Diagnosing Temporal Arteritis and Treatment Options

Temporal Arteritis is a condition in which there is significant damage to the arteries in the neck, which give blood to the brain. Temporal Arteritis is a serious condition that is life threatening if it isn’t treated early on. The condition can take place in the neck, but some people develop temporal arteritis throughout the entire body. Headaches and vision trouble are the first indicators that something is wrong and that temporal arteritis may be to blame. This condition only occurs in 5 out of every 10,000 people, so it isn’t exactly common.

In Depth Overview of Temporal Arteritis

This is a serious condition that generally presents itself in individuals that have received high doses of antibiotics or have been extremely ill with heavy infections. Temporal Arteritis is known to develop in patients that have polymyalgia rheumatica. Polymyalgia is a condition that causes severe and shocking pain in the hips and shoulders, and often affects the elderly.

Little is known about the causes of this medical condition. Most people diagnosed with the condition are over the age of 50. Some researchers have tried to prove that this condition is genetic, but there isn’t any substantial evidence with a solid answer. Temporal Arteritis doesn’t occur very often in Africans or African American individuals. Scandinavians are more likely to develop temporal arteritis which may be due to several different reasons such as climate or genetics.

This condition is also known as Giant Cell Arteritis. When an individual has GCA they may feel drowsy, weak, and generally sick. Prompt treatment can relieve those symptoms immediately and allow the patient to live healthy again. Prolonged periods of time without treatment could make the GCA worse with time and troublesome complications may occur.

Symptoms of Temporal Arteritis

There are a number of serious symptoms associated with this condition. Many people may never notice that they have a serious problem. Some symptoms are vague and relatively minor, so they are usually forgotten or skipped.

Excessive sweating, fever, and a feeling of sickness are common symptoms. These are usually caused by the lack of blood flow to the brain and other important parts of the body. Jaw pain and loss of appetite are also common, again, they are caused by lack of blood flow. Other symptoms including muscle aches, severe headaches in certain areas of the brain, scalp tenderness, and even blindness, can occur with this condition. If blindness or vision problems do appear, then they can be treated. Lasik surgery is available if the person is experiencing severe eye problems. In some rare instances permanent blindness does happen and there is no fix. They can be easily avoided if the patient receives treatment early on. Extreme lethargy and sudden weight loss are also indicators. If the weight loss counts for over 5% of your body weight and you are not trying to purposefully lose weight, a serious problem may be at hand. These symptoms can occur with a number of different medical conditions, so it is extremely important to get checked as soon as you notice something is wrong or different with your body.

There are a number of vague symptoms that may also occur with Temporal Arteritis. Bleeding gums and facial problems, as well as mouth sores are sometimes noticed. Of course, bleeding gums may also be a sign of heart disease and not just temporal arteritis. Joint stiffness and pains that are unexplainable may also be to blame. Usually these symptoms are uncommon and do not occur, but some individuals have reported them. If you experience only these symptoms you may simply have another medical attention that requires immediate treatment. Always check with a doctor if anything unusual is occurring within your body to ensure that there are no other underlying conditions which could progress to something worse.

Explanation of Temporal Arteritis Causes

The arteries in the body are important to deliver blood and nutrients to the brain, and limbs. When these arteries are inflamed or injured, complications may occur. Doctors are still unsure of what causes the swelling, but they do know it may be genetic or due to diet. If you are over 50 years old you are at a higher risk for developing GCA. For whatever reason, women are much more likely to develop this medical condition. Those from European decent are also more likely to have GCA. Several different risk factors can also tip you towards the affliction if you are not careful with your body. Always look into possible options to treat the symptoms if you are suspicious that you may have Temporal Arteritis.

Seeking Treatment for Temporal Arteritis

Treatment should be sought as soon as the first symptoms are noticed. Of course, no one ever thinks they may have temporal arteritis. In fact, many people have no idea it exists. The reality is, it is a severe condition that can cause blindness in the worst of cases, as well as stroke. T.A is usually treated by injecting a corticosteroid in the body, or by providing corticosteroid pills. Before prescribing any treatment, the doctor will confirm diagnosis by doing a number of hemoglobin blood tests. Afterwards the doctors will develop a plan to help your body heal to the maximum. Other medications besides a corticosteroid may also be prescribed.

Treatment is usually effective after just a few weeks, but swelling diminishes immediately for the first injection. For some people it may take longer for their arteries to return to normal. Other individuals may experience a return of the swelling, but they can be fixed again as well. Swelling can be painful and may seem like a different ailment but if it is attributed to temporal arteritis, sufferers can hope to have a much better outlook once treatment is administerd by doctors.

Final Outlook on Temporal Arteritis

Without immediate care the patient is very likely to lose eyesight or have impaired vision. If the condition is treated quickly then most problems are eliminated. In a worst case scenario the individual will have a stroke. Luckily with advances in technology many people are able to return to living a normal and healthy life. Choosing holistic medicine will almost always cure this condition by setting the appropriate measures to keep the body in control.

There are no methods for preventing this condition, since it usually just “happens” out of nowhere. It usually doesn’t have any bearing on the person’s lifespan or overall health unless it goes untreated. This is considered a medical emergency and demands rapid treatment, even though the condition isn’t extremely dangerous. Waiting for it to just go away without treatment will often just progress the damage that has already been caused and can increase inflammation and pain.

Finally, long term treatment may be required. If the individual doesn’t respond well to treatment, a longer treatment period may be needed. For some this means taking corticosteroids for a long period of time. For other individuals vitamins and certain pills may be prescribed to help restore the body and prevent any future problems. With the proper regimen of treatments, most people with temporal arteritis are likely to live completely normal lives without complications. Choose to see a doctor as soon as symptoms occur for a diagnosis to help cure the ailment.

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