A rheumatologist is a doctor who focuses on treating conditions associated with inflammation. This includes a variety of illnesses, including autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Here are a few reasons to schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist to help you manage your chronic condition.
1. A Rheumatologist Can Help You Identify What's Ailing You
When patients struggle with reoccurring pain or symptoms that never seem to go away, it's frustrating when conventional remedies don't work. Identifying the condition (or conditions) that the patient is experiencing can assist with creating a more effective treatment plan.
This treatment plan will usually focus on minimizing behaviors that exacerbate the condition while embracing treatments and medications that address the disease's underlying causes.
For example, if you're experiencing knee pain that rest and the use of anti-inflammatories don't improve, a rheumatologist can conduct tests and screening that identify rheumatoid arthritis as the cause of your discomfort. Now that you know that your body is attacking its own healthy cells, you can use medications that prevent your body from attacking these cells, helping you manage your symptoms and slow the progression of your disease.
2. You'll Learn What You Can Do to Manage Your Symptoms
A rheumatologist will suggest lifestyle changes that will help you better manage your condition and its symptoms. Sticking with the example of rheumatoid arthritis, it's known that smoking and eating highly processed foods can worsen your pain levels and increase inflammation in your body.
Your rheumatologist will assist you in making the changes required to manage and reduce the severity of your chronic symptoms. They can also direct you to any resources you need, like physical therapy or a smoking cessation program.
3. You Can Better Manage Risks Associated with Your Condition
Many diseases put you at a higher risk of experiencing other adverse health effects. With rheumatoid arthritis, you have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Your rheumatologist will work to assist you with lower your risk of other health issues.
You might be encouraged to be more active to reduce your risks of experiencing other health problems. Proper treatment helps you increase your activity level without increasing your pain and discomfort.
Or, if you're showing signs of health concerns that are related to your chronic symptoms, you can explore medication and treatment options to assist you with controlling these conditions. For example, if your blood pressure is frequently elevated, you might receive a prescription for a medication to help you lower it and explore a diet that's associated with healthier blood pressure levels.
For more information, contact a local clinic like Sarasota Arthritis Center.