Diet and Lifestyle Changes That Can Aid in the Treatment of Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Living with polymyalgia rheumatica (also known as, “PMR”) can be stressful, especially when you have to manage varying levels of pain. This can truly make it difficult to live life on your terms. Medical News Todaysuggests that the following principles (as part of an integrated and comprehensive treatment plan) can help to manage the symptoms of PMR. 

Eat Foods That Fight Inflammation

Good Fats: Most fats have a bad reputation, which is why some people are shocked to find out that good fats exist and can be helpful as part of the balanced diet you developed with your ARBDA provider. Good fats provide your body with fuel and nutrients, and studies show that they are beneficial for cardiovascular health. A great source of healthy fat is omega-3, which is most commonly found in fish oil. In an interview published by Harvard Health2, doctors Hope Ricciotti, M.D., and Hye-Chun Hur, M.D., M.P.H., believe that omega-3 is associated with reduced inflammation throughout the body. Some foods rich in omega-3 are: 

  • Fish and seafood (especially salmon, sardines, and herring)
  • Eggs
  • Plant oils
  • Nuts and seeds

Calcium and Vitamin D: Patients who suffer from PMR are usually prescribed corticosteroids, which are known to lower the body’s ability to absorb calcium and increase the rate at which bone breaks down. Therefore, a diet high in calcium and vitamin D can help to reduce the risks of bone loss (known as “osteopenia” or “osteoporosis”). Plus, they’re part of a healthy diet! Foods rich in calcium include: 

  • Soy milk
  • Tofu
  • Chia seeds
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

Some foods rich in vitamin D are: 

  • Fatty fish (especially salmon, sardines, and, herring) 
  • Tuna
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified orange juice

Avoid Foods That Cause Inflammation

An important part of any healthy diet is knowing BOTH what you SHOULD integrate into your new plan AND what to stay away from. PMR can make life uncomfortable if it’s not taken seriously, so try to avoid foods high in saturated fats as often as possible. 

The healthcare providers at ARBDA are specially trained to diagnose and treat every rheumatic & auto-immune disease. We work with every patient to establish a personalized treatment plan that controls your symptoms (such as pain) and is able to fit in to your lifestyle. Don’t suffer in silence – contact us to discuss what options might work for you


1Kandola, A. (2018, April 30). Polymyalgia rheumatica diet: Foods to eat and avoid. Retrieved August 21, 2020, from

2H. (2016, September). Do fish oil supplements reduce inflammation? Retrieved August 21, 2020, from

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