on the '
Recognition/Diagnostic Symptomatrix' page.

(» If you have already read the listing of complaints below and the explanations on a previous page,
please click here for filling out the Symptomatrix

If not, please read on.

Without excluding others, our Symptomatrix may be of significance for women and men aged approximately 45 years and over who suffer from odd complaints that do not decrease and/or are without a diagnosis.

If such complaints are a combination of:

   ●  fatigue and apathy
   ●  physical malaise and/or weakness
   ●  stiffness in joints and/or muscles
   ●  headaches, migraine
   ●  stiffness of the jaws
   ●  changed eyesight
   ●  reduced eyesight, blindness
   ●  a temperature

   ●  sensitive scalp
   ●  bloated arteries of the temples
   ●  painful jaws when chewing
   ●  tongue problems
   ●  bleakness, depression
   ●  poor or lack of appetite
   ●  unusual loss of weight
   ●  unusual perspiration, night sweats

it may very well be a sign that Giant Cell Arteritis and/or Polymyalgia Rheumatica are developing and we strongly advise you to proceed on this Symptomatrix page.


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.
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 that suffer 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.

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 aims to help to overcome these problems and to shorten the process of diagnosis significantly.

General Practitioner

Without doubt your 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 you and your family doctor to arrive at a rapid diagnosis: a combination of the complaints, listed below, should be a reason to visit your family doctor as soon as possible - for the first time or again.

Step 1.: Filling out the Symptomatrix

Suspicion: Giant Cell Arteritis and/or Polymyalgia Rheumatica








    your age
< Country      < State (if appl.)
A. Frequently observed complaints




Feeling unhealthy, physical malaise and/or weakness, whether or not resembling flu




Fatigue and apathy; no improvement by more sleep, vitamins et cetera




Bleakness, depression




Poor or lack of appetite




Unusual loss of weight (not because of a diet)




A temperature without demonstrable reason




Headaches, whether or not on both sides of the head, whether or not pulsing; common pain relievers do not help




Headaches (07.) that resemble migraine




Stiffness of the jaws, whether or not painful when chewing




Weakness of the tongue and/or painful tongue




Persisting or frequently returning stiffness in the neck and/or back and/or joints and/or muscles, whether or not painful




Resulting from 11.: limitations in body motion, for instance when getting up in the morning, dressing, washing yourself, combing your hair and other common daily activities




Rapidly changed eyesight, reduced eyesight




Notable sensitivity of the scalp




Bloated arteries of the temples, whether or not sensitive and/or painful




Unusual perspiration, night sweats




Do you experience that your complaints persist or even get worse, in spite of doing sports like gymnastics, aerobics, swimming, cycling, work-outs and so on ?




Do you experience that your complaints do not decrease in spite of consultation of your family doctor, a specialist, physiotherapeutical treatment and/or medication ?

B. Less frequently observed complaints (a-typical complaints)




Severe ache deeply in the ear, that is diagnosed and treated by you, your family doctor or medical specialist as the effect of cold but nonetheless does not disappear




Notable increased need for sugar, sweets, cakes, sweet drinks and so on




Necrosis of the skin, also under the hair of the head (necrosis is a condition of pathologic death of living tissue)




Sleeping problems, disrupted sleep pattern.

 C. Additional information




Do you live in a period of notable stress, tension and strain, in work and/or private ?




Did you suffer from a severe flu, a bronchial infection/inflammation or a similar infection over the past two or three years ?




If so, does it seem that the symptoms have not disappeared completely and/or sometimes return ?




Do you experience the after-effects / symptoms as a cold that does not wear out ?




Did or do you suffer from constitutional eczema = dermatitis ([rheumatic] inflammation of the skin, usually treated with creams that contain corticosteroids) ?




Did your complaints develop after having been on a diet ?




Other complaint 1.:




Other complaint 2.:


Step 2.: Print, present and discuss

But before your print the Symptomatrix in order to present it to your family doctor and/or medical specialist, the Marijke Foundation asks for your cooperation.

Because feedback is of major importance !!

The data of the process, from the first symptoms up to the final diagnosis, are of great importance to the Marijke Foundation: the gathered data are used for fine tuning and improvement of the Symptomatrix.

So, your data positively influences the chances of potential patients to find an explanation for their complaints on the internet, like you did. The Symptomatrix helps them as well to arrive at a diagnosis and subsequent treatment as fast as possible. As a result irreversible physical damage caused by both diseases can be limited or even prevented.

The Marijke Foundation would be grateful to receive your e-mail address in order to remind you in due course to answer a small number of questions in the 'Feedback Symptomatrix' after you have visited your family doctor and/or medical specialist.


Yes, I am willing to participate in the epidemiological (statistical) research.
After some time you may remind me to complete the 'Feedback Symptomatrix'.
This is my e-mail address **:


** Thanking you for your cooperation, the Marijke Foundation guarantees that your data/information will only be used for our epidemiological (statistical) research mentioned before.



The Symptomatrix is completed, ready to be Sent to the Marijke Foundation and to be Printed:

The Marijke Foundation advises you to discuss the printed copy of the Symptomatrix as soon as possible with your family doctor and/or specialist.


Scientific substantiation
Download: see 'Refs. Symptomatrix'


The Marijke Foundation offers the Symptomatrix as a service and support only.
She accepts no responsibility, of any kind, for the use of the information, indications or suggestions offered on this website or otherwise published.

This publication nor part of it may be copied, distributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Marijke Foundation.
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http://www.marijke-foundation.eu  info@marijke-foundation.eu