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Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are autoimmune neuromuscular diseases sometimes called "connective tissue diseases." Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Polymyositis and dermatomyositis can occur in all ages and both sexes, although they are more common in women. The disease in childhood is distinguished from the adult type. A recent study found the incidence of polymyositis to be 120 women per million.

The clinical hallmark of these diseases is upper arm, thigh, and neck weakness, sometimes with muscle pain in these areas. A skin rash on the face and upper chest is present in dermatomyositis, distinguishing it from polymyositis. There is usually an elevated blood level of CPK (creatine phosphokinase) an enzyme otherwise associated with the heart. Auto-antibodies are present in most patients.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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