Become aware of the different diseases and health conditions can be an effective way in preventing them from happening. Becoming knowledgeable about a particular illness can basically help us in avoiding the occurrence of this health problem. We tend to be more cautious of what we eat, do and practice every day since we are already informed of the different things that could possibly cause the disease. That is why it is important for us to know what polymyositis is as well as the different polymyositis symptoms.
Polymyositis is described as a chronic condition that is characterized by a widespread inflammation of the muscles. This particular inflammation causes weakness and difficulty especially in moving while walking and doing other activities for daily living. This disease is also considered by many health experts as a type of inflammatory myopathies that is autoimmune in origin. However, some researchers have also concluded that polymyositis can also be triggered by viral infection as well as a side effect of cholesterol lowering therapy with statin medications. This disease or condition is also known to have long and alternating periods of recurrence and remission that is expected to last throughout the rest of the life. Nevertheless, this condition usually occurs among people aged 50 years old and older.
What are the common symptoms of polymyositis aside from muscle weakness? Although muscle weakness is the indicative sign or the pathognomonic symptom of polymyositis, there are still other symptoms that we should watch out for. Muscle weakness usually occurs in the trunk of the body that can have a gradual or rapid onset. Once this symptom sets in, we will notice difficulty in doing or performing simple tasks such as climbing the stairs, getting up from the chair, or lifting things above the shoulder. This could also cause troubles in swallowing and lifting the head from the pillow. Sometimes, affected muscles can also become tender to touch, which most likely happens to 25% of patients.
Aside from muscle weakness, polymyositis patients may also experience fatigue, general feeling of discomfort and significant weight loss. Some may even develop low grade fever during the onset of the symptoms. In addition to this, polymyositis can also affect the eyes, which can lead to a condition known as the dermatomyosytis. This is characterized by the violet discoloration surrounding the eyes with the presence of swelling. Grotton’s sign is also indicative of this disease, which shows redness over the knuckles, elbows and the knees. Red rashes could also appear on the face and neck down to the upper portion of the chest. In worse cases, heart and lung involvement is also possible wherein the heart rhythm is already affected thus increasing the possibility of heart failure. Shortness of breath can also be an outcome once the disease has taken over the lungs.
These are just some of the important facts and details about polymyositis. It is important for us to know these things in order to aid us in preventing and fighting off this horrible condition.