CIDPUSA.org Autoimmune diseases
Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis?
Polymyositis (pronounced pah-lee-my-o-site-iss) is a disease that causes muscles to be weak. After a person has had polymyositis for a long time his or her muscles can get smaller.
How common are polymyositis and dermatomyositis? They affect 15,000 (1 in 2,000) .
Polymyositis and dermatomyositis can occur at any age but are most common in children and adults over age 50. More adults than children get these diseases.
One to five new cases per 100,000 are seen each year. Women are affected by polymyositis and dermatomyositis twice as often as men.
What are the warning signs of polymyositis and dermatomyositis? The main warning sign is muscle weakness. Usually the first muscles affected are in the hips and thighs, though any other muscle in the body can be affected.
Muscle weakness and pain
Usually, the main symptom of polymyositis is muscle weakness. At the onset of the disease it generally affects the thighs and hips. If you have polymyositis,
you may have difficulty climbing stairs, getting off buses with high steps or rising from low surfaces. The distance you are able to walk may eventually be limited
because your muscles get too tired.
If your shoulders are involved, you may have trouble getting dressed, combing your hair or lifting heavy objects. If polymyositis affects your neck, chest and abdomen
muscles it may be hard to lift your head from a pillow or get out of bed. Polymyositis can also cause you to have trouble swallowing or talking, though these are less
common results of the disease.
At the start of the disease your muscles may feel sore and tender. Many people do not experience muscle pain; it occurs particularly in people with rapidly progressing disease.
The muscle pain and tenderness usually goes away with treatment. After having the disease for a long period of time you may lose muscle bulk overall and the affected muscles
may appear thin and wasted.please proceed to next page
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