These Reasons It's Time to See a Rheumatologist

Posted on: July 25, 2018, 5:10 a.m.

Do you experience severe or chronic pain in one or more joints? Often you battle with extreme, long term fatigue? And what about widespread inflammation? If you have answered “Yes” to one or more of these conditions, it is high time to learn a bit more about the rheumatic conditions. Rheumatic diseases affect people of all ages. They are the most common cause of physical impairment in people. And, after you have learned about rheumatic conditions, find an experienced rheumatologist near you at HealthCare800 and schedule an appointment immediately. 

In the recent past, rheumatic conditions have become so widespread, so are their symptoms – thus making it tricky to diagnose. Only experienced and board-certified rheumatologists can diagnose and treat any kind of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases properly.

1. You've joint pain or swelling – Joint pain or swelling is the first symptom of rheumatic disease. Early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis are the best ways to control and manage your problem. If you are suffering from joint pain, you must schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist for better diagnosis.

2. You experience a pain in the new location – Rheumatology arthritis strikes joints thus causing redness, heat, swelling and pain. But this does not mean it is confined to joints only. The pain can also pop up in other parts of the body. This autoimmune disease can also attack the tissues of your eyes and mouth, causing an inflammation of blood vessels. 

3. There are certain abnormalities in blood tests – There are certain symptoms in which your primary care doctor orders a blood test that might indicate the presence of rheumatic disease. Examples of these blood tests include antinuclear antibodies (ANA), rheumatoid factor (RF) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). If in any of these tests, the outcome is positive, consider visiting a rheumatologist to know whether the symptoms are indicating an underlying condition.

4. You are feeling the change in eating and sleeping habits – When you're suffering from RA, there are chances you may not have a good night sleep. The sleeping position might comfort the joint pain but it won't be comfortable for other body parts. Pain or uncomfortable sleeping position can wake you. At the same time, eating can also pose challenges. There are many medicines which adversely affect appetite, causing weight gain or nausea that prevents you from eating.

If in case you're sleeping less or experiencing changes in eating habits, it's time to see your doctor. Because these might lead to more adverse effects such as depression and anxiety. 

5. You suspect side effects – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), are the most frequently prescribed drugs to treat RA. These treatments improve the lives of those suffering from RA, but they do have some side effects. 

Side effects include edema, heartburn, and stomach discomfort. While the corticosteroids can increase the cholesterol and blood sugar, increasing your appetite which will ultimately lead to weight gain. If you experience side effects from your RA medication, see your doctor.

A rheumatologist helps you understand your condition as well as consult with your caregivers to coordinate care. Find an experienced rheumatologist near you and visit him/her regularly. Do not hesitate to contact them if you have questions regarding   rheumatic diseases.