5 Questions To Ask Your Rheumatologist If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis – Nation World News

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It is important that you can implement the treatment and recommendations of your specialist.

The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can also damage other parts of the body. Photo: Shutterstock.

medical literature defines rheumatoid arthritis As a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just the joints. In some people, this condition can damage various body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

This autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues. Unlike the wear and tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis It affects the lining of the joints and causes painful inflammation that can eventually lead to bone erosion and joint deformity.

inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis This is what can also harm other parts of the body. Although new drugs have greatly improved treatment options, rheumatoid arthritis Severe still can cause physical disability.

Learn about the five most important questions to ask your rheumatologist:

What is the risk of permanent damage to my body from rheumatoid arthritis?

rheumatoid arthritis It is a condition associated with persistent inflammation. This inflammation occurs most acutely in the joints, but can damage other parts of the body. Between joints, continued inflammation causes destruction of both cartilage and bone, and can also damage other structures near the joint, such as tendons and ligaments. Sometimes patients can develop complications that affect other areas of the body such as the eyes, lungs, kidneys, skin, blood and even the nervous system.

Not all patients experience severe damage, as the disease may have mild symptoms. It is important to adhere to pharmacological treatment to reduce and in some cases stop the progression of joint damage and avoid other complications that may occur. With proper treatment, patients can experience remission, which is nothing more than to effectively prevent or control the disease.

What are the available treatments, what are their risks, and how likely am I to experience side effects?

There are many treatments available to manage RA and control the disease. These treatments range from conventional medications such as methotrexate, sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), azathioprine (Imuran). These are known as synthetic disease-modifying drugs and are usually the first line of treatment.

There are also biologic drugs that block substances called cytokines and finally enzymes that promote inflammation by affecting the immune system.

Each of these drugs has its own potential risks and potential side effects. Risks and side effects are talked about constantly, but sometimes these problems can be experienced and the risk of permanent joint damage is lost sight.

There are ways to reduce the risks associated with drug use. Most importantly, a rheumatologist oversees your treatment, selects the appropriate medication for your care, and carefully monitors your labs and overall health.

Do I need to make any lifestyle changes to help control the disease?

Patients may think that there is nothing they can do to help them manage RA, but this is not the case. There are lifestyle changes that can have a major impact on symptoms: stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, eat healthily, manage anxiety and depression, promote proper rest, reduce stress levels, help Take and have a good support system at home.

For example, smoking is a habit that can be changed. Smoking is a behavior that exacerbates arthritis and leads to serious complications, increases the risk of side effects from some medications used to manage RA, and ultimately increases the risk of heart disease.

Being overweight makes the joints that support your weight, such as the small joints in the hips, knees, ankles and feet, more painful.

Lack of physical activity increases the feeling of fatigue or physical fatigue that is commonly associated with RA. Lack of restful sleep can lead to more fatigue and less tolerance for pain. By modifying these elements of your lifestyle, you may feel better and this relief will be more helpful than the relief provided by medication.

can i exercise

There are several studies that have shown the benefits of exercise for RA patients. The best evidence exists for low-impact aerobic exercise, joint movement exercises, and strengthening exercises. Cardiovascular exercise helps increase oxygen to the tissues, this will give you more energy, you will be able to sleep better. Joint movement exercises help you maintain better mobility and flexibility in your joints.

Examples of aerobic exercise are: walking, stationary cycling and aquatic exercise, among others. With regard to joint strengthening and mobility exercises, it is advisable to visit a physical therapist or physical therapist to be educated on the correct techniques and necessary modifications so that you can exercise effectively without injuring yourself.

You should consult with your rheumatologist before starting an exercise program. It is important that your illness is appropriately controlled and that an individualized program is designed. While it is possible to experience more pain when starting an exercise routine, this should improve over time. If your pain doesn’t improve after two weeks, see your doctor.

Every exercise routine should include warm-up and stretching periods. It is important to hydrate before, during, and after exercising.

Which vaccines are suitable for me?

Immunosuppressed patients because of drug use should not receive live vaccines. Some examples of live vaccines are the herpes zoster (shingles), the nasal influenza vaccine, and the polio vaccine. However, injectable influenza and pneumococcal vaccines are appropriate and necessary for RA patients who receive treatments that predispose them to an increased risk of infection.

According to guidelines established by the “American College of Rheumatology” (ACR) and the “Centers for Disease Control” (CDC), these are the recommendations for influenza and pneumococcal vaccines:

Injectable influenza vaccine should be given to all RA patients who are or will be treated with immunosuppressants, regardless of when or when their treatment was started, unless there is a contraindication.

Pneumococcal vaccine should be given to all RA patients who will be treated or will be treated with immunosuppressants and should be revaccinated 5 years after their last pneumococcal vaccination.

Hepatitis B vaccine should be given to patients who are going to use methotrexate, leflunomide, or any biologic if they have risk factors. Risk factors include a history of multiple sexual partners in the past 6 months prior to treatment, contact with people with hepatitis B, intravenous drug use, or patients working in health-related fields.

Source consulted here.

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