What is it?

McArdle disease is a rare muscle disorder. Glycogen, a complex sugar, isn't broken down by the muscle cells in this disease. The disease belongs to the glycogen storage diseases group.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Glycogen storage disease type 5

Signs & symptoms

McArdle disease causes muscle symptoms. You may find it difficult to exercise without becoming tired. It may not happen when you walk gently. However, more than a few minutes of strenuous exercise may not be possible for you.


The diagnosis is made first by taking medical and familial history.
Test your muscle strength.
Blood tests to check for muscle enzymes, such as creatine kinase
DNA blood tests for known McArdle disease mutations
Electromyography to measure the electrical activity of the muscles
Forearm exercise test
MRI studies of your muscles
Muscle biopsy.
Urine tests to check for myoglobin.


There is no cure for McArdle disease. Diet and exercise strategies may help you control the condition.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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