9 Best Treatments for Muscular Dystrophy

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Muscular dystrophy or MD is a terrible muscle disease that can severely affect quality of life, and while there is no cure for the condition, it is important to understand the condition, as well as possible treatments and management remedies such as selenium, vitamin E, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, vitamin D, exercise, physical therapy, and fish oil, among others.

Muscular dystrophy (MD) can be defined as a group of muscle diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. It is primarily caused by a genetic mutation in genes that control the production of muscle protein, which means there is muscle wasting over time.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for any type of muscular dystrophy, but ongoing human trials into gene replacement therapy are promising. However, without a cure, many people have turned to natural treatments, behaviors and lifestyle changes that can slow or even reverse the progression of muscular dystrophy.

Treatments for Muscular Dystrophy

There are many treatments and remedies that provide relief from muscular dystrophy.

Vitamin E

There have been a significant number of studies that have shown a vitamin E deficiency to be a major correlating factor in muscular dystrophy, and those same studies have shown that increased supplementation of this vitamin could actually improve grip strength and muscle development in many patients. Vitamin E can be taken in supplement form or it can be acquired through various foods, such as almonds, avocados, and sunflower seeds.


When used in conjunction with vitamin E, particularly in high quantities, selenium has proven to be extremely effective in slowing down or even reversing the advance of muscular dystrophy is test subjects. Selenium is a trace mineral that many people are deficient in, and it is seen that many muscular dystrophy patients lack this essential nutrient. Some of the best places to find selenium, aside from direct supplementation, include Brazil nuts, turkey, chicken, sardines, and tuna.


Since this particular group of muscle diseases causes a gradual weakening of the muscle structure, a lack of balance and eventual bone degradation and an inability to walk, one great way to stave off the symptoms is through exercise. By naturally building muscle whenever possible, patients can slow the progression of the disease. Regular stretching and activity, particularly when you are young and more able to move freely, can be a good way to stimulate the body and slow the onset of serious symptoms.

No Smoking

Any additional toxins put into the body can weaken the immune system further and cause the condition of muscular dystrophy to advance at a more rapid pace. While some types of muscular dystrophy can advance slowly, allowing for long life, adult habits like alcohol consumption and smoking should be strictly avoided, as this can compromise your respiratory system even sooner that the condition would naturally do so.

Vitamin D

Osteoporosis symptoms and a lack of muscle mass around bones can make it very difficult to stand, walk or hold yourself up if you suffer from long-term muscular dystrophy. This can result in scoliosis and many other skeletal disorders, so strengthening your bones as much as possible is highly recommended. Vitamin D is an essential component of bone mineral density, and supplementation of vitamin D has shown positive results in patients with these muscle diseases.

Baking Soda

Although this is a simple remedy, it can be highly effective, due to its alkaline nature. This substance can help protect muscles and also remove the aches, pains, and inflammation so often associated with this condition. While this isn’t a cure, by any means, it is a popular and pain-relieving remedy.

Fish Oil

It seems as though fish oil, with its rich content of omega-3 fatty acids, has made it onto almost every health list, and the remedies for muscular dystrophy is no exception. Omega-3 fatty acids work to reduce inflammation and protect the integrity of the heart, which is essential, given that the heart is technically the largest muscular organ in the body. You want your cardiovascular system to be protected, which can slow the onset of dystrophic symptoms in the heart

Physical Therapy

While stretching and regular exercise are important in the early stages of muscular dystrophy, professional counsel in terms of movement and mobility is highly recommended. Physical therapists are specifically trained and know how to help with muscle lengthening and preventative practices to slow the progression of symptoms since there is no cure for this disease.

Reishi Mushrooms

Although the testing is still relatively new, there has been very positive results from the intra-muscular use of reishi mushroom spores. The studies have found that muscle strength increased measurably, as did posture and the ability to raise the subjects’ heads. The complex organic compounds and antioxidants found in reishi mushrooms are believed to counter or even reverse, in some cases, the breakdown of muscle protein-promoting genes.

Word of Caution: These natural remedies and lifestyle changes are merely treatments and remedies to minimize the symptoms of slow their progression. There is no known cure for any muscular dystrophy varieties, and formal medical attention should be sought if you or your child begins to demonstrate any symptoms of this disease. All natural or herbal remedies should be cleared with your doctor to avoid negative interactions.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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