Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

When Takayasu's arteritis is identified and treated early, the prognosis is usually good. One of your greatest challenges may be coping with side effects of your medication. The following suggestions may help:

  • Understand your condition. Learn everything you can about Takayasu's arteritis and its treatment. Know the possible side effects of any medications you take and report any changes in your health to your doctor.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating well can help prevent potential problems that may result from your condition and medications, such as high blood pressure, thinning bones 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 to help prevent osteoporosis, a primary side effect of treatment with corticosteroids. Ask your doctor what the proper amount of these nutrients is for you. If you find it hard to get calcium from your diet because you don't eat dairy products, for example, talk with your doctor about trying calcium supplements, which are often combined with vitamin D and may help combat thinning bones.

  • 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.
  • Avoid all tobacco products. It's important to stop using all forms of tobacco to reduce the risk of injuring your blood vessels and tissues even more.
March 13, 2013