Rheumatoid Arthritis  – Dr. Jennifer Neville – Memorial Medical Group – Shiloh, IL

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Dr. Jennifer Neville – Memorial Medical Group – Shiloh, IL

January 13, 2020 0 By Jose Scott

Rheumatoid Arthritis Dr. Jennifer Neville What is rheumatoid arthritis? So, rheumatoid arthritis, it’s a autoimmune
disease. So it’s like your body is attacking your own
joints. There’s different theories as to why that
happened. They don’t know exactly why, but your body’s
basically attacking your joints causing damage. The damage that is done by that is irreversible
so once it’s done, it’s done. You can’t go back, so it’s really important
to identify it early, and then get on a treatment. There’s a lot of new treatments that are out
that can actually halt the process and prevent the damage of the joints, but mainly it’s
the hands. The hands usually…these joints right here
affected. The wrist can be affected, and it’s usually
on both hands. So if you have, you know, one sore joint on
your finger, it doesn’t mean that you have rheumatoid arthritis. How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed? A lot of times there’s not just one test that
we do, and “Yep, you have that disease process.” It’s a clinical history. So you have to take a full history from that
patient. It’s a constellation of symptoms, you know. You could have rashes, different joint pain,
swelling that combined with blood tests to kind of get that diagnosis. But I mean it’s not just one blood test. There is a blood test for it, but about 10
to 15 percent of the population has a positive blood test just because it doesn’t mean that
they have rheumatoid arthritis. You really have to combine the clinical history
and the patient’s symptoms with the blood work. What treatments are available for rheumatoid
arthritis? To start for a mild rheumatoid arthritis,
anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen, Mobic, sometimes steroids like prednisone can kind
of help get it under control. Teally the move is to more like biological
agents or they’re called DMARDs. They actually halt the process or stop your
body from attacking itself, you know. They do come with side effects. Usually a Rheumatologist would be administering
those medications, but there’s a lot of different options that you have for that.