidneys were shutting down and I could barely walk. I was so weak! My right hand and left foot went "to sleep" and still haven't woken up. ( as of October 2013). 
After many, many tests, they came up with a tentative diagnosis of vasculitis and myositis.  Then I had a kidney biopsy which confirmed the vasculitis and I was immediately treated with chemotherapy -- cytoxin for 6 months. ............. I am convinced that it was the drug combination that caused all this. I had been feeling great and had a daily walking routine of walking 2 to 5 miles per day, and no other complaints. ......
When I told my family doctor that I thought it was the drug combination that caused my problems, he seemed surprised and really no discussion. I told them to put it in my medical records to NEVER give me a flouroquinolone drug again.
Yesterday when I went for a blood test and urinalysis ( which I was doing biweekly, but now every 6 weeks), it showed that I have a UTI and guess what the family doctor called in a prescription for? Cipro!!!! And he knows I'm still on prednisone and have only 30% kidney function!!!!!!
While I am not a litigious person, this really makes me so upset!!! I don't have the money to try to sue, but if telling my story will help keep unsuspecting people from the horrible damage this has caused, I feel obliged to speak up. I have had a terrible year. And I'm still not okay. And the drugs I'm taking make me susceptible to other problems. I'm still all puffed up from the prednisone. A couple of weeks ago I decided to try going for walks again, hopefully to lose some of this weight and build up my strength. It is so hard for me and my left foot hurts so bad. My legs feel so heavy it is a real struggle to walk a mile. But at least I can. When I was at my sickest, I could barely walk to the bathroom and I could not get up from the toilet without using my arms to pull myself up. I couldn't go up the two steps to get into my house without help. I couldn't go upstairs to my bedroom for months.

There are lots more on eHealthme just like this, but maybe not so heart wrenching.

 

Nutritional deprivation

Muscles need minerals and they need glucose.  They are repaired using cholesterol.  They also need amino acids and essential fatty acids.  As such both overdose and deficiency of any of these are capable of producing severe problems with the muscles, more details can be found in the sections on nutritional deprivation, but especially those on

Vitamin D and B12 deficiency also appear to be common vitamin deficiencies in those diagnosed with fibromyalgia, for example.

Food allergy

Food allergy and Asthma and allergy have similar causes.  Where the body is essentially treating the food as a poison or has identified a pathogen and is reacting to it.  The allergic reaction provoked can cause severe muscle problems, aching, weakness, sometimes considerable pain and stiffness.

Vaccines

You need to read the explanation given for vaccines to understand why vaccines can produce various muscle diseases.  The explanation is not long, but it needs to be read in full, providing a short summary here runs the risk you will not read the vaccine section and understand all the side-effects of vaccines, which also include allergies.  Thus although food allergy has been listed above as a cause - and indeed it is - the ultimate cause may have been vaccines.

Toxins and heavy metals

The word toxin covers a whole range of chemicals, as such this can only be an overview of the known effects of toxins on muscles.  Toxins cause severe irritation of muscles and muscle damage.  They also have the potential to disrupt genes, which may be a cause for some of the gene mutation based muscle diseases.  If we take two examples from the Federal register of tests done on the effects of insecticides on muscle tissue you can see the results:

Flonicamid - Insecticide - CAS No. 158062-67-0  -- Combined Chronic/ carcinogenicity (rats). NOAEL is 200 ppm (equivalent to 7.32/8.92mg/ kg/day in males/females). LOAEL is 1,000 ppm (equivalent to 36.5/44.1mg/ kg/day in males/females) based on decreased body weights and body weight gains, and increased incidences of keratitis in males and striated muscle fiber atrophy in females. Ref: August 31, 2005.

Rather interestingly flonacamid is fluoride based, which may open up new lines of enquiry.....

