If you find yourself searching for a rheumatologist in Spring, TX, then check out Advanced Rheumatology. Allow Advanced Rheumatology of Houston to help with your rheumatoid arthritis.
What is rheumatoid arthritis, or RA? RA is the most common type of autoimmune disease, like AIDS. This occurs when there is no proper functioning of the immune system (the body’s protective structure). Rheumatoid arthritis’ symptoms induce inflammation and swelling in the hands, feet, wrists, and small joints.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis reduce joint pain and swelling. Treatment also reduces the likelihood of an injury to the joint. If we catch it earlier, though, we could create healthier outcomes in the long run.
- Low-impact exercises, like walking, increase the durability of your muscles. This helps boost your overall physical wellbeing and decreases joint pain.
- In fact, studies show that people receiving early RA treatment feel better sooner and are more likely to live an active life afterward. Additionally, they are far less likely to suffer the type of joint damage that requires joint replacements.
- So, it is crucial to get the necessary support from your rheumatologist. As you know, a rheumatologist is a specialist and physician who specifically treats inflammation and autoimmune disorders. You could mistake other conditions for rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, you must get the right diagnosis without any unnecessary testing in between. Your rheumatologist helps you identify the most suitable recovery option for your rheumatoid arthritis.
People have long feared rheumatoid arthritis. But on the positive side, many patients with recent diagnoses have dramatically improved situations.
Rheumatoid arthritis remains a severe illness, for sure, and it varies wildly from case to case. Even so, though, advances have enabled us to delay the progression of the disorder. We, as rheumatologists, also have many new treatments that aim at the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Our rheumatologist in Spring, TX, understands how and when to use each treatment method to achieve the best outcomes.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a persistent form of autoimmune arthritis. More than 1.3 million Americans suffer from RA. In fact, around 75% of RA patients are women. Additionally, 1–3% of women will develop rheumatoid arthritis in their lifetime. This disorder could begin at any age but typically comes up between the ages of 30 and 50.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating condition. It induces weakness, inflammation, joint discomfort, and limited mobility. More often than not, this impacts the most delicate joints, such as those in your hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis also affects your organs, including your eyes, skin, and lungs.
With inactive rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain is the worst in the morning hours. It lasts from one to two hours or even the entire day. Continuous morning stiffness is an indication that you may have rheumatoid arthritis. After all, this is not normal. For example, osteoarthritis does not usually cause prolonged morning stiffness.
Many signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of energy
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Firm lumps called rheumatoid nodules: these grow beneath the skin in places like the elbow and hands.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. By causing inflammation, the immune system attacks invaders in the body, like bacteria and viruses. But, with autoimmune diseases, the immune system instead sends the inflammation to your healthy tissues by mistake. The immune system creates a lot of irritation and delivers it to the joints.
If the inflammation continues for a long time, it may inflict damage to the joints. Sometimes it is irreversible damage.
Still, we are not clear on what triggers rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence points to genetic causes but also environmental ones.
How Do We Dianogse RA?
We diagnose rheumatoid arthritis by analyzing blood samples, inspecting your muscles and organs, and studying x-rays or ultrasounds. Unfortunately, we have no standard diagnostic test for rheumatoid arthritis. Your rheumatologist in Spring, TX, will perform blood testing to search for proteins that may be used in RA. Antibodies are small proteins that work to counter foreign substances, called antigens. Specific antibodies commonly present themselves in individuals with RA.
A rheumatologist in Spring, TX, is a specialist with the expertise to diagnose RA and properly formulate a treatment plan.
X-rays may help detect RA. It could help to see initial X-rays and ones, later on, to see whether the disease is progressing. Meanwhile, MRI and ultrasound scanning can help confirm or judge rheumatoid arthritis severity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic form of arthritis. Moreover, to consider diagnosing your condition as RA, we look for symptoms lasting longer than three months. Nonetheless, we can diagnose some patients sooner.
How Can You Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis therapy has significantly improved in the past thirty years. The current treatments offer outstanding pain relief to most patients and enable them to move and work at near-normal levels. We try to fight active disease with the right medications. Otherwise, when the symptoms are controlled, the illness is in “remission.”
Rheumatoid arthritis has no cure. The goal of treatment is to relieve the pain and discomfort in your joint and to increase your ability to do daily activities. For all patients, no single treatment works. Most patients with RA have to change their treatment during their lifetime, at least once.
Patients with RA should begin their treatment with antirheumatic drugs that modify the disease— called DMARDs. These drugs not only alleviate symptoms but also slow joint damage. Doctors also prescribe DMARDs to minimize swelling and inflammation, along with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs or low-dose corticosteroids. DMARDs also significantly improved the pain, swelling, and quality of life for nearly all RA patients. Tell your rheumatologist in Spring TXabout the need and the costs and advantages of DMARD therapy.
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston
We are happy to be involved in several research studies around the world. If you have lupus, psoriatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, check with us to see if you qualify for these studies. Each one has its respective page outlining the research, the process, and the criteria and prerequisites. These studies are attempting to evaluate a new investigational drug. Dr. Brionez has over ten years of experience, diagnosing and treating rheumatologic illnesses and disease.
Prospective patients can give Advanced Rheumatology of Houston a call on the phone today at (281) 766-7886. Of course, patients in Spring, TX, can also stop by the medical center in The Woodlands, TX. Schedule an appointment there too. Allow our expert doctors to function as your rheumatologist in Spring, TX.
Spring, Texas Fun Facts
- We are home to Collins Park, 55-acres of creekside outdoor recreational area.
- Money Magazine, from CNN, voted Spring, TX, as one of the most affordable places to live in the US.
- The Old Town Spring downtown area has over 150 restaurants, galleries, and other attractions.
- You can learn more about our city here.