When giant cell arteritis is diagnosed and treated early, the prognosis is usually excellent. Your symptoms should 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. 05, 2012
- 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 between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. 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, aiming for at least 30 minutes on most days. Your doctor can help you plan an exercise program that's right for you.
- Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Polymyalgia/default.asp. Accessed May 25, 2012.
- Giant cell arteritis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal_and_connective_tissue_disorders/vasculitis/giant_cell_arteritis.html. Accessed May 25, 2012.
- Hunder GG. Clinical manifestations of giant cell (temporal) arteritis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 28, 2012.
- Hunder GG. Pathogenesis of giant cell (temporal) arteritis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 28, 2012.
- Falardeau J. Giant cell arteritis. Neurologic clinics. 2010;28:581.
- Borchers AT, et al. Giant cell arteritis: A review of classification, pathophysiology, geoepidemiology and treatment. Autoimmunity Reviews. 2012;11:A544.
- Hunder GG. Diagnosis of giant cell (temporal) arteritis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 28, 2012.
- Treatment of giant cell (temporal) arteritis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 28, 2012.
- Calcium and vitamin D: Important at any age. National Institutes of Health. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/bone_health/nutrition/#e. Accessed May 29, 2012.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. June 3, 2012.
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