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Polymyalgia rheumatica

The polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory rheumatic disease that usually appears after age 65. The symptoms of the disease are muscle pain and stiffness. In addition, in many cases they are accompanied by other signs such as discomfort and fatigue.

It is important to diagnose the disease in its initial phase to reduce the risk of suffering complications in the medium and long term. If so, the treatment is very favorable.

What is polymyalgia rheumatica?

It is known as polymyalgia rheumatica, or PMR , a disease characterized by pain and stiffness in the neck, hips and shoulders. Although in the vast majority of cases it is not a serious disease, it is very annoying for those who suffer from it. In some cases, muscle and joint pain is such that patients are unable to carry out their daily activities.

Usually, the symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica manifest quickly and suddenly. They are worst during the early hours of the morning and fade throughout the day. This disease mainly affects people over 65 years of age. There are very few cases of polymyalgia rheumatica in those under 50 years of age.

Giant cell arteritis

In many cases, polymyalgia rheumatica is related to giant cell arteritis , an inflammatory disease characterized by inflammation of the arteries of the scalp, neck, and arms. The arteries narrow so that blood cannot flow normally.

The first symptoms of this disorder are very similar to those of a common flu : tiredness, fever , muscle and joint pain. As the disease progresses and inflammation of the arteries increases, the signs worsen and include: pain in the temples, vision problems, poor balance and sensitivity in the scalp.

Causes of polymyalgia rheumatica

Despite the numerous studies that have been carried out, today the causes of polymyalgia rheumatica are not exactly known. However, experts believe that the disease is due to genetic and environmental factors.

  • Genetics: certain genes and genetic variations increase the predisposition to suffer from polymyalgia rheumatica.
  • Environmental exposure: certain cases occur seasonally in cycles. Thus, certain investigations indicate that there may be an environmental trigger, such as a virus or another microorganism.

Additionally, there are a number of risk factors for polymyalgia rheumatica. On the one hand, age since it is a disease that occurs almost exclusively in people over 65 years of age .

On the other hand, gender: women are 66% more likely to develop the disease. And finally, race, since this disease occurs more often in white people.

Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica

About polymyalgia rheumatica, the signs can vary greatly from one patient to another. Although the shoulders, neck and hips are in the vast majority of cases the affected areas, the disease can damage others such as the arms or legs.

The symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica occur on both sides of the body . In the initial phase of the disease, patients present slight pain in the shoulders, as well as in the neck and other damaged areas.

As inflammation increases, patients experience stiffness, especially in the early hours of the morning. Another common indication of polymyalgia rheumatica is both joint and muscular limitation.

They may also experience general signs, such as tiredness, fatigue, malaise , and loss of appetite.

In some cases, due to the progression of the disease, patients see their quality of life diminished, so that the risk of developing depression is very high.

Polymyalgia rheumatica: Can it be cured?

Once the disease is diagnosed, the most common treatment is corticosteroids . The dose depends on a wide range of factors. In general, during the first weeks, high and later low maintenance doses are established.

The prognosis of this disorder in the vast majority of patients is favorable since the response to treatment is positive. However, revisions with the rheumatologist are essential since there is a certain risk of relapse several years after finishing the treatment.

Effective natural treatment

It is worth noting that there is no natural treatment that can permanently cure polymyalgia rheumatica . However, there are a series of remedies that allow to alleviate the symptoms of the disease, thus improving the quality of life of patients.

The main objective is to reduce inflammation , as well as decrease pain and stiffness in the hips. Well, there are a number of plants and natural extracts with anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.

  • Devil’s Claw: a natural plant that is sold in extract or capsule form. Also called devil’s claw, it is very effective in reducing inflammation and pain in muscles and joints.
  • Turmeric: this plant helps reduce inflammation and also prevents it from reappearing.
  • Ginger : Ginger root is also very beneficial as it has analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

In many cases, going to physical therapy is also of great help to alleviate the symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica. The physiotherapist carries out the sessions with gentle movements to increase strength in muscles and joints.

Recommended diet for polymyalgia rheumatica

Parallel to medical treatment, it is important to pay special attention to diet to alleviate the symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica and thus improve the quality of life of patients.

  1. Fatty foods: first of all, it is important to avoid those foods with a high fat content, which are very harmful to health.
  2. Legumes: although legumes are one of the healthiest foods, we must control the consumption of those that favor the production of purines in the body.
  3. Dairy: People with polymyalgia rheumatica should watch their dairy intake. In some cases, a general malaise develops because the body cannot metabolize lactose.
  4. Fish: certain species, such as salmon and mackerel, are highly recommended for curing the disease thanks to their high content of Omega 3 fatty acids.
  5. Fruits: regarding the consumption of fruits, it is advisable to bet on those with a high potassium content , such as bananas.
  6. Nuts: the consumption of nuts is also recommended because they are rich in iron. Medications and anti-inflammatories for the treatment of polymyalgia rheumatica can cause iron deficiency. Therefore, the consumption of this type of food is advised to avoid anemia.
  7. Brown rice: Another very beneficial food for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica is brown rice. The reason is that it is a rich source of zinc, an essential mineral for relieving muscle and joint pain.
  8. Potatoes and tomatoes: the consumption of potatoes and tomatoes is not recommended as they are foods rich in solanine, a nutrient that increases inflammation.
  9. Sugar: it is also advisable to reduce as much as possible the consumption of both sugar and sugary drinks.
  10. Alcohol and tobacco: of course, it is necessary to avoid the consumption of both alcohol and tobacco.

Can this disease be prevented?

So far there is no way to prevent polymyalgia rheumatica . When a person suffers from this disease, they can adopt a series of measures to avoid the appearance of complications and other diseases.

Of course, early diagnosis is essential to increase the chances of a cure. Treatment consists of the administration of corticosteroids, which has a very positive effect on the evolution of this disorder. In addition, it avoids possible complications.

To reduce the risk of osteoporosis is recommended to follow a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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