T Nation

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Does anyone else have this, or know any bodybuilder who does? I’m having a hard time finding information and guidance on how to go about lifting, how test/steroids might hurt/help this and basically every other aspect of bodybuilding that might impact the disease. Any help or information is greatly appreciated.

I was diagnosed with this based on bloodwork and muscle symptoms. It seems like a strange diagnosis since I’m only 42, and don’t have the classic strong pain in my shoulders, hips, legs, etc. I do have excess muscle soreness, muscle achyness, difficulty recovering from physical activity, nausea/poor appetite, depression and ESR and C-reactive protein in the 70s indicating high inflammation, but with rh factor normal. I’ve been on prednisone for a few weeks, and all those symptoms cleared up for a short time, but now I’m having problems again.

My wife suffers from polymyalgia, as well as RA and Osteoporosis. She takes prednisone. It is really dangerous more so now with covid around.
When I asked her HRT doc if there was anything other than prednisone because the sides are so bad. Her HRT doctor has given her Anavar 5mg x 2 per day and she only takes the prednisone if she has a flare-up. All her swelling is gone and she has not needed any prednisone since. Her hands elbows and shoulders have no more pain.

1 Like

Hm. If you’re not responding to glucocorticoids after a initial period of symtom relief - I would rule out differential diagnoses. Have you quit the treatment? PR will show symtoms for at least a year, which needs to be held back with glucocorticoids.

This means you need to make adaptations to your training regimen, in order to prevent overload injuries. Glucocorticoids is obviously catabolic unfortunately, but the dosage can be lowered fairly quickly after a higher dosage period. I have yet to hear about the addition of anabolic steroids when suffering from PR. Seems like putting the pedal to the metal with the handbrake engaged.

Any other tests/exams/X-rays being made?

This medication is used to help people regain weight they have lost due to certain medical conditions (such as surgery, chronic infection, trauma, long term use of corticosteroid medication such as hydrocortisone/prednisone). It is also used to relieve bone pain due to bone loss (osteoporosis). Oxandrolone belongs to a class of drugs known as anabolic steroids. These drugs are similar to male hormones made by the body.

In my own personal experience with my wife using a low dose of anavar I watched her finger joint swelling disappear over an 6-8 month period. She commented several times her joint and bone pain was gone.
As for your comment about hand brakes and petals to the metal I have no clue what you are trying to say and I am not interested enough so don’t bother trying to explain it. You would do better focusing on the OP’s question instead of attacking others who are only trying to help.

Information is certainly not the same as knowledge or experience, which is why it is good being careful delivering advice not scientifically proven.

In this forum AS may seem the solution to almost everything - which is a bias when seeking advice here. There is a need for balancing that.

I merely suggested the diagnosis could be wrong. Why? Well, I do this kind of thing for living after too many years in college - and have yet too see AS as the solution to that many problems (to be honest more of a problem, as it actually cause a lot of it).

The problem with sharing advice here, is that there is no-one responsible (when it all goes wrong). Very important to bear in mind.

I am still taking 30mg/day. I had blood cultures done, and an MRI of my back, to rule out infection(my back is in very bad shape and could be a target for that sort of thing). I thought that my main symptoms the past few days, tension and fatigue in my muscles, overall tiredness, depression, mental fog, and lack of mental energy and engagement with day to day life, and a difficult to describe restless feeling, were from doing to much for several days while I was feeling better.

Does this sound right? What are the signs of having PMR and pushing my body too hard? My doctor described muscle pain and damage, and was not totally sure that these problems the past few days were PMR breakthrough. I have a lot of health issues and concerns, and he is pretty good at looking at the whole picture, and being a good diagnostician.

Hi PL,

My suspicion was you were suffering from more than one problem/diagnosis, as you now have confirmed. This can make diagnostics harder. It’s great to hear your physician has gained your trust/confidence, and as he seems to care about his patient (you) - there’s no limit to what you can achieve together.

Part of your symtoms is comparable to PMR, which may present itself in variations to the usual theme (proximal muscle pain - along with slightly elevated inflammation markers, SR/CRP). I would expect muscle fatigue, tiredness and maybe a bit more soreness if working too hard physically - which should reverse spontaneously during a week or so, especially under glucocorticoid regimen.

But since you can’t rule out other diagnoses, I would look further into what the elevated inflammation markers represent (add a serum electrophoresis/proteinfractions) and also a chest x-ray for evaluation of your lungs. I expect you have already checked a common bloodpanel incl Hb etc.

You also describe symtoms of psychiatric illness. Any previous history? When other (somatic) illness occurs you often see worsening of psychiatric symtoms (what I refer to as the “achilles heel hypothesis”). That being said, the restless feeling you are experiencing may be a side effect to the glucocorticoids.

It’s not easy trying to solve medical puzzles through forum threads, as a serious clinician gathers information through a physical clinical view of the patient. I wish you the best in terms of recovery - Get well soon!

Thanks for the reply. I’ve never heard of electrophoresis/proteinfractions test(s), but it can’t hurt to run by my doctor. I have had a few chest x-rays and one CT recently. Not for PMR or looking for a different diagnosis, actually for some ongoing o2 sat issues(85-89, over several days, a few times, but normally 95-97) I have OCD, depression, and anxiety, and I definitely obsess over health problems, or just not feeling well, too much. It makes me learn a lot, and I’ve gotten pretty in touch with what my body is doing, so it’s not all bad, but I agree that the somatic illness causing worsening mental state idea and I would say inhibiting a sense of normalcy and recovery too, is something I deal with. You never know how much is which either. Thanks for the positive thoughts, and feel free to add anything else, although I recognized the limitations of message board medicine before I posted, so I agree with you there. Some good ideas can still be exchanged though.

1 Like