The use of high doses increases the likelihood that potentially significant toxic effects will be identified. Findings of adverse effects in any one species do not necessarily indicate such effects might be generated in humans. From a conservative risk assessment perspective however, adverse findings in animal species are assumed to represent potential effects in humans, unless convincing evidence of species specificity is available.  -- Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

and also

Gamma-Cyhalothrin - Insecticide - CAS No. 76703-62-3  13-Week Dietary - Rat (Gamma cyhalothrin). NOAEL: male/female =3.4/4.2 mg/kg/day  LOAEL: male/female = 6.6/8.8 mg/kg/day (mortality in males, neuromuscular effects in both sexes, dermatitis, and gross and microscopic skin lesions in females).   Ref: April 8, 2004. Federal Register. Lambda-Cyhalothrin and Gamma-Cyhalothrin.

Another area of considerable cocern is the indiscriminate use of nanoparticles which can not only enter cells, but also have the potential to alter genes.  This appears to be a problem that is awaiting its full impact to emerge.

A before and after photo of a lady called
Freya, who had mercury poisoning and was
'detoxed'

Toxins can affect so many other parts of the body that there is every reason to think that every muscle is affected by toxins, from the blood to the lungs, intestine and brain.

There is a clear link, for example, in the role of heavy metals in numerous muscle related problems and one should not forget that one source of heavy metals is dental amalgam fillings.  I have a number of observations that show that some people were crippled by their fillings.

Viruses

Viruses are implicated in numerous muscle related diseases.  Just about every virus seems to have been named as a culprit, from the adenovirus, which also causes respiratory infections; to the human parvovirus B19, an infection that affects children; and the human parainfluenza virus.  EBV affects the muscles, herpes simplex affects the muscles, CMV affects the muscles and it looks increasingly likely that muscle tissue is a favourite hiding ground for viruses.  In effect, the reason that many viruses can return over and over again when our immune system is compromised, is that they hide in muscle tissue.

Parasites

Myalgia, or muscle pain, is a symptom of parasite infection.  Amongst very many parasites implicated in causing muscle pain along with numerous other symptoms are Toxoplasmosis and Trichinosis (roundworm).

Bacteria

Bacteria can also cause myalgia.  The bacteria responsible for Lymes disease, for example, produces muscle aches and pains.

Inherited genes

A number of these diseases are said to be inherited.  BUT, one very intriguing theory that has emerged from recent research is that a number of apparently inherited muscle diseases are also due to viral infection.

Retroviridae is a family of enveloped viruses that replicate in a host cell through the process of reverse transcription. A retrovirus is a single-stranded RNA virus that stores its nucleic acid in the form of an mRNA genome and targets a host cell as an obligate parasite. Once inside the host cell the virus uses its own reverse transcriptase enzyme to produce DNA from its RNA genome, the reverse of the usual pattern, thus retro (backwards). This new DNA is then incorporated into the host cell genome by an integrase enzyme, at which point the retroviral DNA is referred to as a provirus. The host cell then treats the viral DNA as part of its own genome, translating and transcribing the viral genes along with the cell's own genes, producing the proteins required to assemble new copies of the virus. It is difficult to detect the virus until it has infected the host. At that point, the infection will persist indefinitely.

So strictly speaking those diseases classified as inherited are only inherited in the sense that the virus is inherited.

We investigated the retroviral/retroposon hypothesis of schizophrenia by generating sequences … from a cDNA library from postmortem brain tissue from an individual with psychosis ….. The closest match of these … sequences is to a family of retroposons, that has evolved from the HERV-K family of endogenous retroviruses, some members of which (e.g., SINE-R.C2) appear to be specific to the human genome. This element has been reported as a cause of Fukuyama-type muscular dystrophy [Kobayashi et al., 1998: Nature 394:388-392].PMID:  10490717

Fungal infection

Candida is a fungus, or yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your intestines. When overproduced, Candida breaks down the wall of the intestines and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body and causing a host of unpleasant symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, digestive issues, muscle problems and pain. If you find you have a food allergy that includes yeast, there is the possibility that fungal infection has occurred.  Candida only gets out of hand if the intestinal balance - the flora has been compromised by antibiotics for example, so it is worth looking at the section on the Intestine to get more information. 

Mycotoxins are very toxic substances produced by molds. Conventional environmental mold testing only tests for levels of mold spores and does not test for mycotoxins. It is possible to test the urine for mycotoxins to see if you have been exposed to toxic molds.  They are known to cause a host of muscle problems including fibromyalgia.

