The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, defines myasthenia gravis as "a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body...most individuals with myasthenia gravis have a normal life expectancy. The hallmark of myasthenia gravis is muscle weakness that increases during periods of activity and improves after periods of rest."
According to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, common symptoms can include: "a drooping eyelid, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, difficulty chewing and swallowing, weakness in the arms and legs, chronic muscle fatigue, difficulty breathing."
According to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA), "there is no known cure for MG, but there are effective treatments that allow many—but not all—people with MG to lead full lives. Although treatments will not cure MG, patients may have significant improvement in their muscle weakness." To learn more about managing day-to-day life with MG, visit the Living with MG section of the MGFA website.
"Because weakness is a common symptom of many other disorders," according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis is often missed or delayed (sometimes up to two years) in people who experience mild weakness or in those individuals whose weakness is restricted to only a few muscles."
The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) has an information packet. If you think you have MG, they advise that you consult with your doctor. "A diagnosis can be confirmed in several ways," according to the MGFA. This includes: "acetylcholine receptor antibody, anti-MuSK antibody testing, office tests, electromyography or single fiber EMG."