Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system launches an attack on healthy tissues mistaking them for potential threats. It is a common issue with over 1.3 million Americans living with the condition. Tampa rheumatoid arthritis specialists recommend you don’t wait for your symptoms to linger without a proper diagnosis. Help is readily available to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. It is easy to get a solid treatment plan when working with specialists with extensive expertise, but other factors matter. Here are some guidelines for you.
Understand First What Rheumatoid Arthritis Is
Understanding rheumatoid arthritis will help you understand the best approach you can take to manage it. It will also assist you in realizing when to seek help and what the symptoms look like. Understand that rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory and autoimmune complication that affects whole systems in your body. The condition can affect multiple joints simultaneously, especially in the hands, knees, and wrist. However, it can also attack other organs like your eyes, heart, and lungs. Although the condition is common between the ages of 30 and 50, anyone can get the condition at any age.
Recognize the Causes
Knowing what has caused your condition will also help you know the most effective way to manage it. Rheumatoid arthritis mainly occurs when your immune system attacks your synovium. But the exact cause of the situation is not well understood. But some factors increase your risks of getting the condition. Smoking, being a woman, being overweight, or obese increases your chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis. Some evidence also shows that the condition can run through families.
Note Your Symptoms
Ensure you note all the symptoms you are experiencing, as it will help your provider understand how to manage them. While joint pain and stiffness are the main complications you can get, you can still notice swelling in the joints. You can also experience additional issues like fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite. With accurate information about what you are experiencing, your provider will figure out the best treatment plan for you.
If you presume you have rheumatoid arthritis, the best thing to do is seek a diagnosis from your doctor. The earlier you begin treatment, the greater chances of effectively managing your symptoms. Do not hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor if you notice your joints are swollen or feel uncomfortable. Your provider will confirm or rule out rheumatoid arthritis and recommend you begin using disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) soon. You can use some NSAIDs to get some relief from pain and inflammation. Other treatment strategies that can be included in your plan include physical therapy, the use of corticosteroids, or surgery where medications fail.
A solid treatment plan will ensure that you get relief from your symptoms and the progression is slowed down. Although rheumatoid arthritis cures have not yet been discovered, you can get to full remission by working closely with your doctor and sticking to your treatment plan. Note that severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis can make you disabled, and that is why you ought to report your symptoms early and follow your doctor’s advice carefully even after treatment.
Get your rheumatoid arthritis appointment today at the Osteoporosis and Rheumatology Center if you suspect you have the condition. Your doctor will assess your symptoms and evaluate your condition to understand the right approach to take.