Temporal arteritis is inflammation of the arteries in the head and neck. In most cases, the arteries that pass through the temples are affected, hence the name. The condition is also called giant cell arteritis (GCA), Horton disease and cranial arteritis. In some cases, medium and large arteries in the shoulders, arms and other parts of the body are also affected.
The condition causes swelling and damage in the blood vessels, making it hard for blood to pass through to the brain and other parts of the body. This can cause serious health problems, such as blindness and stroke.
Temporal arteritis diagnosis should not be done on your own, since it shares symptoms with many other conditions. You should see a healthcare professional if you have any symptoms of temporal arteritis.
Thankfully, certain tests can help distinguish between this disease and many problems that cause similar symptoms, such as migraines. You can expect a physical exam, blood tests, an ultrasound and a temporal artery biopsy to get a diagnosis. MRIs can also detect temporal arteritis.
The journal Arthritis & Rheumatology states that approximately 228,000 people in the United States are affected by temporal arteritis. According to the American College of Rheumatology, people over the age of 50 are more likely than younger people to develop the condition. Women are also more likely than men to have temporal arteritis. It is most prevalent in people of northern European or Scandinavian descent.
The symptoms of temporal arteritis can include:
*Sudden, permanent loss of vision in one eye
*A throbbing headache that’s usually in the temples
*Loss of appetite
*Jaw pain, which sometimes can occur with chewing
*Unintentional weight loss
*Shoulder pain, hip pain, and stiffness
*Tenderness in the scalp and temple areas
These symptoms can also occur due to other conditions. One should call the doctor anytime he or she is worried about any symptoms experiencing.
The exact cause of temporal arteritis is unknown. It is possibly linked with the body’s immune system health. In rare cases, it has been linked to having certain severe infections or taking high doses of antibiotics.
*Being 50 or older
*Being a woman
*Having a low body mass index (BMI)
*Starting menopause before age 43
*Having polymyalgia rheumatica
*Being of northern European or Scandinavian descent
*Having a family history of the condition
*Smoking or being an ex-smoker
The doctor will perform a physical exam and look at the patient’s head to determine whether there’s any tenderness. They’ll pay special attention to the arteries in the head. The doctor may also order a blood test. Several blood tests can be useful in diagnosing temporal arteritis, including the following:
*A hemoglobin test measures the amount of hemoglobin, or oxygen-carrying protein, in your blood.
*A hematocrit test measures the percentage of your blood that is made up of red blood cells.
*A liver function test can be done to determine how well the liver is working.
*An erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test measures how quickly your red blood cells collect at the bottom of a test tube over one hour. A high ESR result means that there’s inflammation in your body.
*A C-reactive protein test measures the level of a protein, made by your liver, that’s released into your bloodstream after tissue injury. A high result indicates that there’s inflammation in your body.
Although these tests can be helpful, blood tests alone aren’t enough for a diagnosis. Usually, the doctor will perform a biopsy of the artery that they suspect is affected to make a definitive diagnosis. This can be done as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. An ultrasound may provide an additional clue about whether or not the patient have temporal arteritis. CT and MRI scans are often not helpful.
Temporal arteritis cannot be cured. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to minimize tissue damage that can occur due to inadequate blood flow caused by the condition.
If temporal arteritis is suspected, treatment should begin immediately, even if test results haven’t yet confirmed the diagnosis. If this diagnosis is suspected and the results are pending, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can increase your risk of developing certain medical conditions, such as:
*High blood pressure
Natural Remedies for Temporal Arteritis Symptoms:
Temporal arteritis treatment can improve blood vessel health. However, medications can create their own problems. Thankfully, there are natural ways you may be able to improve your overall health, manage symptoms and fight drug side effects if you have temporal arteritis.
1. Exercise daily and eat well.
2.Start slowly with exercise.
3.Do aerobic exercise.
4.Do Yoga & meditation with breathing exercise
5.Follow a heart–friendly diet.
6.Limit alcohol intake.
7.Totally stop smoking
Patient’s outlook for temporal arteritis will depend on how quickly you’re diagnosed and able to start treatment. Untreated temporal arteritis can cause serious damage to the blood vessels in the body. The doctor should be informed if the patient notices new symptoms. This will make it more likely that he or she will be diagnosed with a condition when it’s in the early stages.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.