Polymyalgia Rheumatica (cont.)

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Can polymyalgia be prevented?

There is no prevention for polymyalgia rheumatica. Prevention measures focus on preventing side effects of medications used to treat polymyalgia rheumatica.

What are complications of polymyalgia rheumatica?

Polymyalgia rheumatica can lead to loss of function of joints if untreated. This generally is temporary, but frozen shoulders can be a further complication. Additional complications can result from medications used to treat polymyalgia rheumatica. These include stomach bleeding or kidney impairment from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cataracts, bruising of skin, and osteoporosis from cortisone medications. Therefore, the lowest possible doses of medications are best.

What is giant cell arteritis?

Giant cell arteritis, also called temporal arteritis or cranial arteritis, is a serious disease characterized by inflammation of the walls of the blood vessels (vasculitis). The vessels affected are the arteries (hence the name "arteritis"). Giant cell arteritis occurs in 10% to 15% of patients with polymyalgia rheumatica. The age of affected patients is over 50 years of age, identical to that of polymyalgia rheumatica. The onset of giant cell arteritis may be years before, after, or without accompanying polymyalgia rheumatica. Giant cell arteritis is abbreviated GCA.

What causes giant cell arteritis?

The cause of giant cell arteritis is not known. Recent research is looking into possible infectious causes, and some information suggests a possible relationship to the microbe chlamydia. This will require further studies for verification.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2014

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Polymyalgia Rheumatica - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Polymyalgia Rheumatica - Diagnosis Question: How was your polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosed?
Polymyalgia Rheumatica - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica in you or someone you know?