Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases that cause muscle wasting and weakness. The most common type is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is progressive and occurs only in boys.

The symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy often start in the preschool age range, that is, 2 to 4 years of age. Symptoms might include being unable to get to standing from sitting and not being able to run. Children with this muscular dystrophy develop swayback, with their stomachs pushed forward, and walk on their toes. They can get leg and calf cramps and can appear clumsy. About a third of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy have intellectual disability; speech delay, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and specific learning disabilities are also common.

Constipation can be a problem, so a diet including fiber is good. Soft-food diets may be necessary for children with more advanced disease, and feeding these children through a gastrostomy tube...

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