Polymyositis is a systemic disease, which means it affects the whole body. Symptoms include:
Muscle weakness in the proximal muscles (shoulders, hips, etc.) that makes it difficult to raise the arms over the head, get up from a sitting position, or climb stairs
Problems with the voice (caused by weak throat muscles)
Shortness of breath
Patients may also have:
Loss of appetite
A similar condition called dermatomyositis causes a reddish-purple or red rash on the face or body.
Signs and tests
Muscle weakness and tenderness can be signs of polymyositis. A rash is a sign of a similar condition, dermatomyositis.
Tests may include:
Autoimmune antibodies and inflammation tests
MRI of affected muscles
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