A recently published article has great information about weight and breathing. Simple conclusion: is that being overweight with Myotonic Dystrophy can affect your breathing and respiratory function. Since respiratory failure and pneumonia are big issue with Myotonic Dystrophy pay special attention to your weight!!! It also showed that a great majority of people with DM have an abnormal body composition. ITs important to keep the weight off but you also must see a nutritionist to insure that you are getting proper nutrition and to look at your body weight/mass/BMI. Here is the summary
InDM1 patients, overweight is an independent factor for predicting TLC, and contributes independently of FIV1. Because overweight isr elated to increased work of breathing and inspiratory muscle strength is reduced inDM1, the fatigue threshold will be reached sooner. Therefore, muscle fatigue and the onset of respiratory failure will develop at an earlier stage in overweight patients, especially during increased ventilator demand. Moreover, over half of DM1patients are overweight, and nearly all patients have an abnormal body composition. To develop interventional strategies for weight loss, it will be important to categorize the individual type of body composition. Hence, preventing the development of overweight inDM1 patients may result in delaying respiratory failure and mortality in DM1.
Click below on the link for the full study
Overweight Myotonic Dystrophy
Lung problems mostly occur during the advanced stage of the disease. Here too the weakness of the breathing muscles is not the main problem, because with MD in the worst case the breathing muscles are slightly affected. Chronic mechanical respiration, which is sometimes necessary with other muscular diseases, is seldom necessary with MD-patients.
The main problem with MD is the acute pneumonia. It is often caused by choking, though the patient is not always aware of it. Obviously he is choking on saliva when asleep, because swallowing is more difficult when lying down than being upright. Pneumonia mostly starts in the lower lobe of the lungs, but it can extend within a few days and become a serious and dangerous infection of a complete lung. This should be treated quickly with antibiotics and cough-medicine. Often admittance to hospital is necessary and sometimes patients require temporarily a mechanical ventilator at an Intensive Care. Sometimes the trachea must be sucked out with a bronchoscope, a flexible thin pipe, slid through the trachea by a lung-physician. Often this way of fighting pneumonia is successful. With some patients who frequently choke, within a few years several times pneumonia occurs. This can be prevented by sleeping at night in upright position, thus preventing choking.. In this case it is wise not to eat in the evening because from a filled stomach sometimes food is belched up, which can reach the lungs