If you are seeking “Spring TX doctors who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis,” then consider Advanced Rheumatology of Houston. Our sole rheumatologist, Dr. Brionez, has more than ten years of experience in the field. She is knowledgable and friendly to all of her patients. Rheumatoid arthritis is just one of the rheumatologic conditions she can treat.
Rheumatologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating rheumatologic diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis is an example of one of these diseases. Rheumatologic illnesses affect the connective tissues of the body. These include joints, muscles, ligaments, organs, and bones. In the case of RA, it affects the joints and sometimes organs.
Dr. Brionez started her career in rheumatology by graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences. From there, she obtained her Doctor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. In addition to her medical degree, she completed a fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
2007 marked the year Dr. Brionez was board-certified in internal medicine. Two years later, she became the thing she set out the be, a board-certified rheumatologist. Since 2009, Dr. Brionez has been in practice. She has helped numerous patients with their chronic conditions. If you need a doctor who diagnoses and treats arthritis, then she is the one for you.
Dr. Brionez treats and diagnoses all of the following conditions.
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Sjögren’s Syndrome
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis, also known as RA, is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints in the body. Autoimmune diseases are unique because they occur when the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body. Normally, the immune system will target foreign pathogens in the body, such as infections or viruses. In the case of RA, the immune system recognizes the joints as threats to the body and attacks.
The cause of RA is unknown, but we still know a lot about the condition. Firstly, RA is the most common autoimmune arthritis. 1.3 million Americans are affected by the disease. Anyone is capable of developing rheumatoid arthritis, but women are more prone. In fact, about 75 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients are women. Those between the age of 30 and 50 are the most at risk.
Secondly, rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints in the body. Any joint could be affected by the disease, but smaller ones are more affected. So, those in the hands and feet see more problems. In some cases, organs may be affected, such as skin, eyes, and lungs. Patients will experience a number of different symptoms, but the most common are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. These symptoms will be the worst in the morning and may dissipate as the day goes on.
Other symptoms of the disease include lack of energy, appetite loss, minor fever, dry eyes and mouth, and firm lumps around the hands or elbows. The lumps are known as rheumatoid nodules and appear just under the skin.
Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is best diagnosed with blood tests, but there are some imaging devices that be used to see the state of the joints. X-rays and ultrasounds are used in order to examine the state of joints. When it comes to RA, the joints will sustain damage from the immune system’s attacks. Such damage is irreversible, so early diagnosis is crucial.
A blood test is used in order to identify specific antibodies in the blood. 60 to 70 percent of RA patients have the antibodies present in their blood. In the case a patient has them but does not have RA, it is known as a false positive. Blood tests will also help detect proteins, lack of red blood cells, and inflammation levels.
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are many treatment options for managing pain and symptoms. The development of treatment options over the past 30 years has been significant. Most RA patients live relatively normal lives. In some cases, the disease may enter remission, which occurs when it is dormant for a long period of time. RA is a chronic condition, so patients must learn to live with the illness for many years or for the rest of their life.
Medication seeks to treat the pain, stiffness, and swelling the disease causes. Every treatment option is different for every patient because no two cases are the same. Dr. Brionez will assess your case and treat you as she sees fit. In more severe cases, the immune system must be suppressed using biologic response modifiers. These drugs block the immune system’s signals that cause inflammation in the joints.
The contRAst Program
There are many treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis patients, but there are some patients that do not respond to them adequately. So, there are research studies testing new investigational drugs in order to help improve the lives of many patients. The contRAst Program is one such study that Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is participating in. RA patients who are interested in the study can help current, and future patients combat the disease.
If you are interested in the contRAst Program, then visit the rheumatoid arthritis research page for additional details. There, you can find the link to the qualifying criteria and details on the study. Participants are subject to free medication, free clinic visits, and assisted travel if needed.
Spring TX Doctors Who Specialize in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is no longer a debilitating disease. The advancement in treatment options have helped patients live comfortable lives. Certain research studies are also helping patients who do not currently respond to treatment. So, if you are interested in the contRAst Program or simply want to schedule an appointment, then call at (281) 766-7886.
Patients may also contact us online via the form. Regardless, they will get the same high-quality care that we have always provided. Dr. Brionez will help patients overcome their disease using the most trusted techniques. So, stop searching “Spring TX doctors who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis” and start calling Advanced Rheumatology of Houston today.
Fun Facts about Spring
- 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.
- Find more fun facts about Spring here.