Polymyositis is a rare type of inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness. It affects both sides of your body. When this medical condition occurs, the individual may find it hard to climb stairs, lift objects, reaching overhead or rising up from a seated position. This type of medical disorder usually affects adults in their 30s to 50s and more common in women. The signs and symptoms of polymyositis are progressive. It develops over time. Muscle weakness is the general symptom of this abnormality. It affects the muscles closest to the trunk, such as the muscles in your hips, thighs, shoulders, upper arms, and neck. Both the left and right sides of your body is affected with weakness and tends to worsen over time. There is no known cause of polymyositis. But it shares the same characteristics as other autoimmune disorders, where your immune system attacks your own body tissues.
Complications can arise from polymyositis if no treatment is applied. Possible conditions include:
- Difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia can occur when the muscles in the esophagus are affected leading to weight loss and malnutrition.
- Difficulty in breathing. Shortness of breath and sometimes respiratory failure may be experienced since the chest muscles are affected.
- Aspirations of food or liquid into the lungs. Since the muscles responsible for swallowing are affected, there is a tendency that you will aspirate your food into your lungs, causing pneumonia.
- Calcinosis. Calcinosis or calcium deposits can occur in your muscles, skin and connective tissues, especially if you had the disease for a long time.
There is no cure for polymyositis, but certain drugs and lifestyle changes can be applied to delay or to provide relief of the signs and symptoms.
If you think you are suffering from Polymyositis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Polymyositis as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).