Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a sensitive diagnostic measurement needed to determine if you have polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). ESR is an inflammatory marker. When your ESR shows a range of 40 mm/hr to 100 mm/hr, it means that you have a chronic inflammatory disorder, such as polymyalgia rheumatica.
Polymyalgia is characterized by pain and stiffness of the muscles. The pain area of the shoulders, neck, arms, buttocks, hips, and thighs. PMR has no known causes and usually affects the elderly aged 50 and above. Women are most likely to acquire the disease than men. The elderlies diagnosed with the disease are often in their 70s and above.
A rheumatologist will recommend medications to reduce your erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Your rheumy will probably prescribe you with corticosteroids and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). You can also take some dietary supplements or alternative medicines like Omega 3 and 6, and bromelain. Realistically, you can address high ESR with a lifestyle change.
The first mode of treatment is a corticosteroid. Your rheumatologist starts you with a daily dose of corticosteroids such as Prednisone. ESR result will also help your rheumy to determine what dose will be prescribed to you.
Corticosteroids are recommended because they can provide rapid relief of symptoms. A low dose of oral corticosteroids of 15 mg per day is enough to lower abnormal ESR levels. The dosage is then tapered after three weeks. From 15 mg to 12.5 mg daily for three weeks and 10 mg for the next four to six weeks. A final reduction pegged at 1 mg for every four to eight weeks is given. Medication treatment usually lasts for one to two years to prevent relapse of symptoms. The intake of steroids stops when you become asymptomatic.
Aside from taking corticosteroids, another treatment prescribed by a rheumatologist are disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs. Drugs such as methotrexate and etanercept can benefit you especially if you cannot gently taper off corticosteroid treatment. Alternative treatments on how to reduce ESR in polymyalgia
Omega 3 and Omega 6
Alternative treatments to reduce your ESR include omega 3 and omega 6 found in oil fishes. The essential fatty acids in these minerals also lessen pain and reduce inflammation. 1500 mg of omega 6 fatty acids is required daily. 3000 mg of omega 3 fatty acid is also required daily.
Bromelain is also considered an alternative medicine. Bromelain taken on an empty stomach lessens your dependence on steroid medication. 600 mg per day of bromelain is considered sufficient.
Keeping a healthy diet and lifestyle can hasten your recovery. Alcohol intake and red meat consumption must be reduced. Tea can reduce inflammation but the dairy product should be avoided.
An ESR test along with a complete blood count (CBC) and a C-reactive protein test are the major tests performed if your rheumatologist suspects that you have PMR. C-reactive protein is also considered an inflammation indicator.
The result of your SED test is usually parallel with the test results for C-reactive protein. This means that both tests provide highly abnormal levels when you have polymyalgia PMR. CBC provides amount results for red blood cells and hemoglobin as well as a ratio result known as hematocrit.