By definition of the name, Polymyositis means: “inflammation of many muscles”. In the case of Polymyositis as a disease, the inflammation of the muscles comes from the immune system thinking the muscles are a foreign to the body and attacking them. Polymyositis typically goes along with dermatomyositis which is inflammation of the skin.
However, in my case, I have very little to no dermatomyositis.
Polymyositis causes muscle pain and weakness and can affect all of the muscles in the body including those in the torso making it difficult to get up from a sitting position, difficult to climb stairs, lifting objects (even your own arms), etc. It really depends on what part of the body the disease is attacking.
People with Polymyositis may also find themselves easily winded with very little activity.
Polymyositis is rare in people under the age of 18, and in many cases of young suffer’s the disease will run a few years and go away. In my case I was ?? when I was diagnosed with the disease. Read “My Journey” on this blog. Most cases occur in people between the ages of 31 and 60, more females than males get the disease.
So far they do not know what causes Polymyositis. They are pretty confident that is is not hereditary. There are theories as to the cause, things like exposure to too much sun, infections in the muscles, etc.
As there is no known cause, there is also no known cure. Depending on how bad the disease is, the use of corticosteroid may be enough to alleviate some of symptoms. In other cases like mine, there could be a cocktail of medicines like anti-rejection (immunosuppression) drugs and drugs to counteract the symptoms of those drugs.
However, like anyone that takes immunosuppression drugs, it is easy to get a cold or the flu. So you need to be extra careful around sick people.
Because the muscles are inflamed, touching the muscles is painful. People do not understand that hugs can be painful.
When my husband and I started dating he put all of the information below into a document for his family so that they would understand why hugs hurt and why i would not get on the floor and play with his niece.