What is the role of diet and activity in the treatment of myasthenia gravis (MG)?

Updated: Aug 27, 2018
  • Author: Abbas Jowkar, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

Patients with MG may experience difficulty chewing and swallowing because of oropharyngeal weakness. It may be difficult for the patient to chew meat or vegetables because of masticatory muscle weakness. If dysphagia develops, it is usually most severe for thin liquids because of weakness of pharyngeal muscles. To avoid nasal regurgitation or frank aspiration, liquids should be thickened.

Educate patients about the fluctuating nature of weakness and exercise-induced fatigability. Patients should be as active as possible but should rest frequently and avoid sustained physical activity. Patients are instructed to begin an aerobic exercise program.

Patients are instructed to start a low-sodium, low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet to prevent excessive weight gain.


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