Giant Cell Arteritis
Giant Cell Arteritis
It is an inflammatory condition that affects the lining of your arteries. A most common target of this inflammation is arteries present in your head and in your temple region, therefore, it is also known as temporal arthritis. It is an emergency condition and required urgent treatment.
Most common signs and symptoms of giant cell arteritis includes:
- Pain at temple
- Tenderness at scalp
- Pain during chewing
- Vision loss
- Weight loss
Exact causes of giant cell arteritis is still not known but it may assumed that certain factors involved in the development of this condition like over activated immune system which produces antibodies which attack the lining of own blood vessels. Genetic and environmental factors also involve in inflammation. It affect the any medium and large artery in your body.
If left untreated it can cause some serious complications like:
- Aortic aneurysm
- Loss of vision leads to blindness
This is condition is difficult to diagnosis because their signs and symptoms mimic the other inflammatory condition. After taking history and physical examination your doctor might recommend the following test to rule out the other conditions:
- Imaging test: like doppler ultrasound to check the pressure of blood in your vessels, MRA to check the extent of disease.
- Blood tests. To check the reactive proteins like C reactive protein and other infective causes.
- To perform biopsy your doctor may take the small sample of the artery mainly temporal artery used for this purpose.
The immediate treatment option for giant cell arthritis is steroids because main aim of treatment is to prevent complications like blindness and stroke and stop the inflammation. Treatment strategy is long term and you have take medicine for one or two years more. After initial doses your doctor reduce the dose of corticosteroids.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Along with treatment, healthy lifestyle will provide you a better outcome in short period of time.
- Add vegetables and grains in your diet
- Daily walking
- Light exercise more regularly
- Take aspirin after asking from your doctor to reduce the risk of vision loss