My experience is described in detail, with charts, etc at :::
http://frontal-lobe.info/gca/gca.html I will update it, but with nothing important. I am now at 5 mg prednisone and GCA is not a problem.
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Note that a biopsy is NOT required to diagnose GCA. *Immediate* 60 or 80 mg of prednisone to prevent loss of vision. If the prednisone reduces or eliminates the symptoms in a day or two, this confirms the diagnosis of GCA. In fact, the biopsy may be negative and misleading.
Giant Cell Arteritis; One Man's Exciting Experience
GCA – also known as Temporal Arteritis
also in more detail here:
I know little about the “nasty side effects” of prednisone except the problem of too-quick withdrawal. That put me in the hospital at the drop from 15 to 12 1/2 but that was easily repaired. I wouldn’t count on having an ulcer in six months. You know more about your stomach acid than the doctor does — but be aware of it. A bone density test is a good idea — so you know where you stand (no pun intended). Walking hills might strengthen bones more than Fosamax does — my opinion.
No one knows why some persons get GCA or PMR. With your genes you should plan your finances to last to age 105 at least. All that said, please remember that I am not a doctor — just a GCA patient who reads. Work with your doctors. You have many good years ahead.
The customary supplements are calcium, vitamin D and small aspirin.
Also a stomach protector and a bone protector — I refused both of those.
I do not have stomach problems such as heart-burn and my bones are built
on Wisconsin cheese and exercise and have the density of a 55-60 year old. I’m 90.
I have strong feelings against doubtful drugs. (including sleeping pills)
Exercise, such as hiking, is necessary for good health and is not special to GCA..
I strongly recommend the Iowa paper mentioned on my web site:
http://frontal-lobe.info/gca/gca.html and new: frontal-lobe.info/gca/gca2.html