Medical Marijuana Approved in South Dakota for Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular Dystrophy is a “group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.” With this disease, mutant genes interfere with the development of protein that is used to form healthy muscle. The main symptom of muscular dystrophy is severe muscle weakness but may differ from person to person.
How Medical Marijuana Can Help Muscular Dystrophy
Medical marijuana can help alleviate these symptoms of muscular dystrophy:
Muscle spasms and cramps
The main sign of muscular dystrophy is progressive muscle weakness. Specific signs and symptoms begin at different ages and in different muscle groups, depending on the type of muscular dystrophy.
Duchenne type muscular dystrophy
This is the most common form. Although girls can be carriers and mildly affected, it’s much more common in boys.
Signs and symptoms, which typically appear in early childhood, might include:
- Frequent falls
- Difficulty rising from a lying or sitting position
- Trouble running and jumping
- Waddling gait
- Walking on the toes
- Large calf muscles
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Learning disabilities
- Delayed growth
Becker muscular dystrophy
Signs and symptoms are similar to those of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but tend to be milder and progress more slowly. Symptoms generally begin in the teens but might not occur until the mid-20s or later.
Other types of muscular dystrophy
Some types of muscular dystrophy are defined by a specific feature or by where in the body symptoms begin. Examples include:
- Myotonic. This is characterized by an inability to relax muscles following contractions. Facial and neck muscles are usually the first to be affected. People with this form typically have long, thin faces; drooping eyelids; and swanlike necks.
- Facioscapulohumeral (FSHD). Muscle weakness typically begins in the face, hip and shoulders. The shoulder blades might stick out like wings when arms are raised. Onset usually occurs in the teenage years but can begin in childhood or as late as age 50.
- Congenital. This type affects boys and girls and is apparent at birth or before age 2. Some forms progress slowly and cause only mild disability, while others progress rapidly and cause severe impairment.
- Limb-girdle. Hip and shoulder muscles are usually affected first. People with this type of muscular dystrophy might have difficulty lifting the front part of the foot and so might trip frequently. Onset usually begins in childhood or the teenage years.
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