Are you searching, “Tomball TX doctors who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis?” Dr. Brionez, Advanced Rheumatology of Houston’s sole rheumatologist, has more than ten years of experience in the field. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and various other conditions have benefited from her expertise and knowledge. The Greater Houston area has plenty of rheumatologists, but none of them are as friendly or caring as Dr. Brionez.
Rheumatologists diagnose and treat rheumatologic conditions. These diseases affect the body’s connective tissues, such as joints, ligaments, muscles, organs, and bone. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the joints are affected. In some cases, the organs may be affected by the disease.
Patients can trust in the expertise of Dr. Brionez because of her many years of experience. She started her career by graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science. Then, she obtained her Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine. Then, she completed her Fellowship of Rheumatology at the University of Texas Health and Science Center.
In 2007, Dr. Brionez became board-certified in internal medicine. Two years later marked the year she was board-certified in rheumatology. Ever since then, she has been in practice and offered her expertise to patients. Below, patients can find the full list of conditions she is capable of treating.
- 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 case of autoimmune diseases, they occur when the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body. Normally, an immune system fights off foreign pathogens in the body, such as a virus or infection. RA sees the immune system attack the joints of the body, which causes irreversible damage.
There is no known cause of RA, but experts do know a lot about the disease. Firstly, rheumatoid arthritis affects 1.3 million Americans. Women are more affected than men. In fact, 75 percent of RA patients are women. Those between the ages 0f 30 and 50 are the most at risk.
Secondly, rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint in the body. Although, smaller joints such as those in the hands and feet are more affected. RA is best diagnosed early in order to treat symptoms and prevent permanent damage. More importantly, patients should see a doctor if they are experiencing symptoms. Research shows early diagnosis helps patients live comfortable lives for longer.
Finally, common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. These symptoms may be more present in the morning. Others include loss of appetite, minor fevers, lack of energy, dry eyes or mouth, and lumps just underneath the skin. These lumps are known as rheumatoid nodules and commonly appear around the hands and elbows.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis
There are a few different ways to diagnose RA, but blood tests are the best option. Another option or to simply aid in the diagnosis are scans. X-rays and ultrasounds are capable of revealing the state of the joint or organs affected by the disease. Joints will reveal damage that has been sustained from the immune system’s attacks. However, blood tests do a better job of identifying the cause.
Blood tests will help identify aspects of the blood that are related to the rheumatoid arthritis disease. Specific antibodies are looked at because 60 to 70 percent of RA patients have antibodies present in the body. If a patient does have the antibodies present in the body but does not have the disease, then it is considered a false positive. The blood test may also look for specific proteins, a lack of red blood cells, and levels of inflammation.
Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis
There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are many treatment options for the symptoms. Above all, treatment options seek to relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness in patients. Most patients are able to live relatively normal and comfortable lives. Medication is the best way to combat such symptoms. Not two cases of RA are the same, and Dr. Brionez recognizes that. She will offer the best treatment option for each individual case.
In serious cases of RA, the patient will need medication that suppresses the immune system’s signals. These drugs will block the chemical signals from attacking the joints. This helps preserve them and reduce inflammation. Some patients need a combination of these drugs, while others may only need one.
Even though medication is a way to combat the disease, it must be paired with exercise or therapy. Patients should build muscle strength in order to reduce the stress on their joints. In addition, exercise is a great way of reducing stiffness and pain naturally. Medication is not the best treatment by itself.
The contRAst Program
There may be many treatment options when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, but there are some patients who do not respond to treatment. For these patients, there are research studies paving the way toward a new drug. The contRAst Program is testing an investigational drug that will slow the progression of joint damage. Research studies are important for current and future RA patients because of the relief they can provide.
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is happy to participate in this study along with other clinics in the United States. If you are an RA patient and are interested in the contRAst Program, then visit our rheumatoid arthritis research page to find out more. Patients may also contact us for questions.
Tomball TX Doctors Who Specialize in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is dedicated to providing the highest form of care for patients with rheumatologic conditions. Dr. Brionez has more than a decade of experience in the field so patients can feel safe and comfortable. Patients can schedule an appointment with us by calling (281) 766-7886. There is also a form on the contact us page if patients want to use that instead. Regardless, they will get the same great care. So, patients can stop searching “Tomball TX doctors who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis” and start calling!
Fun Facts about Tomball
- Tomball was awarded the “Superior Public Drinking Water System” from the TCEQ.
- The city has a 97% Excellent rating of the Utilities Gas System.
- Tomball is one of the top three cities in Texas for our gas system.
- Find more fun facts about Tomball here.