Each and everyone of us has at least once heard of rheumatic diseases. For those willing to know more here are some facts. Rheumatic diseases are actually autoimmune and inflammatory diseases in which the immune system attacks and causes damage not only to joints but also to muscles, bones and other organs. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most commonly reported rheumatic diseases. However, there are various other such conditions. A person may, for instance, develop one out of 100 various rheumatic diseases and conditions.
What are Rheumatic Diseases?
According to data, there are more than 50 million people in the United States who suffer from various types of rheumatic diseases and conditions. Some cases are not severe and are actually well tolerated. The most serious ones are probably inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The main reason why that is so is because not only these conditions cause excruciating pain but they also lead to irreversible organ and joint destruction, disability and in some cases they may even cause death. It is best for a person who suffers from some sort of a rheumatic disease to be treated by a rheumatologist or sometimes even a team of doctors including a primary health care provider, rheumatologist and orthopedic surgeon, all of which possess sufficient knowledge regarding the disease and can create a highly efficient treatment plan.
A person affected by a rheumatic disease will face complex problems. Words people mostly use to describe these diseases are life-changing, painful, deforming, crippling and even deadly. Even though joint pain, swelling and stiffness are considered to be a normal part of the process of aging and are typically seen in older people, these health issues can be seen in young people too, particularly if they are suffering from rheumatic diseases. Such problems are known to even endanger the education and career of the affected individuals. Available data claim that rheumatic diseases affect around 7 million people out of 50 million who suffer from various diseases of the muscles, joints and bones. It is important to emphasize that these rheumatic diseases will not only affect joints and bones but they will also cause damage to other organs as well.
In the majority of cases patients are in need of both strong medications and additional help from various professionals. A lot of people still do not understand that patients suffering from the most severe rheumatic diseases are unable to grip things, are always at risk of dropping everything they pick up, cannot open jars, lift their children or even tie their own shoes. As a matter of fact they are highly prone to repeated injuries.
Rheumatologist is the Solution?
When it comes to rheumatic diseases, patients practically always cooperate with a rheumatologist. Such a person is a professional who specialized in helping those suffering from all types of rheumatic diseases. This medical specialty is actually a sub-specialty of both internal medicine and pediatrics.
A rheumatologist plays a vital role in the treatment because such a specialist can make proper diagnosis, recommend the best possible treatment and be there during the actual process of treating the rheumatic disease. Rheumatologists are able to notice symptoms of more severe rheumatic diseases on time and by doing so they may efficiently prevent severe organ damage. In addition, if a rheumatic disease is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, the cost of treatment will not be as high as it is when the problem is left untreated, neglected or the disease diagnosed once it has significantly progressed.
Symptoms of rheumatic diseases should be treated as soon as they appear. This way, there is more chance for the treatment to be successful and a person will also reduce the chance of developing certain complications some of which remain for the rest of the patient's life. The first three months are probably the most crucial. If a person receives treatment within that period, there is a great chance that he or she will avoid long term sequelae. This will also better the function of the affected organs in the long run and improve the chance of achieving disease remission.
What you do not Know about Rheumatic Diseases?
A lot of people are unaware of the fact that rheumatic diseases can affect the heart as well. A person who suffers from chronic inflammation associated with rheumatic diseases has a greater chance of suffering from different cardiovascular diseases. The experts say that a person diagnosed with rheumatic diseases has twice as much chance of developing a heart disease compared to a person not suffering from it. Those who suffer from lupus, for instance, have more chances of having a heart attack than healthy people. Also, certain eyes and lung conditions may easily develop in patients with rheumatic diseases. And finally, the nervous system is sometimes affected by rheumatic diseases.