Abnormal muscle enlargement is when the size of your muscles increases without a normal cause. Normal causes of muscle enlargement include weight lifting and some forms of exercise. Abnormal muscle enlargement happens when there is a problem with your body’s muscle system. It can also happen when there is a problem with your brain’s communication with your muscles.
You may experience abnormal muscle enlargement due to the following:
- A condition that affects the gene which maintains the normal production of muscles in your body.
- A condition that affects the gene that makes your muscle contract and relax properly.
- A disease where fat replaces muscles, making muscles appear larger.
- You may inherit it from relatives with abnormal muscle enlargement.
- Abnormal muscle enlargement may affect your heart muscles, making it difficult for your heart to pump blood properly.
Patients with this disease may experience:
- Serious muscle weakness.
- Joint pain, swelling and stiffness.
- Fainting spells and sudden falls.
- Sudden muscle failure and choking.
Abnormal muscle enlargement may start as something not so serious. However, it is important that you visit your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- Your muscle starts increasing rapidly without you doing any form of exercise or muscle strengthening.
- You experience other symptoms such as muscle pain, muscle weakness, stiffness of the muscles and joints.
- You experience symptoms that show a problem with your heart, such as fatigue, chest pain, fainting, or finding it hard to breathe well.
- You find it difficult to move your legs or hands because they are too big.
You cannot prevent abnormal muscle enlargement but you can reduce the severity through self-care.
The treatment will be guided by your healthcare provider based on the cause:
- Eat a balanced diet. Ensuring you get a lot of omega-3 fatty acids (at least one serving weekly of oily fish like mackerel or nuts like walnuts are good sources)
- Moderate exercise like walking, may build strength and improve function.
- Use walking aids if you have experienced falls before. This is important for your safety.
- Get support from friends and family or professional social workers. Especially with domestic chores and mobility.
- Your doctor may prescribe pain medications to relieve you of any pain and discomfort.
- You may be referred to a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy will provide you with special exercises that can help you cope.
- Your doctor may prescribe medicines (anti-inflammatory drugs) that reduce the stiffness or reduce the tremor of your muscles (anti-spasmodic medicines).
- Your doctor may also perform surgery on your muscles to improve the condition.
You may have to cope with a different look, since the disease may affect your general appearance. Similarly, treatment may take time. Follow through with your healthcare provider's recommendations.
In the meantime, get your friends and family involved in your care. They are more likely to be sympathetic with you if they understand what you are going through.