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Our services assist patients with the rheumatologic diseases they face. Chronic pain, inflammation, and other symptoms are unbearable at times. However, Advanced Rheumatology of Houston can take steps to prevent further problems or slow the progression of diseases.

Rheumatology is the study of rheumatism and diseases associated with joints, muscles, and other ligaments. Rheumatism is any disease that causes inflammation and pain in joints, muscles, or other tissues. Moreover, these conditions could cause issues in vital tissues like organs. If left unnoticed, some of these conditions can lead to extreme pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Rheumatologist focus on the diagnosis and treatment of these autoimmune conditions. An autoimmune disease is when the immune system attacks healthy areas of the body. For example, Scleroderma occurs when the immune systems attack the skin and other organs. Symptoms include scaring and inflammation of the skin or other areas.

Dr. Brionez is highly skilled and experienced in the many different types of rheumatism. Many of these diseases cause significant discomfort, and her goal is to diagnose and treat the condition. However, a majority of rheumatologic conditions are chronic, which means they last for a long time.

In the case of a chronic condition, the rheumatologist will do their best to reduce the symptoms within the patient. Living with these conditions is manageable if you take the right steps. Most of these diseases can be managed by practicing good health; patients should eat healthily and exercise regularly.

Diseases We Diagnose and Treat

Advanced Rheumatology of Houston offers diagnosis and treatment for a vast number of rheumatologic illnesses. Below, you will find the full list of diseases and conditions we diagnose and treat.

Patients can find more detailed information below or on each conditions’ page.

Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints. The big toe is the most common place gout occurs, but it can appear in other areas. Gout can flare up and enter remission many times. This type of arthritis occurs when uric acid crystals deposit into the joint. The crystals take the form of needles, which is why they cause such large amounts of pain.

There are many risk factors for developing gout. It is recommended to keep a healthy diet and exercise regularly to lower the risk of getting gout. However, anyone can get gout. Gout is a chronic condition, so patients will need to learn to live with the condition. Medication can help reduce pain to improve comfort.

Myositis

Myositis is when inflammation appears in muscles. This inflammation will cause difficulty with moving those muscles and will create weak movement. There are two types of myositis, which are polymyositis and dermatomyositis. These diseases are also called myopathies. They both create muscle weakness, but dermatomyositis also causes a rash.

Symptoms of these myopathies include muscle weakness, difficulty standing up from a chair, having no pain in the weak muscles, cough, shortness of breath, or a rash. The rash will be red or purple and can appear on the knuckles, knees, or other areas. Physical therapy and medication are the best ways to combat these diseases.

Osteoarthritis

This is the most common type of arthritis. Millions of Americans are affected by this condition. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that breaks down the cartilage between our bones. Cartilage is a soft, spongy cushion for bones to slide against. Once the cartilage is broken down, the bones will begin to rub against each other, which causes the pain patients experience.

Osteoarthritis is a gradual condition, and it is important for patients to look out for symptoms. Stiffness and joint pain are the most common symptoms. The patients may also experience swelling if the area has been active. This condition has no cure, so the symptoms must be treated with medications. Frequent exercise and a healthy diet will also help manage the condition.

Osteoporosis

Bone density is crucial, but it begins to decay after we pass our 20’s. Our bones do their best to replace the lost bone density, but osteoporosis slows that process, so bone density is minimal. There are many risk factors for osteoporosis, such as aging, small bone structure, or previous bone fractures or breaks after the age of 50.

There are no apparent symptoms of osteoporosis. It is primarily discovered when a person breaks a bone, and they are X-rayed. There is a simple way of discovering if a patient has osteoporosis, which is called a bone mineral density test. The test is simple and painless. If patients are diagnosed with this disease, then there are ways to combat the effects. Take supplements and consume vitamin D and calcium-rich foods.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Also known as PMR, polymyalgia rheumatica is stiffness and aching in the arms, back, neck, and legs. PMR usually appears with giant cell arteritis, which is a type of vasculitis. This condition is bizarre because it can appear in people overnight. Furthermore, the condition has no known cause. Some believe it is known as “referred pain” related to the hips and shoulder joints.

PMR can be diagnosed via blood tests. Measuring the level of inflammation is the best way to see if polymyalgia rheumatica is the cause. The doctor will prescribe medication to reduce pain and stiffness. If the symptoms are still present weeks after the medication, then PMR is not the cause of aching and stiffness.

