Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most disabling types of arthritis. With advances in treatment options, Ritika Narula, DO, and the Rheumatology Medical Center team can alleviate your pain and prevent permanent joint damage. To schedule an evaluation with the patient-centered team for your rheumatoid arthritis, call the office in Weston, Florida, or book an appointment online today.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Your immune system protects you from germs and foreign invaders. However, if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system mistakenly attacks the normal tissue, cells, or organs in your body.
With rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the joint capsule, causing inflammation and swelling. When left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis may lead to permanent joint damage and bone deformity.
You may be at greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis if it runs in your family.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. During the early stages of the disease, arthritis may affect your smaller joints, like those in your fingers or toes. Over time, your arthritis may move on to larger joints, such as your wrists, elbows, ankles, or knees.
Though rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects the joints, the autoimmune disease may cause inflammatory symptoms that involve other parts of your body, such as your eyes, skin, heart, or nerves.
Your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may come and go. However, as noted, when left untreated, the autoimmune disorder may lead to irreversible joint damage.
Dr. Narula and the Rheumatology Medical Center team diagnose rheumatoid arthritis through a series of blood tests and diagnostic imaging. When you come in with concerns about joint pain and inflammation, the team first reviews your symptoms and medical history.
Then, they perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out rheumatoid arthritis. You must be experiencing symptoms for three or more months before the team can provide an official rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
With advances in treatment options, Dr. Narula and the team design personalized plans that provide excellent symptom relief and long-term remission.
Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis may include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to alleviate symptoms and slow down the disease’s progression.
For patients with severe symptoms, the team may prescribe biological agents that block the immune system cells that cause joint inflammation and damage.
Most importantly, Dr. Narula and the team take the time to educate you about your condition and symptoms.
They also schedule regular follow-up appointments to track joint health and adjust your plan as needed.
Call Rheumatology Medical Center or book an appointment online today to get help managing your rheumatoid arthritis.