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Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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Unread 04-05-2012, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Polymyalgia Rheumatica

My 79 year old Mom was recently diagnosed with having Polymyalgia.

Her doctor put her on steriods.......

Any suggestions on how to help her with this condition?

Thank you!

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Unread 04-06-2012, 12:05 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DebraJeane View Post
Any suggestions on how to help her with this condition?
Hi DebraJeane,

Prednisone is the drug of choice for PMR[12] and treatment duration is frequently greater than one year.[8] If the patient does not experience dramatic improvement after three days of 1020 mg oral prednisone per day, the diagnosis should be reconsidered.[13]

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are ineffective in the initial treatment of PMR,[14] but they may be used in conjunction with the maintenance dose of corticosteroid.[15]

Along with medical treatment, patients are encouraged to exercise and eat healthily. Exercise will help strengthen the weak muscles, and help to prevent weight gain. A healthy diet will help to keep a strong immune system, and also help build strong muscles and bones.[16] Eat a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat meat and dairy products. Avoid foods with high levels of refined sugars and salt (sodium).
Since it's an inflammatory condition, you can also google: inflammation foods for various lists of foods & diets that help inflammation. Run them by your mom's doctor in case there are any interaction concerns with other conditions or meds she has.

Use assistive devices. Use luggage and grocery carts, reaching aids, shower grab bars and other assistive devices to help make daily tasks easier. Wear low-heeled shoes to minimize the risk of falls. Talk to your doctor about whether the use of a cane or other walking aid is appropriate for you to prevent falls or other injury.
There is much more information here:
and by googling: polymyalgia rheumatica

If symptoms of headache, changes in vision, fever, other flu-like symptoms, or weight loss develop, contact her doctor immediately. There is an associated condition called Giant Cell Arteritis:

The steroids should have her feeling much better within a few weeks, and Polymyalgia Rheumatica can be temporary. Knowledge is the best armament for her and you.

Best wishes,

Dr. Zachary Smith
Oh, the pain... THE PAIN...

Dr. Smith is NOT a medical doctor. He was a character from LOST IN SPACE.
All opinions expressed are my own. For medical advice/opinion, consult your doctor.
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DebraJeane (04-06-2012)
Unread 04-06-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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I have one comment to make.

A common medication used today, can cause muscle aching and elevated CPK levels. The family of statins, which are given to lower cholesterol are prime causers of muscle pain. So make sure your Mom is not taking any of these drugs. Steroid use in the elderly is tricky and can raise blood pressure, blood sugar and thin the bones. So if something is causing this muscle condition,
and can be eliminated, the steroids may not have to be used.
In the elderly the lowest dose possible is the target. Often it can be given every other day, to avoid the serious potential side effects.
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DebraJeane (04-06-2012)
Unread 04-30-2012, 10:22 PM   #4
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Durring his later years, my father was misdiagnosed with dementia by a house doctor in a private total care facility. This dx. was made w/o testing by a man who tended to give any elderly person who was a bit quirky as having some form of dementia. I wasn't buying it, called in his internal medicine doctor and met him at the facility for the exam. He took one look at Dad's med list, discontinued the steroid and asked me to call him in one week to discuss any changes. By that time, the worisome symptoms were gone.
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