Myasthenia Gravis

Conveniently located to serve Denver Metro, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs.

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Welcome to Spire Health Pathways, a functional medicine practice dedicated to helping individuals living with myasthenia gravis through comprehensive knowledge and personalized care. This webpage provides an in-depth and detailed look at myasthenia gravis, its signs and symptoms, the impact on people’s lives, and what to expect from our practice when seeking care. Our aim is to help you make well-informed decisions about your health and the management of this condition.

Understanding Myasthenia Gravis

What is Myasthenia Gravis?

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscle weakness and fatigue. It occurs when the immune system produces antibodies that block or destroy the receptors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is responsible for transmitting nerve signals to the muscles. This disruption impairs communication between nerves and muscles, leading to muscle weakness and fatigue.

Causes and Risk Factors

Myasthenia gravis is primarily caused by an autoimmune response that targets the acetylcholine receptors. The exact cause of this autoimmune reaction is unknown, but certain factors may increase the risk of developing myasthenia gravis:

  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop myasthenia gravis at a younger age, while men are more likely to develop it later in life.
  • Age: Myasthenia gravis can occur at any age, but it is most commonly diagnosed in women under 40 and men over 60.
  • Family history: A family history of myasthenia gravis or other autoimmune disorders may increase the risk of developing the condition.
  • Thymus gland abnormalities: Abnormalities in the thymus gland, such as thymomas or hyperplasia, are often associated with myasthenia gravis.

Signs and Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis

Common Symptoms

Myasthenia gravis can cause a wide range of symptoms, which often vary in severity and may come and go. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness in the arms, legs, or neck
  • Fatigue that worsens with activity and improves with rest
  • Drooping eyelids (ptosis)
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Difficulty speaking (dysarthria)
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Facial muscle weakness, leading to a "mask-like" expression
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing due to weakened respiratory muscles

Myasthenic Crisis

In some cases, individuals with myasthenia gravis may experience a myasthenic crisis, which is a sudden and severe worsening of symptoms. This can be life-threatening, as it may lead to respiratory failure if not treated promptly. A myasthenic crisis often requires immediate medical intervention and may be triggered by factors such as infection, surgery, or medication changes.

Diagnosing Myasthenia Gravis

Diagnosing myasthenia gravis typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and specialized tests. Some common tests include:

Blood Tests

Blood tests can detect the presence of antibodies against acetylcholine receptors or other proteins involved in the neuromuscular junction.

Electromyography (EMG)

This test measures the electrical activity of muscles and can help identify abnormalities in the communication between nerves and muscles.

Edrophonium Test

This test involves administering the drug edrophonium, which temporarily increases the levels of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction. If the patient experiences a rapid, temporary improvement in muscle strength, it may indicate myasthenia gravis.

Imaging Studies

Chest imaging, such as CT scans or MRIs, may be performed to assess the thymus gland for abnormalities or tumors.

Impact of Myasthenia Gravis on People’s Lives

Living with myasthenia gravis can significantly affect various aspects of an individual’s life, including:
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Physical Health

Muscle weakness and fatigue can limit daily activities, making it challenging to work, exercise, or perform routine tasks. The potential for respiratory failure during a myasthenic crisis can also be life-threatening and requires close monitoring.
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Emotional Health

The uncertainty and challenges associated with living with a chronic autoimmune disorder can impact mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, or feelings of isolation.
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Social Life

The physical and emotional challenges of myasthenia gravis can affect one’s social life, making it difficult to participate in social events or maintain relationships due to fatigue or emotional strain.

Spire Health Pathways’ Functional Medicine Approach to Myasthenia Gravis

At Spire Health Pathways, we believe in a personalized, holistic approach to managing myasthenia gravis. Our functional medicine practitioners aim to address the root causes of the condition while providing comprehensive, integrative care.

Comprehensive Assessment

Our approach begins with a thorough evaluation of your medical history, lifestyle factors, and environmental influences to identify potential triggers and imbalances that may contribute to myasthenia gravis.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Based on our comprehensive assessment, we develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. This may include:

  • Medication management, including anticholinesterase drugs, immunosuppressive medications, or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy
  • Nutritional counseling and personalized meal planning to support a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory diet
  • Targeted supplementation to address any nutritional deficiencies or imbalances
  • Stress reduction techniques and sleep optimization strategies
  • Personalized exercise plans that consider the limitations of muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Integrative therapies, such as acupuncture or massage therapy, to support overall health and well-being

Collaborative Care

We work closely with your primary healthcare team and any relevant specialists to ensure a coordinated and holistic approach to your care. Regular follow-ups and monitoring help us track your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.


At Spire Health Pathways, our goal is to provide comprehensive, personalized, and integrative care for individuals living with myasthenia gravis. We believe that by addressing the root causes of the condition and supporting overall health and well-being, we can help you achieve optimal health and improve your quality of life. If you or a loved one is living with myasthenia gravis and would like to explore our functional medicine approach, we invite you to contact us and schedule a consultation. Let us partner with you on your journey to better health and wellness.

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Unexplained Symptoms

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Lifestyle & Environmental

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Autoimmune & Allergic

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Spire Health Pathways

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patients in care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison