DEFINITION – Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy is the term given to a large group of rare degenerative muscle wasting conditions. There are many causes due to mutations in various genes and can be diagnosed with protein and genetic analysis. This condition does not seem to be sexist, bigoted or racist and affects people from all around the world without prejudice.
The atrophying of the muscles that define Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy occurs in the voluntary proximal muscles – those closest to the body. Weakness generally begins with the lower body ; glutes, hip and pelvic area, quads and hamstrings, followed by the upper body; shoulder, biceps and triceps. A small group of people with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy also develop respiratory issues.
Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy can alter in severity of symptoms from individual to individual with most requiring some form of walking aid while others never require a wheelchair. It is thought that less severe symptoms can be experienced and occur and at a slower rate of progression with a later (late teen or adult) onset of the condition. Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy can manifest itself as either an autosomal recessive or autosomal dominant depending on the inheritance pattern.
The sub type of an autosomal dominant Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy is generally labelled with a prefix of 1 e.g. Type1B, Type1C, Type1E Whereas the sub type of an autosomal recessive Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy is generally labelled with a prefix of 2 e.g. Type2A, Type2B Type2J…. or as in my case an, as yet, Type 2 unknown subtype diagnosis. It sure makes any chance of researching a cure tricky but don’t despair as our Genome Sequencing Unit in Western Australia along with many Centres in the U.S. and the rest of the world will come up with something…sometime.
Thankyou to the Mayo Foundation Medical Education and Research for the following images.
SYMPTOMS – As Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy is progressive muscle deterioration and personalises it’s effects from one diagnosed person to another it is quite difficult to know when or to what extent each symptom will manifest.
I have listed below how the symptoms of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy affect our lives compiled from my experiences, anecdotal research and the generosity of the references listed further down the page for your interest and education.
While not everyone with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy will end up being affected by all on this list – most will to some extent:
INABILITY to – (either complete inability and/or requires significant adaptation)
hug those you love
rise from a toilet seat
lift your baby or grandchild
wear high heels (while still walking anyway)
be away from a toilet for more than a few hours at a time
kick a football
walk on sand and gravel
rise from a crouching or sitting position
step up one 2cm step
stay upright in the slightest breeze
bend over the sink to brush your teeth
breathe without apparatus
tend to your garden
stand in the shower while cleaning and ESPECIALLY while washing hair
stand in the shower at all
wash hair at all
take the roast out of oven
pour from the kettle
lift a cake mixer bowl in and out of ANY domestic cake mixer device s
crape the cake mix out of said bowl
roll around on the floor with your baby/puppy/lover
rise from the bed
turn over in bed
wipe a tear from your eyes
eat with knife and fork
eat soup from a spoon
cut up food on a plate
feed yourself at all
pull your pants on
do up buttons
live in the moment
REFERENCES and HELPFUL LINKS
Related article – Carer’s need Caring Too
I must emphasise that I have no scientific or medical background and very much encourage you to follow your own path of discovery and education separately. All information has been researched, interpreted and relayed by me in the hope that this has been helpful enough to springboard your own quest for information and help us all gain a better understanding of this rare condition. If you can add anything to this page or have any feedback at all I would love to hear from you.
All the best,