Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Original Question:….3 years ago my husband was diagnosed with a severe case of Polymyalgia Rheumatica. He was immediately put on Prednisone which gave and continues to give magical results in relieving his symptoms. He currently has no side effects from the continued dose of 5mg twice daily….however when the specialist attempted to reduce the dose to test to see whether the adrenal gland had resumed functioning we found that it hadn’t and all symptoms returned.

My questions are:
1. He was told he has an over active immune system. How does this happen?
2. How can an over active immune system, be returned to a healthy state?
3. What could we do to support his immune system as he prepares to have another attempt at drug withdrawal?
4. In the event of lack of success coming off Prednisone, what are the alternatives and what is the prognosis for his future?

…….Polymyalgia Rheumatica is known as an auto-immune disease, hence the reference to ‘an over active immune system’.
The term ‘auto-immune’ means your immune system is basically attacking itself. Causes are obscure but it is thought that they could include viral infection (often occurring in childhood, but staying in the body and capable of causing multiple problems as people get
older), immunisations, excess stresses, poor nutrition, poor mineral levels or all of the above plus more!

To return the immune system to a healthy state takes time and effort. Try at all times to maintain a diet high in fresh, wholesome, unprocessed foods, specifically avoiding all sugars, alcohol, coffee, excessive red meats and checking that there is no sensitivityto the solanum family of foods (tomato, potato, capsicum, eggplant) as these will all cause inflammatory symptoms.
Some additives can also cause inflammatory symptoms to worsen notably sulphites, check for these.
See page on Sulphite Allergies.

Avoid excessive stress, get enough rest and adequate sleep. Exercise is important, but not to the point that the body becomes over tired.

Mineral levels must be greatly increased. This is most easily done by using 1tbsp of Colloidal minerals daily as these will provide all necessary minerals and trace elements.
See pages on ‘Minerals – the facts’ and ‘Minerals – why we need to supplement’.

Also take extra B vitamins, ideally as a green supplement but otherwise as a B Complex tablet. It may be beneficial to add extra B6.

Herbs are extremely useful in helping the immune system return to health, especially those such as Echinacea, Phyllanthus, Astragalus, St John’s Wort and Reishi mushroom.
Where the adrenal system is compromised then add Withania and/or Licorice.

Colostrum is also great as it improves the immune status of the gut (dysbiosis of the gut can also be the cause of many inflammatory symptoms) and can be combined with specific
probiotics especially designed to improve the immune system.
See page on Probiotics.

I find alternate courses of immune boosting herbs and Colostrum work extremely well.

All these things will support the immune system as your husband prepares to have another attempt at drug withdrawal, but I feel that his main problem will be finding alternate methods of reducing pain and inflammation to the point that Prednisone is not needed.

One of the best treatments I have found is a blend of B12 and Potassium Iodide. It greatly reduces sensitivity to pain and increases energy and well being. Obviously works best where overall mineral levels are already high. Keep to a low dose daily.

Often, also a blend of herbs such as Olive, Hops and Rosemary can work extremely well in reducing inflammatory pain as it relaxes painful muscles and adds antioxidant effect. The dosage of this may well be reasonably high, possibly 2 tablets 2-3 times daily.
Other anti-inflammatory herbs may also be of use, as may Quercetin.

If you are unsure which products are best for you, use the ‘Ask Alison’ option.

Long term prognosis if sticking to this type of regime can often be very good.

Also see page on ‘GiantCell Arteritis’