Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease that causes weakness in the muscles and subsequently loss of muscle mass. There is no cure for the condition, but the various treatments for muscular dystrophy that are available can relieve some of the symptoms such as trouble while walking, shortening of muscles, learning difficulties, curved spine, and difficulty in sitting and standing.
Since muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease, it cannot be cured fully. But concurrent problems can be eradicated by helping in muscle growth and improving overall health. Patients suffering from the condition are generally prescribed steroidal medications to strengthen muscles and delay the progress of the disease. However, all of these have severe side effects such as weight gain and brittle bones among others. While not a mainstream method of treatment, individuals can opt for ayurvedic treatments for muscular dystrophy in tandem with other forms of treatment after consulting their doctor. These do not have side-effects of their own and can help strengthen the mind and body, so as to cope with the condition better. Ayurvedic treatments for muscular dystrophy aims at holistic treatment which includes treatments using herbs, dietary initiatives, and treatment with yoga therapy.
1. Treatments using herbs
Herbs can slow down the process of destruction and weakening of muscles and also restore the mineral content in the body. Some herbs help in reducing pain, strengthen muscles and rebuild them which helps in easing movements. Many herbs have been found to be beneficial for the condition such as Withania somnifera (ashwagandha), Commiphora Mukul (guggul), Cyperus Rotundus (mustak), Emblica Officinalis (amla), Piper Longum (pippali), Carum Copticum (ajwain), Cumin, Crocus Sativus (kesar), and others. It is pertinent to note that some medications containing the herbs are not available in given proportions as over-the-counter drugs. They need to be designed and prescribed according to the symptoms and conditions of each patient. They also have to be supplemented with an adequate and proper diet. Herbs can help in pacifying the aggravated conditions of the body and in the absorption of nutrients.
2. Dietary initiatives
A well-balanced diet is a must to help manage a condition such as muscular dystrophy. A diet that is high in protein and fiber and low in calories is needed for it. One also needs to maintain proper fluid intake. Fiber is an important element of this diet as many patients experience constipation due to weak stomach muscles. Dietary changes as treatments for muscular dystrophy do not directly affect muscle degeneration, however, proper nutrition can help with retaining the strength of the body to a large extent. Due to muscle weakness, patients have limited mobility or remain largely inactive. The ayurvedic diet helps to relieve dehydration, constipation, and obesity. For example, honey, with its nutritional, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties ensures a delay in the progression of muscular dystrophy.
3. Treatment with yoga therapy
Yoga has been found to improve mobility and ease breathing. Some specific yoga asanas and breathing exercises help in strengthening muscles, keeping the spine elongated and promoting muscular fitness. It has been established by research that yoga aids in digestion, improving circulation, and eliminating toxins. Many beneficial yoga asanas and breathing practices may also help in improving overall muscular fitness and increasing stamina, thereby being an effective treatment for muscular dystrophy.