Are you searching “Houston TX rheumatoid arthritis doctors in my area?” Well, Dr. Brionez, the sole rheumatologist at Advanced Rheumatology of Houston, has more than ten years of experience in the field. She has worked with numerous patients and their rheumatologic diseases. Patients can expect professional, knowledgable, and friendly care when seeing Dr. Brionez.
For those that do not know, rheumatologists diagnose, and treat rheumatologic diseases. These diseases affect connective tissue in the body, such as joints, muscles, ligaments, organs, and bone. Many of these conditions are chronic, which means they will last for several years or a person’s lifetime. Fortunately, there are plenty of treatment options.
Dr. Brionez started her career in rheumatology by graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences. Then, she completed her Doctor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. In addition, she finished her Fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Texas Health and Science Center.
2007 marked the year she became board-certified in internal medicine. Two years later, in 2009, Dr. Brionez became a board-certified rheumatologist. Ever since then, she has offered her expertise and care to numerous patients. Rheumatologic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can be severe, so it is up to her to help patients feel comfortable.
You can see the full list of diseases Dr. Brionex can tread and diagnose below.
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Sjögren’s Syndrome
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints in the body. Autoimmune diseases are unique in that they occur when the immune system attacks healthy tissues. A normal immune system targets foreign pathogens in the body, such as viruses or infections. Autoimmune diseases see the system misfire and attack tissues that are completely fine. The cause of this condition is unknown, but we still know a lot about it.
Firstly, RA is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis. 1.3 million Americans are affected by the condition. Additionally, 75 percent of patients are women. Anyone is capable of developing the disease, but there is a preference for the disease. Women between the ages of 30 and 50 are most at risk.
Secondly, rheumatoid arthritis mainly affects smaller joints in the body like those in the hands and feet. RA can appear in any joint, but those are common areas. The attacks on the joints can cause significant damage that is irreversible. So, patients should see a doctor if they are experiencing pain, stiffness, or swelling in their joints.
Other common symptoms of the disease include lack of energy, minor fever, dry eyes or mouth, appetite loss, and firm lumps in areas like the hands or elbows. These lumps are known as Rheumatoid nodules and appear just below the skin. Only about 25 percent of RA patients develop them.
Finally, RA is a chronic condition, so patients must live with it for a long time or for the rest of their life. Fortunately, there are numerous treatment options for patients. Each case is different from the last, so Dr. Brionez will approach every case differently.
RA is diagnosed using a few different methods. One method is through scans such as an x-ray or ultrasound. Scanners will allow Dr. Brionez to see the condition of the affected joint. Since there may be damage to the area, the scans should display that. If scans are not significant enough, then blood tests are another good option. In fact, they are the best option when it comes to a diagnosis.
Dr. Brionez will run a blood test for specific antibodies related to RA. 60 to 70 percent of patients have these antibodies present in their bodies. There are some cases in which patients without RA test positive for the antibodies, which are known as false positives. The blood tests will also measure inflammation and specific proteins in the body.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not curable, but there are many treatment options for the symptoms. These options aim to reduce swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints and slow down joint damage. Many RA patients live normal lives and are able to keep their symptoms under control. There are various medications Dr. Brionez may prescribe. Above all, no two cases of RA are the same.
With that said, patients will receive different medications in order to combat their specific case. More serious cases may need drugs that suppress the immune system. However, medication is not the only way patients can feel better. RA patients should pair therapy or exercise with their medication in order to take the stress off their joints by building muscle mass.
The contRAst Program
Even though there are many treatment options for patients, not everyone responds to medication effectively. There is a research study Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is participating in to test a new drug. The investigational drug will slow down the progress of joint damage, which would be beneficial for pain management. The contRAst Program is seeking participants in order to test the drug.
If you are interested in what the contRAst Program is doing, then visit the rheumatoid arthritis research page. Patients can find additional details about the program and the requirements to participate. This study is a great way to help test a new drug that may help thousands in the coming years. Patients may also contact us for questions.
Houston TX Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctors in My Area
If you are experiencing the symptoms of RA or you are looking for a rheumatologist, then contact Advanced Rheumatology of Houston today. Patients can reach the clinic by calling (281) 766-7886. Patients may also use the online form on the contact us page to get in touch. Regardless, they will receive the same high-quality care every patient receives. The contRAst Program is a great way for patients to make a difference. RA is manageable, but this study will make it even easier. So, stop searching “Houston TX rheumatoid arthritis doctors in my area” and start calling today.
Fun Facts about Houston
- From 1837 to 1839, Houston was the capital of Texas.
- Galleria is the largest shopping mall in Texas.
- The Texas Medical Center in Houston is the largest medical institution in the world.
- Find more fun facts about Houston here.