This article will cover the medical and natural approaches of polymyalgia rheumatica treatment. Please note that there are advantages and disadvantages with each.
This approach of polymyalgia rheumatica treatment involves using prescription corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone.
You can expect your doctor (a rheumatologist would be best) to prescribe a dose of 10-20 mg/day of this, or he may direct you to take another amount fit for you. A higher amount is usually prescribed for temporal or giant cell arteritis.
By doing this you can expect your symptoms to dramatically subside within 2-3 days. However, since the course of polymyalgia rheumatica takes between 1-2.5 years on average, your doctor may direct you to continue taking prednisone long after these symptoms decline.
It is important, although, to be advised of serious side effects from chronic use corticosteroids such as prednisone. These side effects stem from the body not being able to control its own stress response. That is, an extended stress response, similar to one you would get with an unhealthy lifestyle, happens. When it does, be cognizant of:
- osteoporosis – this involves bone density loss. The bones then get weaker, making them more prone to fracture
- increased appetite – since the stress response involves increased carbs and fats into your bloodstream, guess what you’re gonna have craving for? Carbs and fats!
- thinning of tendons, weakening of muscles
- diabetes – an increased stress response could later make your muscles and liver cells insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes
- depression, anxiety
- high cholesterol and triglycerides
- cataracts – this disease involves your eyes clouding over, thus greatly impairing your vision
These side effects may be controlled with “steroid sparing drugs” including azathioprine or methotrexate. Initially used with prednisone, your doctor may advise you to continue taking these drugs without prednisone later in the course of care.
This approach of polymyalgia rheumatica treatment is much healthier, but not as well-studied.
However, a holistic nutritionist should be able to help you in this regard. IMPORTANT: It is suggested to see the rheumatologist first since he’s more knowledgable regarding the assessment for and identification of polymyalgia rheumatica. Then you can go see the nutritionist and follow her advice.
The natural approach consists of the following remedies and their doses (you should get these from a health food store, not your supermarket):
- omega-3’s – 3000 mg/day
- bromelain – 600 mg/day
- methyl-sulphonyl-methane (MSM) – 1000 mg/day
Reducing any mental stress you have in your life, proper exercise, and a proper diet will also aid in reducing the inflammation associated with PMR in addition to this polymyalgia rheumatica treatment.
Although you could do this approach without following the medical approach whatsoever. However, if you have giant cell arteritis, it is advisable to follow your doctor’s advice regarding medication due to the possible future permanent symptom of blindness.
The effects of this natural approach to polymyalgia rheumatica treatment may take a lot longer, but is much safer for the most part.