How to Differentiate Polymyalgia Rheumatica From Fibromyalgia
Confusion surrounds the difference of Polymyalgia rheumatic (PMR) and its relationship with Giant Cell Arteritis and Fibromyalgia. For your reference I have quickly profiled these other diseases in the below paragraphs.
What is Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA)?
Also commonly referred to as temporal arteritis or cranial arteritis, GCA is a vascular disorder that results in swelling of arteries of the head. Often it is noticed in the temple areas of the head where the temporal arteries are.
However, it can also affect the neck and arms hence its association with PMR, despite the fact that either disease can and usually does exist without the other one. The swelling of arteries causes a reduction in blood flow due to narrowing. Prompt treatment is critical for recovery and GCA rarely recurs during or after treatment. The relationship between PMR and GCA still remains a puzzle, what is known is they tend not to be present at the same time.
But is is true that
· 15% of PMR sufferers will also get GCA, and monitoring your symptoms and temple pain are important.
· GCA if it occurs will likely be at the end of the PMR cycle.
· And almost 50% of people with GCA will develop PMR.
Most doctors will usually check for the presence of both diseases. With the correct and timely treatment GCA is not threatening. However if left untreated it can lead to complications that include vision loss and potentially stroke. Monitor yourself for any symptoms of GCA, especially after your PMR has resolved.