Psoriatic Arthritis

15 percent of those with psoriasis, a skin disease, develop this form of arthritis. The condition will lead to joint pain and stiffness in those with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects men and women equally. Patches of red, scaly skin will appear on the patient. The arthritis can appear before the skin disease.

Diagnosing and treating psoriatic arthritis varies in the case. Examining the patient’s affected body parts and running blood tests are the best option. Depending on the case, treatment will also vary. Medication to reduce pain and swelling will be prescribed. If those drugs do not work, then more aggressive medications will be used.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is also known as RA. This disease has received a lot of treatment developments in recent years so patients can live more comfortable lives. This form of arthritis is the most common autoimmune arthritis. The immune system should target bacteria and infections in the body. This condition occurs when the immune system attacks healthy tissues such as joints.

RA has no cure, and patients must learn to live with the symptoms. Medications and therapy are the best ways of living a comfortable life. The symptoms are what patients will have to manage as they live with this condition. Joint pain, lack of energy, and minor fevers are just a few.

Scleroderma

Scleroderma must be taken very seriously because it can be fatal, depending on the case. This autoimmune disease will attack healthy tissues in the body, such as the skin and organs. Scarring can appear in these areas. Genetics are theorized to play a role in the cause of this disease. Adults between the ages of 30 and 50 are the primary demographic of this disease.

Scleroderma has two types: localized and systemic. Localized scleroderma is the least worrisome form because it usually only affects the skin. However, it has been known to spread to joints and muscles. Systemic scleroderma is a more serious form because it targets organs.  There is no cure for scleroderma, and there are no known drugs that are highly effective against the disease.

Sjögren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome affects the tear and saliva glands. People with Sjögren’s syndrome can live normal lives but must watch out for potential issues the disease can cause. This autoimmune disease causes dry mouth and eyes. Dry mouthes can lead to faster dental decay, and oral health overall can plummet if not watched.

The cause of Sjögren’s syndrome is unknown. There is also no cure for this disease. It is important patients with this disease take care of the affected places. Chewing gum, drinking water frequently, and other saliva substitutes will help keep patients’ mouths healthy.

Spondyloarthritis

Spondyloarthritis is a term used for a family of inflammatory diseases. There are several forms of spondyloarthritis, but the most common type is ankylosing spondylitis. Males in their teens and early 20’s are the most affected by this disease. Genetics play a large role in the cause of these diseases, but there is still a lot to learn.

Diagnosing spondyloarthritis requires examination of the patient’s medical records and body. X-rays or MRIs may be used to find evidence of the disease. When it comes to treating spondyloarthritis, it is not curable. Patients must learn to live with the symptoms but will have medications to help them live comfortable lives.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)

Lupus is a chronic disease, which causes inflammations in places like the skin and joints. Organs can be affected too. Kidneys, lungs, and the heart are just a few examples. Weight loss, fatigue, hair loss, poor circulation in the fingers, and chest pains are just a few symptoms. Lupus varies in seriousness, but it can be fatal if not managed properly.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease and is special in that the entire systems take part in the attack. For that reason, the disease can be very deadly. Recent developments in treatment have made living with lupus easier. Lupus has no cure, but treatments have advanced to prolong the life of patients.

Vasculitis

Similar to spondyloarthritis, vasculitis is a term for a family of diseases that affects the blood vessels. There are many forms of vasculitis, and they all vary in duration, symptoms, and severity. They all affect the blood flow of arteries and veins, which can be deadly. Most types of vasculitis do not have a known cause.

The best way of identifying this disease is through an examination of a small piece of tissue. Rheumatologists can determine the type of vasculitis by the type of arteries and veins affected by the condition. Each form of vasculitis has various forms of life. The best way to treat the family of diseases is through medication and steroids.

Get in Touch Today

Get in touch with our office today to start living a more comfortable life. You do not have to suffer from these diseases any longer. Dr. Brionez has ten years of practice experience. Above all, she helps patients focus on their overall joint and bone health. The Advanced Rheumatology of Houston clinic is fully equipped to handle your rheumatologic condition. We have an on-site lab and infusion services for advanced diagnosing and treatment options.

So, quit suffering from a rheumatologic illness today and start calling our clinic. Patients can reach us by calling (281) 766-7886. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Brionez, and she will strive to make you as comfortable as possible. Patients may also find additional information on the different diseases and conditions we treat below. You do not have to live in pain or discomfort any longer.