What Is Rheumatology?
Rheumatology is a specific branch of internal medicine and pediatrics involved in diagnostics and proper treatment of rheumatic medical conditions. These conditions include but are not limited to heritable connective tissue disorders, autoimmune diseases, vasculitis as well as the disorders affecting soft tissues and joints. The nature of rheumatology is based on multiple medicine disciplines.
That’s because it exists in close interconnection with many medical specialties. The therapy of rheumatic diseases is typically very difficult and requires much knowledge and competence from rheumatologists, the doctors who actually treat these diseases.
Modern Rheumatology Aspects
Recently, rheumatology took a quantum leap in its development. And the most considerable amendments happened within the past two decades. Not too long ago, the treatment methods were barely effective and even often outdated. But now these methods are clinically supported and able to really provide a relief to the patients. However, there are some fundamental issues which still require solution mainly due to the complicated process of setting a diagnosis in the realm of rheumatology.
Due to the application of the modern research tools, the doctors better understand what leads to the development of rheumatic disorders. That’s why the creation of new, much more powerful and promising medications became possible. Now physicians can prescribe the innovative biologic medications to their patients. Moreover, the physicians can use the registries formulated for the appraisal of real application of such remedies and their true impact on the efficacy of treatment protocols. And often, the treatment approach may be successfully complemented with the healthy nutrition and the use of the top-class weight loss pills that work.
Also, rheumatology provides an abundance of opportunities for the further scientific studies since there is much space for investigation and research in the nearest future. Thus, the doctors are waiting for even more advanced disease evaluation methods, more clinical proof, formation of cutting-edge biomarkers, refinement of medication administration. These renovations and improvements will enable the medical experts to much more effectively combat the diverse rheumatic diseases which drastically worsen the patients’ quality of life.
Information about Practice Management
Practice Administrators will be provided with “Practice Management Alerts” – relevant information on an ongoing basis. The purpose of this web page is to keep administrators current regarding events and policies affecting medical practices; enabling them to deal quickly and effectively as practice management challenges arise. A Practice Administrator’s Discussion Board will enable administrators to read and write responses to the Practice Management Alerts; facilitating useful interactions between medical practice administrators. Links to other resources on important practice management topics will be posted as well. Physicians and Allied Health Professionals can access the Practice Management site as well.
Practice administrators will:
- Receive an email when a new “Practice Management Alert” has been posted.
- Receive notification when a comment has been posted on the Practice Administrators’ Discussion Board.
- Participate in Practice Management Teleconferences conducted by well known rheumatology practice administrators from across the US. At the end of the teleconference you will have the opportunity to have your questions answered by the speaker. Invitations will be emailed to you prior to each teleconference.
- Access the Archived Practice Management Teleconferences at any time.
What Is Rheumatic Disease?
Rheumatic disease is an inflammatory medical condition which frequently has an autoimmune origin. This implies that such diseases develop when the immune system starts mistakenly perceive the healthy body tissues antagonistically.
Rheumatic diseases typically afflict different parts of the musculoskeletal system such as ligaments, joints, tendons, muscles, and bones.
It’s a widespread stereotype that rheumatic disease means arthritis. But though certain types of arthritis really belong to rheumatic diseases, there is an abundance of other rheumatic diseases except arthritis.
Types of Rheumatic Diseases?
The major types of rheumatic diseases are as follows:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Infectious arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
The mentioned medical conditions most frequently affect people regardless of age, gender, and social status.
Rheumatic Disease Causes
The scientists and doctors consider that the rheumatic diseases occur when some genes are combined with specific environmental factors. Thus, when some genes are available in particular variations, an individual may be much more predisposed to the occurrence of rheumatic diseases. And this when this predisposition is enhanced with the environmental factors, the disease may start developing.
According to the clinical trials, the persons with varying human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes, known as immune response regulators, are more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. When this people are subject to some negative factors such as hormonal fluctuations, bacterial infections, virus infections, or obesity, even provided that a person fights it with OTC carb blockers and fat burners, a rheumatic disease emerges.
Also, smoking can substantially raise the probability of suffering from certain rheumatic diseases. Nutrition habits and preferences may also play a determinative role for the development of some rheumatic diseases.
Rheumatic Disease Diagnosis
At the present moment, the medicine knows more than a hundred rheumatic diseases which are quite complicated to diagnose. It’s impossible to distinguish a single test or method for diagnosing rheumatic diseases.
