When giant cell arteritis is diagnosed and treated early, the prognosis is usually excellent. Your symptoms will likely improve quickly after beginning corticosteroid treatment, and your vision isn't likely to be affected. Your greatest challenge in this case may be coping with any side effects of your medication. The following suggestions may help:
Oct. 02, 2015
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating well can help prevent potential problems, such as thinning bones, high blood pressure and diabetes. Emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and fish, while limiting salt, sugar and alcohol. Be sure to get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Experts recommend 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day for women over 50 and men over 70. Check with your doctor to see what dose is right for you.
- Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, can help prevent bone loss, high blood pressure and diabetes. It also benefits your heart and lungs. In addition, many people find that exercise improves their mood and overall sense of well-being. If you're not used to exercising, start out slowly and build up gradually. Your doctor can help you plan an exercise program that's right for you.
- Get regular checkups. See your doctor to check for side effects of treatment and development of any complications.
- Ask about aspirin. Ask your doctor about taking between 75 and 150 milligrams of aspirin daily. Taken daily, low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of blindness and stroke.
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- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. Sept. 3, 2015.