If you are seeking “The Woodlands TX rheumatoid arthritis doctors in my area,” then schedule an appointment at Advanced Rheumatology of Houston. Our sole rheumatologist, Dr. Brionez, has more than ten years in the field. Rheumatoid arthritis doctors are also known as rheumatologists. Rheumatologists diagnose and treat arthritis, osteoporosis, lupus, gout, and many other rheumatologic diseases.
A rheumatologic disease affects the connective tissue of the body. This includes joints, muscles, ligaments, organs, and bone. These conditions range in severity and should be diagnosed and treated by a professional. Dr. Brionez is just that and will offer the best medical advice to patients.
Dr. Brionez started her medical degree when she graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences. From there, she obtained her medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. She also completed her fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Then, in 2007, she became board-certified in internal medicine. Two years later, she became a board-certified rheumatologist and has been in practice since. Dr. Brionez cares for her patients and will offer the best care possible. Rheumatic Arthritis is capable of being a serious disease for patients, and so it is important they get the best care possible.
You can see the full list of rheumatologic conditions Dr. Brionez can diagnose and treat below.
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Sjögren’s Syndrome
- Spondyloarthritis (Ankylosing Spondylitis, etc.)
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)
What is Rheumatic Arthritis?
Rheumatic arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. This occurs when the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body. In a normal immune system, it attacks foreign pathogens such as viruses or infections. The immune system plays a vital role in keeping people healthy, but there are times it misinterprets parts of our bodies as threats. RA is one of those cases. There is no known cause for the disease, but we still know a lot about it.
Firstly, rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis. 1.3 million Americans live with the condition. Anyone is capable of developing the illness, but women are the most affected. In fact, about 75 percent of RA patients are women. Women between the ages of 30 and 50 are at the greatest risk.
Secondly, rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints in the body. Any joint is capable of being affected, but smaller ones are more at risk. So, pain in the hands and feet is common. The damage done by RA is irreversible, so it is important for patients to get diagnosed as soon as they experience symptoms.
Speaking of symptoms, patients should keep an eye on these. The most common are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. Most of the time, the pain and stiffness are at the worst in the morning. The symptoms could dissipate after a few hours or persist throughout the day. Below, you can find a list of other symptoms for RA.
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Minor fevers
- Dry eyes or mouth
- Firm lumps around the elbows and hands
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis
RA is diagnosed using a few different methods. One way is through scans such as an x-ray or ultrasound. These devices help to see the condition of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can damage joints significantly, so the scans may reveal their condition. However, the best way to test for RA is to use blood tests.
A blood test will reveal a lot about an RA patient. One thing Dr. Brionez will look for is certain antibodies associated with the disease. These antibodies appear in about 60 to 70 percent of patients with RA. However, there are some cases in which the antibodies are found in patients without RA. This is known as a false positive. Other things that may be detected are proteins and inflammation. All of these will be used to dictate the diagnosis.
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are many treatment options when it comes to RA. The treatment options have improved substantially in the past 30 years, so most patients live comfortable lives. Medication is capable of giving patients pain-free lives so they can enjoy life. When the disease is not present, then it enters remission.
There is no cure for RA, so treatment is geared toward the symptoms. The pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints is the most common target as they cause the most discomfort. Dr. Brionez will determine the best medicine for your case as each patient is different from the last. Many RA patients must change their medication once during their lifetime, but it all varies greatly.
More serious cases of RA require drugs that suppress the immune system’s signals. These signals are what cause the attacks on the joints. Usually, these types of medications are used alongside others in order to maximize treatment. Medication alone is not the best treatment option, however. Patients should also exercise regularly in order to naturally reduce the pain and stiffness of their joints.
The contRAst Program
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is happy to participate in a research study that is paving the way toward a new treatment option for patients. The contRAst Program is testing a new investigational drug that will slow the progress of joint damage. The study is currently seeking participants with RA. If you are interested, then visit our rheumatoid arthritis research page. You can find additional information about the contRAst Program and what it has to offer.
The Woodlands TX Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctors in My Area
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston wants to provide the best possible care for patients. Dr. Brionez will provide exceptional insight and medical advice for RA patients. Schedule an appointment today by calling (281) 766-7886. Patients may also ask us questions regarding the research study or our other services. You are also able to contact us online via the form.
Regardless, our team will provide the same great care. There is no longer a need to live in pain and discomfort from RA. There are treatment options, so stop searching “The Woodlands TX rheumatoid arthritis doctors in my area.”
Fun Facts about The Woodlands
- There are over 200 miles of fun outdoor activities in the Woodlands area!
- The first high school opened in 1976!
- There are almost 150 parks in The Woodlands area!
- Find more fun facts about The Woodlands here.