Giant Cell Arteritis Diagnosis
I think GCA is a better name than Temperal Arteritis, as it affects more than just head arteries.
This last week I’m sure I have this condition, after 2 years of tests, specialists and a few thousand dollars searching for a diagnosis.
Fatigue isn’t the right word, it’s more like complete weakness in all my muscles and body. Have lost 12 kgs without even trying.
I was 56 years old when the fatigue started, 6 months later then inner ear vertigo, tinnitus and ear pain. Eg climb a ladder and vomit a few minutes later….ENT said it was Vestibular Migraine, with no cause or treatment available, but vestibular testing showed hydrops (inflammation in inner ear) .Migraine headaches were unbelievable.
Was bed ridden with this for 2 months then another 6 months before getting back to work full time.
End of last year I had GI issues, painful shoulder and lower back pain for no reason.
Around this time noticed tender scalp, which was very painful around right temporal region. Told the ENT about it and he said it was just muscular, nothing to worry about………
Last 2 months bad shoulder pain in both shoulders , minor pain both hips and both elbows. Looked like PMR, also had elevated liver enzymes, urine tests always showed dehydration and low Uric acid.
Also suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis which has been severe in the past affecting my fingers and toes, take Arava (leflunomide) daily for this, had been on methotrexate and sulfasalazine before this over the last 10 years or so.
So last week my scalp was so sore it was stinging around the right Temperal and right occipital areas. I was researching PMR at saw GCR mentioned and knew that’s what I must have.
Will have a temporal artery ultrasound next week, but I think they should also ultrasound occipital and frontal lobe areas as these are painful as well.
My question is : in my case this has been a slow progression of this disease , which is atypical and some of the symptoms previously where not always present . Also up to 2 months ago , blood tests were normal.
Maybe the Arava/Leflunemide and previous methotrexate slowed down both the onset and progress of the disease and hopefully I don’t have any permanent artery damage.
What are your thoughts and advice