Rheumatology Diseases

Rheumatology diseases impact all parts of the body including the joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Over one hundred rheumatic diseases exist including many types of arthritis or swelling in the joints.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 25% of the population (more than 54 million adults) suffer from arthritis, a leading cause of disability.

Rheumatology Diseases

rheumatology diseasesRheumatology diseases impact all parts of the body including the joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Over one hundred rheumatic diseases exist including many types of arthritis or swelling in the joints.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 25% of the population (more than 54 million adults) suffer from arthritis, a leading cause of disability.

Available Medications

Humira Enbrel Remicade
Kineret Prolia Simponi
Cimzia Stelara Methotrexate

Common Rheumatic Disorders

Some of the most common rheumatic diseases include:

  • Osteoarthritis – the most prevalent form of arthritis that affects and destroys cartilage (soft tissue that cushions the ends of the bones within joints)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the soft tissue that lines the joints
  • Fibromyalgia – a chronic condition typified by sensitive points and localized pain throughout the body
  • Lupus – an autoimmune disorder that causes swelling in different parts of the body, including the joints, skin, specific organs, heart, and brain
  • Gout – a type of arthritis that develops when needle-like crystals of uric acid deposit in the joints, most often in the big toe
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis – the most common form of arthritis in children
  • Infectious arthritis – arthritis that results from an infection, such as Lyme disease or gonorrhea
  • Bursitis – an inflammation of the bursa, small fluid-filled sacs that decrease friction between bones

Causes of Rheumatology Disease

rheumatology diseasesRheumatology diseases can develop as a result of genetics or environmental factors. The disease may get triggered by an event such as a hormonal spike, virus infection, or obesity.

Also, a family history of cartilage weakness in conjunction with extreme joint stress may influence the manifestation of osteoarthritis.

Some common risk factors for developing rheumatic disease include:

  • Osteoarthritis affects older individuals more than younger adults
  • Women have a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lupus than men
  • Gout and spondyloarthropathies affect more men than women
  • Lupus is more prevalent in African-Americans and Hispanics
  • Obesity and smoking increase your risk for many rheumatology diseases
  • Diet can enhance or reduce your risk of developing many rheumatic diseases — for example, gout is linked to high meat protein diets

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Rheumatology Disease Symptoms

Persistent, severe aches and pains that are interfere with day-to-day functions, along with swelling around one or more joints, can be a worrisome sign. Whether a patient’s condition is simple or complex, prompt diagnosis and treatment are important.

Inflammation is the hallmark characteristic of rheumatology disease, and swelling from arthritis usually causes different symptoms in the joints including:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth and redness
  • Sensitivity
  • Problems using the joint

Rheumatology diseases may also produce an array of other symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Eye infection
  • A rashes
  • Discomfort in the neck or spine
  • Difficulty with deep breathing
  • Muscle pain

Rheumatology Diseases Treatment

rheumatology diseasesMany rheumatology diseases are chronic illnesses, so they are unlikely to go away. While there may not be a cure for your condition, effective management is available for most conditions and many people with rheumatic disease lead satisfying lives for many years.

Non-surgical treatment including medications, often in conjunction with appropriate physical therapy and exercise programs, can relieve pain and increase function. Your rheumatologist can work closely with your primary care physician to identify your rheumatic problem and design an individualized treatment plan to help alleviate your pain and increase your ability to walk, move and function at your best.

Your rheumatologist may prescribe one of the following types of medication to treat your rheumatic disease:

  • Non-narcotic analgesics
  • Narcotic analgesics
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
  • Biologic Response Modifiers (Biologics)
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