Temporal arteritis, also known as giant cell arteritis, is a condition that involves blood vessel inflammation and damage. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, this condition may affect the medium or large arteries that supply blood to your head, neck, upper body and arms. Nutritional therapy, especially nutritional supplements, may be helpful in treating your temporal arteritis. Meet with your doctor before using nutritional supplements to better understand their risks and limitations.
Temporal arteritis usually occurs in your head, states the National Center for Biotechnology Information, especially in your temporal arteries -- blood vessels that branch off your carotid artery in your neck. Although the precise cause of temporal arteritis is unknown, immune system dysfunction may cause this condition. Temporal arteritis has also been linked with severe infections and elevated doses of antibiotic medication; it may also manifest at the same time as polymyalgia rheumatica -- a painful, inflammatory condition affecting your muscles.
Several nutritional supplements have been used in treating temporal arteritis, but further scientific testing may be required to prove the efficacy and mechanisms of action of these supplements. According to the New York University Langone Medical Center, temporal arteritis is commonly treated using corticosteroids, which may weaken your bones or cause other health problems. Calcium, vitamin D and bisphosphonate are nutritional supplements that may reduce your likelihood of experiencing these side effects. Ginger, hawthorn and ginkgo may also be helpful in restoring normal circulatory function, notes naturopathic physician William A. Mitchell Jr. in "Plant Medicine in Practice." Consult with a health care professional before taking any supplement.
Hawthorn is a nutritional supplement that may be beneficial in treating your temporal arteritis and restoring your arterial health. According to "Plant Medicine in Practice," hawthorn is commonly used in treating cardiovascular system disorders including hypertension and cardiac problems such as weak or irregular heartbeat. Hawthorn may help repair degenerative or injured connective tissues, including blood vessels. This nutritional supplement has also been used in treating arterial hardening. You should consult with a health care professional before taking any supplement.
Temporal arteritis is a serious health condition that may lead to significant complications, including blood vessel damage, development of aneurysms, sudden vision loss and stroke, if it is not treated properly. If you are diagnosed with temporal arteritis, meet with your health care provider to discuss the merits and drawbacks of all possible treatments, including nutritional therapy. Understand the risks and possible side effects associated with nutritional therapy before pursuing this natural treatment approach.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Temporal Arteritis; Joseph P. Hart, M.D.; Jan. 16, 2009
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Temporal Arteritis
- New York University; Temporal Arteritis; Sept. 2010
- "Plant Medicine in Practice"; William A. Mitchell Jr., N.D.; 2003