Are you searching for a rheumatologist in Spring TX? Allow Advanced Rheumatology of Houston to assist you with your RA. What is RA? The most common form of autoimmune arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This is caused when there is no proper functioning of the immune system (the body’s protective system). RA induces inflammation and swelling in hand and feet in the wrist and the small joints.
Facts About RA
- Treatments for RA will reduce joint pain and swelling. Treatment also reduces joint injury. Early diagnosis should produce healthier outcomes in the long run.
- Relatively low-impact exercises such as walking and exercises increase the intensity of the muscles. This should boost your physical wellbeing and raising the joint pain.
- Studies show that people receiving early RA treatment feel better sooner and more frequently, and are more likely to live an active life. They are also less likely to suffer the type of joint damage, which leads to joint replacement.
- It is essential to get the support of a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist is a specialist who treats inflammation and autoimmune disease. Some diseases may be mistaken for RA. It’s crucial to get the right diagnosis without unnecessary testing. A rheumatologist will help you identify a suitable recovery option for your disease.
People who have long fear rheumatoid arthritis (commonly called RA) that are the most disabling. The positive thing is that for many patients with a recently diagnosed (detected) RA, the situation has dramatically improved.
RA remains a severe illness, of course, and one that can vary widely in the symptoms (what you feel) and outcomes. Even so, advances in treatment have enabled the progression (worsening) of joint injury to be stopped or at least delayed. Rheumatologists also have several new treatments aiming for the inflammation caused by RA. Our rheumatologist in Spring TX understands when and how to use the treatments to achieve the best outcomes.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
RA is the predominant form of autoimmune arthritis. RA affects more than 1.3 million Americans. About 75 percent of patients with RA are women. 1–3 percent of women in their lifetime may develop rheumatoid arthritis. The disorder more usually occurs between the ages of 30 and 50. RA, though, may begin at any age.
RA is a debilitating condition that induces joint discomfort, weakness, inflammation, and limited joint mobility. This more often impacts delicate joints of the hands and feet. RA may also impact your organs, such as your eyes, skin, or lungs.
With inactive RA, the joint pain is often the worst in the morning. It can last from one to two hours (or even the whole day). Generally, it helps with joint contact. Stiffness in the morning for a long time is an indication that you may have RA, as in other conditions, this is not common. Osteoarthritis, for example, does not most often cause prolonged stiffness in the morning.
Many signs and symptoms likely present in RA include:
- Loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Your eyes are dry and so is your mouth from a related health problem, Sjogren’s syndrome
- Firm lumps called rheumatoid nodules, which grow beneath the skin in places such as the elbow and hands
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?
RA is an autoimmune disease. Through causing inflammation, the immune system is supposed to attack invaders in the body, such as bacteria and viruses. The immune system mistakenly sends inflammation into your healthy tissue during autoimmune disease. The immune system produces a lot of irritation that is delivered to the joints creating discomfort and stiffness of the articulation.
If the inflammation stays present for a long period, it may inflict joint damage. The loss can not usually be repaired until it occurs. It is not clear what triggers RA. There is evidence of families experiencing autoimmune conditions. For example, those genes you’re born with that increase your chances of having RA.
How Do You Dianogse RA?
RA is diagnosed by analyzing the results of blood samples, inspecting muscles and organs, and studying pictures of x-rays or ultrasounds. There is no standard diagnostic test for RA. A rheumatologist in Spring TX will do blood testing is to search for proteins in the clinic that may be used in RA. Within the body, antibodies are small proteins that help counter foreign substances, called antigens. Such antibodies are rarely present in individuals without RA.
This is called a false-positive result. It also runs blood tests to search for high rates of inflammation. RA symptoms may be very mild, making it difficult to diagnose. Many viral infections may cause symptoms that could be confused with RA.
A rheumatologist in Spring TX is a physician with the knowledge and experience to arrive at a right RA diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan.
Abnormal blood tests commonly seen in RA include:
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- rheumatoid factor (an antibody, or blood protein, found in about 80 percent of RA patients on time, but as low as 30 percent at the beginning of arthritis)
- Antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides (protein pieces) or short-anti-(found in 60-percent of RA patients)
X-rays may help detect RA. However, early arthritis could be normal. Even if normal, it may be helpful to see initial X-rays later on whether the disease is progressing. MRI and ultrasound scanning may be done to help confirm or judge RA severity.
RA is a chronic type of arthritis. Furthermore, to consider this diagnosis, the signs would need to be present for longer than three months. Nonetheless, some patients are diagnosed sooner.
How Can You Treat RA?
RA therapy has significantly improved in the last 30 years. Current therapies offer decent or outstanding pain relief to most patients and enable them to continue to work at or near regular levels. Several people will show no symptoms of active disease with the right medications. The illness is in “remission” when the symptoms are completely controlled.
RA does not have a cure. The goal of the 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
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is happy to be involved in several research studies from around the world. Lupus, psoriatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis patients can see if they qualify for those studies. Each study has its respective page outlining the situation, the study process, and the criteria that must be fulfilled. These experiments are targets evaluating a new investigational drug. Our rheumatologist in Spring TX, Dr. Brionez, has over ten years of experience in diagnosing and treating rheumatologic illnesses and disease.
Patients should give Advanced Rheumatology of Houston a call today at (281) 766-7886. Of course, patients in Spring, TX and The Woodlands, TX may also stop by the clinic in The Woodlands and schedule an appointment. Allow us to be your rheumatologist in Spring TX.
Fun Facts About Spring, Texas
- Spring, TX is home to Collins Park, a 55-acres creekside outdoor recreational area.
- CNN’s Money Magazine voted Spring, TX as one of the most affordable places to live in the country.
- Old Town Spring downtown area holds over 150 restaurants, galleries, and other attractions.
- Learn more about Spring TX here.