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Does physical exercise benefit Myasthenia Gravis?
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Does physical exercise benefit Myasthenia Gravis?

  I was diagnosed with MG about 14 years ago, my symptoms at that time were
  generalized muscle weakness, double vision, droopy eyes and fatigue while
  chewing.  Shortly after this I had a Thymectomy.  After about a year on
  mestinon I went into remision.  I have had two flare-ups during this time
  involving the same symptoms that I presented with during my initial
  diagnosis.  My most recent flare-up started about 2 months ago.
  During the 14 years since my diagnosis I have maintained a regular
  physical fitness regime when my MG is stable.  This involves running,
  cycling, weightlifting(bodybuilding).  I often participate in these activities up to
  6 times a week.  I am very involved in weightlifting and often push myself
  while working out; lifting as heavy a weight as I can handle on certain
  I am curious to know how this type of physical activity impacts my MG.
  Does pushing yourself to the point of muscular failure when weightlifting
  cause any negative effects towards my MG?  Would you suggest lighter
  exercise?  Would you suggest only light aerobic activity?  What kind of
  exercise if any would you suggest.  How often would suggest to be involved
  in any kind of exercise, if any.
  Thank you very much for time and knowledge.
I have supplied a reference below which addresses the issue of exercise
in myasthenia, for copyright reasons I cannot paste the body of the message.
Lohi EL.  Lindberg C.  Andersen O.
Department of Neurology, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Physical training effects in myasthenia gravis.
Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.  74(11):1178-80, 1993 Nov.
The basic message is that exercise is beneficial in mild myasthenia even
when the disease is active, I would not advise your type of exercise
regime during an exacerbation, nor would I advise pushing yourself to
the point of muscular failure in anybody, myasthenia or not !
I would not necessarily restrict you only to lighter aerobic activity,
but would advise you to continue with weights, aiming for higher numbers
of reps with lighter weights rather than your current regime.
I would not suggest that you restrict the time spent exerciseing simply
because myasthenia is in the background.
Anyone who trains regularly knows when they are reaching a point of diminishing returns in terms of
overtraining and fatigue.
The guidelines are the same for you, you also can be guided by your own
strength / endurance, stop if you are fatigued, continue as you are if you are
feeling good, ( this applies within any one workout and over longer periods ).
These end-points will fluctuate depending on the activity of your myasthenia.
The bottom line therefore is that exercise is good within sensible giudelines
between exacerbations you can follow as active a regime as anyone else, during
a exacerbation ease off, and titrate your level of exercise the point at which
you feel most comfortable.

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