Radiation

 

All radiation whether 'cosmic' or electromagnetic impacts our bodies and depending on its frequency it resonates different parts of us.  The reason that nuclear radiation is so dangerous is that it impacts cells, but what we appear to have overlooked is that all radiation impacts some part of us.  Every aggregate in our bodies - organs, cells, the body itself, has natural ‘resonance’.  Resonance is a substance’s natural tendency to oscillate – vibrate – at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies, known as the thing’s resonant frequency.  And muscles resonate too.  Occasionally the twitching and muscle spasms, or the atonic seizures are due to radiation.

Treatment

Symptom based medicine

The solution that symptom based medicine uses is to give you pharmaceuticals matched to the symptoms you describe, a sort of crude pattern matching exercise, which could in fact be done more cheaply using a computer, as it requires no intelligence.  In general, few physicians investigate whether the pharmaceuticals they have given you could be the cause, they tend to prescribe more pharmaceuticals for the effects of the pharmaceuticals. 

from the eHealthme website case studies:  Bob Weaver on Feb, 21, 2014:
I am a 81 year old male who was on a regimen of Lipitor for ten years prior to 2005. A physician friend told me to get off Lipitor but it was too late and I am now very seriously disabled to the extent I can no longer drive, hardly walk and my hand dexterity is close to zero. Lipitor has ruined my life.

If your general practitioner decides your problem is beyond them, they may then refer you to a specialist.  There are a bewildering number of specialisations, some based on whether the person knows how to operate certain sorts of equipment [eg Radiology], some based on an organ [Cardiology, Neurology, Dermatology, Urology, Gastroenterology, Obstetrics and gynaecology, Respiratory medicine, Otorhinolaryngology, Ophthalmology], some based on whether you can knock someone out during surgery and know your chemicals [Anaesthetics], some based on the age of the patient [Paediatrics, Child psychiatry, Geriatrics].  There is no logic to the split, it appears entirely arbitrary.

The problem with this approach is that by specialising on the symptoms of an organ the whole picture is then lost, for example:

Fibromyalgia  is characterized by chronic generalized pain accompanied by a broad symptomatologic spectrum. Besides chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches and cognitive dysfunction that are extensively described in the literature, a considerable proportion of patients with fibromyalgia experience gastrointestinal symptoms that are commonly overlooked in the studies that are not specifically dedicated to evaluate these manifestations. .... Several studies have demonstrated an elevated comorbidity of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among patients with fibromyalgia. ....The gastrointestinal component of fibromyalgia constitutes a relevant element of the multidisciplinary pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying fibromyalgia that need to be unveiled, as this would contribute to the adequate designation of relevant treatment alternatives corresponding to these manifestations. PMID: 25119830

 

There is only one speciality that is concerned with finding out the cause of a disease and that is pathology.  But pathology is not a one on one speciality. One would have thought that the first person anyone sees when they are sick is a pathologist.  But we don't.  Given the current organisation of our health services it is pot luck whether you ever find out the true cause.

Cause based medicine

You cannot heal an illness unless you know the cause.  So the first step is to find why you have the muscle problems.  The list above of types of cause gives you a start, but there are also procedures to test for antibodies for example.  See Identification of the pathogen.  Some tests you can do yourself, some you will have to insist are done for you.  The observations provide papers, where I have been able to find them, of healing approaches that have worked, but it is worth bearing in mind that one key method is to ensure you do not have a compromised immune system.  If the cause is a virus, Warmth is key, viruses do not like heat.  If the cause is bacteria, then Eating for health is key.  This should also solve any nutritional deprivation as well.

How it works

I have both healing observations and observaions of hallucinations and other forms of experience.  The reason they occurred depends largely on the type of disease and its cause, each observation provides more detail.

 

References and further reading

Am J Med Genet. 1999 Oct 15;88(5):560-6.  SINE-R.C2 (a Homo sapiens specific retroposon) is homologous to CDNA from postmortem brain in schizophrenia and to two loci in the Xq21.3/Yp block linked to handedness and psychosis.  Kim HS1, Wadekar RV, Takenaka O, Winstanley C, Mitsunaga F, Kageyama T, Hyun BH, Crow TJ.  1POWIC, Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Related observations