Rheumatoid arthritis is among the more common rheumatic diseases, causing widespread joint pain, stiffness, and distortion. You can benefit from expert diagnosis and treatment at the Rheumatic Disease Center offices in Milwaukee, Glendale, and Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The practice’s highly skilled rheumatologists excel in treating rheumatoid arthritis using the most advanced, up-to-date medications. Call your nearest Rheumatic Disease Center office today or book an appointment online to find relief from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder causing severe joint pain, stiffness, and distortion. Without treatment, rheumatoid arthritis can cause physical disabilities.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be seropositive or seronegative. Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis develops faster and more severely, causing extensive joint damage, lung problems, and rheumatoid nodules (lumps on the skin). Young people can get juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by your body’s immune system destroying healthy cells in the joints. Why this happens isn’t clear, but some people are more at risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Smoking and carrying excess body weight increases your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Women are far more likely to get the disease than men. Genes called human leukocyte antigen (HLA) increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and could make your arthritis worse.
Joint pain is the primary symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, along with problems like heat, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness. Fatigue and loss of appetite are also common.
Around 40% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience symptoms that don’t affect the joints but other areas, like the:
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms never go away entirely but can sometimes be less severe. Triggers like stress, weather changes, and excessive physical activity can cause a flare-up, where the pain, swelling, and heat get much worse.
To diagnose your symptoms, the Rheumatic Disease Center team completes a physical exam, does blood tests, and could refer you for X-rays. An early diagnosis — within the first six months of symptoms beginning — ensures treatment when it’s most effective.
The Rheumatic Disease Center team manages rheumatoid arthritis with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These medicines delay the disease’s progression and prevent joint distortions. You might also benefit from biological response modifier medications in addition to DMARDs.
Changing your diet and daily habits is also vital in managing rheumatoid arthritis. Your rheumatologist might recommend:
Anti-inflammatory diets suitable for people with rheumatoid arthritis include the Paleo®, Mediterranean, and gluten-free diets. Some of the best foods for rheumatoid arthritis include fruits, vegetables, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Call the Rheumatic Disease Center today or book an appointment online to discover effective ways of reducing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.