If your doctor strongly suspects PMR, you will receive a trial of low-dose corticosteroids. Often, the dose is 10–15 milligrams per day of prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, etc.). If PMR is present, the medicine quickly relieves stiffness. The response to corticosteroids can be dramatic. Sometimes patients are better after only one dose. Improvement can be slower, though. But, if symptoms do not go away after two or three weeks of treatment, the diagnosis of PMR is not likely, and your doctor will consider other causes of your illness.
Polymyalgia rheumatic (PMR) is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown aetiology which presnts with pain and stiffness that is worst in the morning and particularly affects the shoulders and hips (1,2).
Q. Have you any experience or an opinion on taking DHEA to help reduce the reliance on prednisone for people with polymyalgia rheumatica? Are there any nutritional supplements that would help?
A. Patients with polymyalgia rheumatica with new-onset active disease before steroid treatment have normal cortisol levels regarding the ongoing inflammation, and lower levels of DHEAS compared to the age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. Whether taking DHEA is helpful in this condition is not clear since we can't find any human studies as of 2015. As to the nutritional approach to PMR, I don't have much clinical experience, but it would be worth trying a low inflammatory diet that consists of a large intake of a variety of vegetables, vegetable juices, and fish. Perhaps fish oil capsules would be helpful.