Welcome on the Symptomatrix websites of the Marijke Foundation.
Without excluding others, the Symptomatrix may be of significance for women and men aged appr. 45 years and over who suffer from complaints that do not decrease and are without a diagnosis.
If such complaints are a combination of:
it may very well be a sign that Giant Cell Arteritis and/or Polymyalgia Rheumatica are developing. If your complaints are indeed a combination of those above and you do not have a diagnosis, we recommend that you fill out the Symptomatrix form, next to print it out and finally to present the Symptomatrix to your family doctor for further discussion.
Giant Cell Arteriitis (GCA) is a rheumatic inflammation of medium and large size arteries, a vasculitis. It is mainly found in the arteries of the head, in particular in the temples. A number of scientifically determined characteristics of the disease is listed above and in the following Symptomatrix.
By rare exception, resulting from delay in diagnosis and consequently delayed treatment, the disease may turn into a multiple condition and can progress fatally.
Usually, but not always, patients suffering from GCA also suffer from Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR).
PMR is an ailment with inflammation of the muscles, in particular those in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, pelvis and upper legs. Significantly, pain is in both sides of the body.
Both illnesses can be cured successfully, provided they are recognized and diagnosed as early as possible:
Early Recognition > Early Diagnosis = Better Prognosis.
GCA and PMR are usually considered as auto-immune illnesses.
They belong to a group of six to eight thousand Rare Diseases, also referred to as Orphan Diseases.
Each year, world wide, an estimated number of 4 million patients come to suffer from these rare diseases, of which appr. 15% from GCA. Both diseases are more common in women than in men by a ratio of 3:1, and more common in white than coloured patients. The majority of patients is born and/or live in regions with a colder climate. So, the diseases are rarer in warmer areas of the world.
The Symptomatrix©, why ?
Practice shows that it is not always possible to determine the mutual connection in complaints and consequently to recognise GCA and PMR timely.
Complaints/symptoms are quite often treated individually and for quite some time, for instance as side effects of cold or as aches and pains that may disappear by physiotherapeutical treatment. Typically without results: the complaints persist or return.
As a result frequently (too) much time elapses before the diseases are properly diagnosed and adequate treatment is started. Consequently patients quite often have to suffer from unnecessary progression of GCA and/or PMR, with all its consequences and risks.
With the slogan: Earlier Recognised > Earlier Diagnosed = Better Prognosis, the Symptomatrix helps to overcome these problems and to shorten the process of diagnosis significantly.
Without doubt the family doctor is the right person for a diagnosis or referral to a specialist for the purpose.
Thus, the Symptomatrix is not meant to be a tool for uncontrolled self-diagnosis. It is just an expedient for patient and family doctor to arrive at a rapid diagnosis
Filling out and printing the Symptomatrix
Complaints, like headache, a temperature and stiffness are quite common. Only rather unique combinations of symptoms are characteristic of the rare diseases GCA and PMR.
Examples of such combinations are:
1. fatigue, stiffness of the jaws, painful jaws when chewing, headache, changing or reduced eyesight, blindness (irreversible, most feared)
2. headache, a temperature, tongue problems, sensitive scalp, bloated arteries of the temples, stiffness in joints and muscles, poor or lack of appetite.
And any combination of 1. and 2.
A growing number of people search the internet for an explanation for their complaints. This results in efficient cooperation between family doctors and patients. A well prepared patient, in this respect with the help of the Symptomatrix, supports the family doctor in most cases in fast recognition rapid diagnosis and instant treatment of GCA and PMR.
Click here to fill out and print the 'Recognition/Diagnostic Symptomatrix' and next to present the Symptomatrix when you visit your family doctor or specialist.
Anyone using the Symptomatrix (to present to the GP or to provide feedback information) is entitled to download free of charge the e-book ‘a matter of time’, published in 2017 by the Marijke Foundation, by clicking here.