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When Should You See a Rheumatologist?

Your health is one of the most crucial things that need care. It is, however, impossible to properly do that if you do not know what you are suffering from. A rheumatologist is a physician who is trained in the area of Rheumatology. This enables them to better diagnose, treat, and care for patients suffering from a variety of rheumatic diseases. If your joints, muscles, tendons, or bones are experiencing any issue in the form of swelling, deformity, discomfort, and stiffness, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor that specializes in Rheumatology.

When To See a Rheumatologist

Considering the vast scope of the work that they do, we have come up with a list of five times when you should see a rheumatologist.

Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

There are more than a hundred conditions that fall under Rheumatology. For most people, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most known area of specialty for these practitioners. As there is no cure for RA, people with this condition should have regular checkups with a rheumatologist. However, a rheumatologist treats many more conditions. For instance, gout, lupus, chronic back pain, tendinitis, and osteoarthritis are also in their scope. As a rheumatologist specializes in these diseases, it is best to visit one as soon as possible if you show any symptoms for these conditions.

Swelling Joints and Pain

If you are experiencing either pain or swelling in multiple joints or the pain won’t go away no matter how long or what you do, it is crucial to see a rheumatologist. Rheumatology is a sub-specialty in internal medicine that deals with the joints, soft tissues, autoimmune diseases and heritable connective tissue disorders. Because swelling joints and pain could be an indicator of an underlying problem, it’s crucial to see a rheumatologist right away. If the swollen and painful joint is a symptom of a disease, early diagnosis allows you to start treatment and curb the spread and extent of the issue. As a result, it can increase your chance of getting a good outcome.

Abnormal Blood Test Results

Routine visits to a primary care physician could lead to blood tests in an attempt to single out the problem. At times, these results come with unclear numbers and subtle indicators of more severe issues. As such, you will find that the doctor refers you to another physician that specializes in Rheumatology for a more precise diagnosis. This further testing reveals the cause of the signs and symptoms that led you to go to the doctor.

Unclear Diagnosis

The body is complex and impossible to figure out unless you have proper training. At times, you might have vague indicators that make a conclusion impossible when it comes to your general health. If you have unclear symptoms that require medical attention and you are unsure of which doctor to see, one that specializes in Rheumatology. They will collect information on all the symptoms you have to gather clues that will inform their diagnosis. These indicators range from the areas where you experience pain to any form of discomfort experienced within a specific time-frame. With this information, they will give you a diagnosis and tell you what to expect from your condition. A visit to a rheumatologist can end in you starting treatment, making adjustments in your daily routine, and starting on a healthy lifestyle free from chronic pain.

History of Disease in the Family

Some conditions, such as lupus, result from one’s genetic composition. This means that if someone you know has had a diagnosis and gone through treatment, if you experience symptoms that indicate you might have the disease, you should see a rheumatologist. It is vital to note that environmental factors trigger the condition. Sometimes, you will notice that gender is also a determiner on the likelihood of you having the disease.

What Other Conditions Does Rheumatology Cover?

As mentioned above, most people associate Rheumatology with the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. While this is one of the things that they diagnose and treat, there is more to their practice. Autoimmune diseases fall under their area of specialty. These are the result of your immune system sending unnecessary inflammation to different areas of your body, and this causes damage. Some of the things they treat include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Myositis
  • Polymyalgia rheumatic
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Polychondritis
  • Sjögren’s syndrome

Rheumatology is also associated with soft tissue diseases and rheumatologists treat many of the them. These include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Low back pain
  • Tennis or golfer’s elbow
  • Olecranon bursitis

This is merely a short list of the many conditions a rheumatologist treats. The extensive training period and comprehensive strategies used in the process of one becoming a rheumatologist equips them with the necessary skills to help you with the issues mentioned above and more. Their work focuses on your medical and family history to ensure accuracy in diagnosis. Once they identify a condition, you get a custom treatment plan that caters to personalized needs. This may include medicine, referrals, and injections. Always remember that each medical case is different and this informs not only the treatment but also the time it takes to diagnose and treat.

Rheumatology in Chicago: Join Dedication Health

Whether you’re trying to manage a chronic condition now or simply want to know that expert care is close by should you ever need it, Dedication Health is the place to be. Dedication Health is a concierge internal medical practice. Among our staff are top-rated Chicago physicians across all sub-specialties of internal medicine. For instance, rheumatologist Dr. John Croghan is the founder and one of the primary physicians at Dedication Health. Dr. Croghan is triple board certified in Rheumatology, Internal Medicine, and Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Croghan is currently accepting new Rheumatology patients in Illinois. If you’d like to learn more about our concierge practice, complete our online form and well get back to you as soon as possible. Additionally, you can speak directly to our practice manager Christine by calling 847-986-6770 now.