I have recently been diagnosed with PMR. However several friends & family members queried the diagnosis and asked if I was certain I did no

have lyme disease. I'm from Canada and there has been a lot of publicity around this tragically under diagnosed disease. The symptoms are very similar to PMR but the treatment is different...antibiotics mainly. They say going on prednisone masks the real culprit.

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  • If it is Lyme disease corticosteroids are the last thing you should be taking as they suppress the immune system which is definitely not what you want. I think someone said it was like giving kryptonite to Superman.

  • I was certainly tested for Lyme disease as it can mimic PMR symptoms. I am not sure that Lyme disease has a predilection for females over 50 of North European origin. As ticks are more prevalent in Scotland, than the rest of the UK, then you would expect proportionately more PMR in Scotland, which I don't think is the case.

    As prednisolone can increase the severity of bacterial infections I would have thought that it would make Lyme disease symptoms worse, not mask them.

    Generally PMR responds very rapidly to treatment with prednisolone unlike other auto immune disorders.

    I hope you manage to get a diagnosis that you feel comfortable with.

    Best wishes

  • Lyme disease can be tested for if it is a candidate (if there is none where you live/have travelled then it is less likely) and that should be done as part of the exclusion diagnosis. Not all ticks carry it - and the south of England does have a record I think and I imagine Canada does too in some areas.

  • greylife, if your symptoms have responded well to the steroids, then your Dr will use that as confirmation of the diagnosis. However, if you still feel concerned about Lyme Disease, then why not ask your Dr for the relevant blood test to put your mind at rest?

  • Yes, southern England has a high population of deer and I think they carry it more than any other animal. Certainly I was tested for Lyme at the outset - I was living in Surrey at the time and believe it or not, it's one of the worst places for ticks.

  • I was tested for lyme disease before finally being diagnosed with PMR. We at that time did a lot of walking in Scotland Northumberland and Derbyshire which all have deer but it was ruled out.

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