A Quick Guide: Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

adc-ra

Rheumatoid Arthritis is the most common form of autoimmune arthritis, affecting more than 1.3 million Americans. Of these, about 75 percent are women. In fact, 1–3 percent of women may get rheumatoid arthritis in their lifetime. The disease most often begins between the fourth and sixth decades of life. However, RA can start at any age.

RA is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling and limited motion and function of many joints. While RA can affect any joint, the small joints in the hands and feet tend to be involved most often. Inflammation sometimes can affect organs as well, for instance, the eyes or lungs.

Features of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints
  • Symmetrical pattern of affected joints
  • Joint inflammation often affecting the wrist and finger joints closest to the hand
  • Joint inflammation sometimes affecting other joints, including the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles and feet
  • Fatigue, occasional fevers, a loss of energy
  • Pain and stiffness lasting for more than 30 minutes in the morning or after a long rest
  • Symptoms that last for many years
  • Variability of symptoms among people with the disease.

Who has Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Scientists estimate that about 1.5 million people, or about 0.6 percent of the U.S. adult population, have RA. Interestingly, some recent studies have suggested that although the number of new cases of RA for older people is increasing, the overall number of new cases may actually be going down.

RA occurs in all races and ethnic groups. Although the disease often begins in middle age and occurs with increased frequency in older people, older teenagers and young adults may also be diagnosed with the disease. Children and younger teenagers may be diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (a condition related to RA). Like some other forms of arthritis, RA occurs much more frequently in women than in men. About two to three times as many women as men have the disease.

How does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect People’s Lives?

RA affects people differently. Some people have mild or moderate forms of the disease, with periods of worsening symptoms, called flares, and periods in which they feel better, called remissions. Others have a severe form of the disease that is active most of the time, lasts fro many years or a lifetime and leads to serious joint damage and disability.

Although RA is primarily a disease of the joints, its effects are not just physical. Many people with RA also experience issues related to:

  • Depression
  • feelings of helplessness
  • low self-esteem

RA can affect virtually every part of a person’s life, from work life to family life. It can also interfere with the joys and responsibilities of family life and may affect the decision to have children.

Finally…

The rheumatologists at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic specialize in treating patients with arthritis, gout, lupus and related diseases.  Knowledge of these diseases continues to expand through research efforts.  Our major goal is to limit any arthritic damage, especially in rheumatoid arthritis.  Our services include bone density testing, joint injections and an IV infusion clinic for new medications.  Our rheumatologists are armed with the latest information regarding your disease and treatment options to improve your quality of life. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

(Some information provided by the American College of Rheumatology).

Advertisements

Video: Women are 4x More Likely To Develop Osteoporosis

Did you know that women are four times more likely to develop Osteoporosis than men? If you have noticed a loss in height, or have a history of Osteoporosis, schedule an appointment with a Rheumatologist at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, the simple solution to your healthcare needs.

Click on the images to learn more about ADC’s Rheumatology Specialists

Dr. Ming Chen, Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, P.A. Specialist, Rheumatology

Ming Chen, M.D., Ph.D

What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is a sub-specialty in internal medicine, devoted to diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic diseases.

Learn more about this one of a kind specialty at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic.

Why see a Rheumatology Specialist? (Featuring Dr. Ming Chen, ADC, Rheumatologist)

What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is the area of medical expertise concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the muscles, bones and joints. It can include knee pain, hip pain, back pain and more.

In this video, watch Dr. Schwartzenburg give an overview to a real patient about Rheumatology.

Inside Look: Rheumatology with Dr. Schwartzenburg

Rheumatology Treatment Options

Rheumatology Treatment Options Part 2

–––

Specialist Bio

Rheumatology

Dr. Ming Chen, Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, P.A. Specialist, Rheumatology

Dr. Ming Chen, Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, P.A. Specialist, Rheumatology

Dr. Ming Chen

Call Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ming Chen at 8063580200

Inside Look: Rheumatology with Dr. Schwartzenburg

 

Watch more videos on the ADC YouTube Channel – ADC YouTube

Acting on the signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

X-Ray of Rheumatoid Arthritis

“Failure to act on early signs of rheumatoid arthritis could prove fatal” from the Guardian

People are putting themselves at risk of an early death by failing to act on the early signs of rheumatoid arthritis, a doctor warned today. The crippling condition causes swelling and pain in the joints, but these symptoms are often dismissed as an inevitable consequence of ageing or too minor to trouble a GP with.

A study into patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis found that on average, they went untreated for more than six months, and that most of this delay was due to people failing to raise the issue with their GP. Dr Karim Raza, a consultant rheumatologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals, said that acting on the first signs of rhemuatoid arthritis was crucial because it can be treated successfully if caught within three months.

“The condition does not just affect the joints. People with rheumatoid arthritis typically die 10 years younger from premature heart disease,” Dr Raza said.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder that targets the joints, but also damages other parts of the body. The condition affects 350,000 people in Britain and usually appears between the ages of 30 and 50. Three times as many women are affected as men…

Click here to read more.

– — –

The rheumatologists at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic specialize in treating patients with arthritis, gout, lupus and related diseases.