Do you find yourself searching for Houston, TX, best doctor for rheumatoid arthritis near me? Then, Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is an excellent medical center that can help you today. For those who have rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain and swelling, we are a perfect choice. It is a severe condition, for chronic RA inflammation causes irreversible damage and joint deformation.
The Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Joint pain, especially of the hands and feet
- Swollen joints
- Loss of range of motion in joints
- Warmth in joints
- Joint deformity
Often, rheumatoid arthritis can damage multiple joints, but not always. Sometimes, like polyarthritis, they are affected in a symmetrical pattern. On the other hand, the “rheumatoid factor” is an antibody present in the blood in 80 percent of RA patients. All it takes is a simple blood test to reveal the rheumatoid factor.
Many contributing factors cause the development of rheumatoid arthritis. We have not nailed down a direct cause. But there are plenty that makes one more likely to develop RA. These include your genetic background, smoking, periodontal disease, inhalation of silica, and gastrointestinal microbes (gut bacteria).
Like we have said, so far, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. But optimally, we can treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. These treatments require a combination of rest, exercise, patient education, joint protection, medications, and occasionally surgery. With accurate diagnosis, we can get to a better prognosis.
On top of that, rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of all ages.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that induces chronic joint inflammation and pain. Autoimmune diseases arise when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues by mistake. The immune system is a complex organization of antibodies and cells designed to “search and kill” any invaders and foreign substances, specifically infections.
Houston, TX, best doctor for rheumatoid arthritis near me patients with autoimmune diseases have in their blood antibodies and immune cells that target their body tissues. Your doctor may link it to inflammation. Furthermore, while inflammation of the joint tissue and inflammatory arthritis are classic characteristics of RA, the disease can also cause extra-articular inflammation and damage to other organs.
In conclusion, it could affect several different body parts, so rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic illness.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Additionally, many disorders and diseases may mimic the early signs of rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms are quite common with rheumatoid disorders. Symptoms of RA include:
- Tenderness of the joint
- Many joints affected (polyarthritis)
- Both sides of the body affected (symmetric)
- Loss of joint function
Medicines for Rheumatoid ARthritis
Houston, TX, best doctor for rheumatoid arthritis near me will diagnose RA. From there, you have two types of medications they may prescribe. There are the fast-acting “first-line drugs” and slow-acting “second-line drugs.” These are also known as DMARDs or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
- To alleviate pain and inflammation, first-line medications, such as morphine and cortisone (corticosteroids [Rayos, Celestone, Depo-Medrol, Kenalog]), are used.
- The slow-acting second-line medications, including methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall, Otrexup, Rasuvo) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), promote remission of the disease and prevent progressive joint damage.
However, early second-line drug treatment (DMARD) improves function and minimizes disability and joint damage, often after months of diagnosis. In addition to anti-inflammatory drugs, most patients require more severe second-line medications, such as methotrexate. Such second-line medicines are sometimes used in combination with other medicines.
Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are areas of the body other than the joints that RA negatively affects. We can individually treat these. For example, artificial tears and humidifying rooms in your home or office can do wonders for dealing with the Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms of RA. There are also medicated eye drops. And cyclosporine ophthalmic drops (Restasis) can help with dry eyes as well. Daily eye-checkups are a must. They can get you early antibiotic care, crucial for any subsequent eye infections. On top of that, your doctor can treat inflammation of the tendons and rheumatoid nodules by injecting cortisone. On the other hand, inflammations of your heart or lung lining may require massive doses of oral cortisone.
However, a severe deformation of the joints may require surgery in order to restore your joint mobility. There are also physicians who specialize in joint surgery: orthopedic surgeons. The different types of joint surgery range from arthroscopy to partial or complete joint replacement. Arthroscopy is a surgical method whereby a doctor inserts a tube-like tool into the joint to look and repair abnormal tissues.
In conclusion, total joint replacement is a surgical procedure where a damaged or destroyed joint is replaced with artificial materials. For example, your doctor can replace the small joints in your hand with plastic material. Large joints, such as the hips or knees, are replaced with metals.
What Are Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Options?
There is not a cure for TA. However, the objective of rheumatoid arthritis treatment is to reduce joint inflammation and pain, maximize joint function, and prevent joint damage and deformation.
It has been proven that early medical intervention is effective in improving outcomes. Aggressive management, as monitored on X-rays, will enhance performance, prevent injury to joints, and prevent work disability.
Furthermore, optimal RA treatment includes a mix of medications, rest, joint strengthening exercises, joint protection, and awareness for patients (and their families). Your doctor will tailor treatment to many factors. This includes the activity of RA, pain, inflammation, and much more. In conclusion, treatment is more effective where the doctor, patient, and family members work closely together.
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston
Dr. Brionez has been diagnosing and treating patients for more than ten years in rheumatological conditions. She acquired her Bachelor of Nutritional Science from Texas A&M University. Furthermore, Dr. Brionez obtained her Doctor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Also, she accomplished her Rheumatology Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
In conclusion, Dr. Brionez became board-certified in internal medicine in 2007 and was board-certified in rheumatology later on in 2009. Dr. Brionez has been in practice since. She is a qualified, professional rheumatologist who takes good care of her patients. Patients will recognize Dr. Brionez cares for their health and what’s going on with them. She will help people have a more comfortable lifestyle and utilize the treatment techniques which are more trusted.
Furthermore, give our Houston, TX medical center a call today at (281) 766-7886 and learn more about the services we provide. Dr. Brionez at Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is Houston, TX best doctor for rheumatoid arthritis near me.
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