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Myasthenia Gravis: Understanding and Coping with the Illness

Myasthenia Gravis: Understanding and Coping with the Illness

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that affects the connection between the nerve and muscle, resulting in muscle weakness and fatigue. It is a rare condition, affecting an estimated 20 out of every 100,000 people. Understanding and learning about this disorder can help those affected to cope better with the illness.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptom of Myasthenia Gravis is muscle weakness. This weakness can be felt in different parts of the body, such as the face, neck, arms, and legs. Other signs and symptoms include drooping eyelids, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, and double vision. These symptoms tend to come and go and can worsen over time.


The cause of Myasthenia Gravis is not known. It is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. In the case of Myasthenia Gravis, the immune system attacks the receptors that enable the muscle to receive signals from the nerves.

Risk Factors

The risk of developing Myasthenia Gravis is higher in women, people over the age of 40, and those with a family history of the disorder.


There is no known way to prevent Myasthenia Gravis.


A diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis is made through a combination of physical examination, medical history, and laboratory tests. An electromyography (EMG) test can also be used to measure electrical activity in the muscles and nerves.


Myasthenia Gravis is treated with medications, such as anticholinesterases, which help to improve the transmission of nerve signals to the muscles. Surgery may also be recommended in some cases.

Coping and Support

Living with Myasthenia Gravis can be challenging. It is important to find a support system of family, friends, and healthcare professionals who can help you cope with the illness. It is also important to practice healthy lifestyle habits, such as getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.


Complications of Myasthenia Gravis can include respiratory failure, pneumonia, and even death.

Living with Myasthenia Gravis

Living with Myasthenia Gravis can be difficult, but it is possible to live a full and satisfying life. It is important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and any changes in your condition. It is also important to practice healthy lifestyle habits and find a support system to help you cope. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to manage the symptoms and live a full life.