The diagnosis of any rheumatic disease starts with informing your doctor about your medical history and symptoms. The current state of your health, particularly the availability of other non-rheumatic diseases, will also be a subject of discussion in the medical office. A precise physical examination is also demanded to appraise motion and reflexes as well as determine whether there is eye inflammation and swollen glands.
If there is a suspicion concerning any rheumatic disease, the healthcare provider will recommend you to run one or several laboratory tests. Thus, some blood tests may be required in order to find inflammation markers, blood count abnormalities, antibodies related to some medical conditions, and organ functioning abnormalities. Joint fluid test and urine test can also be very helpful.
Also, imaging tests of bones and joints are effective for determining joint erosion, joint destruction, fluid buildup, cartilage reduction, bone erosion, bone destruction, and soft tissue tears. In addition, ultrasounds, computed tomography scans, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging scans may be needed.
Rheumatoid Arthritis in Sports
The availability of rheumatic diseases is now no longer an impediment for people who want to be professionally engaged in sports activities. And the patients with rheumatoid arthritis nowadays have an opportunity to become the professional sportsmen.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a kind of arthritis that afflicts and destroys numerous joints available in the human body. This medical condition is classified as an autoimmune one. Due to this, the immune system starts perceiving and damaging the joint cells. Stiffness, swelling, and pain always accompany this disease in all people including sportsmen.
The major task of a sports medicine physician is to get all the details of medical history and symptoms which a particular patient experiences. Such a physician will check the state of joints and monitor the symptoms of inflammation and swelling in a sportsman. The rheumatoid arthritis patients are still able to take hgh supplements and take part in sports contests. But when the period of flare happens, the doctor may recommend the sportsman to take a break in sports activities. For such patients, the low-impact sports activities swimming will be the best choice.
Diet as a Part of Rheumatic Disease Management
A special healthy diet is a very important part of any rheumatic disease treatment which may substantially improve the quality of rheumatic disease sufferers. People who are diagnosed with a rheumatic disease should limit or exclude the following foods from their diet:
- Sugars and refined carbs: The consumption of too many sugars and carbs such as sodas, candies, white flour baked products leads to the elevation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are closely associated with inflammation and pain during a rheumatic disease. That’s why low carb diets can be a great solution.
- Fried and processed foods: According to the studies, the reduction of processed and fried foods consumption helps the rheumatic patients alleviate inflammation and strengthen the body’s ability to resist the rheumatic inflammatory processes.
- Alcohol and tobacco: Alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking are associated with the high probability of rheumatic disease development. It’s necessary to overcome such bad habits in order to have healthy joints.
- Salt and preservatives: Excessive intake of these supplements leads to join inflammation and aggravates rheumatoid arthritis.
Most Common Symptoms of Rheumatic Diseases
It’s possible to distinguish the following most widespread symptoms of rheumatoid diseases:
- Painful sensations which not always appear in joints
- Swelling not only in and around joints but also throughout the whole body
- Muscle and joint stiffness that may finally lead to immobility
- Constant fatigue and exhaustion
- Ill-being feeling and fever
- Body weight reduction even without the use of OTC testosterone boosters or any special remedies
The above mentioned symptoms are common for all types of rheumatic diseases. But each particular rheumatic disease may have own specific symptoms as well as develop in any part of the body. The autoimmune diseases not just afflict joints but may also start destroying each of body organs.
If you notice some of the described symptoms and experience these symptoms for quite a long time, you should schedule a healthcare provider’s appointment.
Risk Factors for Rheumatic Diseases
There are the following risk factors which can increase the probability of rheumatic disease development:
- Heredity. Heredity is often a determining factor in the occurrence of numerous rheumatic diseases. There are some genes which make people more susceptible to different rheumatic diseases. Family genetic background can also raise the likelihood of rheumatic medical condition development.
- Age. The probability to be a rheumatoid arthritis or polymyalgia rheumatica sufferer grows when a person becomes older. Among the age-induced rheumatic diseases, there are also ankylosing spondylitis, scleroderma, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus.
- Sex. Gender also has an impact on the development of some rheumatic diseases. Thus, rheumatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus are more peculiar to women. Men are more predisposed to ankylosing spondylitis and gout.
- Infections. People affected with infectious diseases are more likely to suffer from rheumatic diseases including scleroderma, polymyalgia rheumatica, and lupus since the infections kickstart the emergence of rheumatic diseases.
- Underlying conditions. People who suffer from diabetes, early menopause, obesity, hypothyroidism, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disorders are more susceptible to rheumatic diseases like gout. Also, people with lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis may further be affected with vasculitis and Sjogren’s syndrome.