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Polymyalgia Rheumatica Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory autoimmune syndrome, although an autoantigen has not yet been found. It is thought to be autoimmune in nature because of the syndrome's relationship with giant cell arteritis (also called temporal arteritis) .

Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

There is stiffness and aching of the muscles about the neck, shoulders/ upper arm, and hips/lower back and thighs. At least two of these three general areas is involved.

The disease usually occurs by itself, however, it may often occur in conjunction with other conditions such as infections, cancer, and autoimmune connective tissue disorders. When a secondary illness is identified, it is usually giant cell arteritis. Giant cell arteritis is found in approximately one-half of the patients with polymyalgia.

Polymyalgia rheumatica is fairly common and usually is found in people 50 years of age and older. Women are affected two times more frequently than men, and the condition occurs predominantly in whites. The highest rate of the disease is found in Denmark and Sweden.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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