Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting more women than men. It is a symmetrical progressive condition which usually affects the small joints of the hands and feet. Onset can be at any age, and fatigue may be a significant symptom. In addition to joints, organs can be involved with RA. Treatment is designed initially at suppressing inflammation. Biologic agents (i.e. drugs such as Enbrel, Humira, Remicade) have made a significant difference in improving the quality of life, of patients with this disease.
Read more about Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Osteoporosis is a silent disease defined by a decrease in bone mass resulting in an increased risk of fracture. A bone density scan (dexa) defines the T score and categorizes the need for treatment. More women are affected by osteoporosis, than men. Hip and spine fractures are complications if the disease is not treated. With diagnosis and appropriate tailored treatment for each individual, the risk of fracture can be significantly reduced. Read more about Osteoporosis
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|Men and Osteoporosis
If you are a man who has lost about one inch or more in the past year, you may have male osteoporosis. Although osteoporosis is typically associated with women, it is also diagnosed in men who account for an estimated one in five Americans who have osteoporosis. It is the major cause of fractures in the older population, where bones become thin and brittle, and as a result become weaker and more fragile. Read more about Men and Osteoporosis
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder characterized by cartilage loss. This is the most common condition affecting joints with an increase in prevalence with aging. The joints most commonly affected are the knees, hips and shoulders. Appropriate nutrition, anti-inflammatory medication, muscle strengthening and surgery, when all else fails, are usually successful. Read more about Osteoarthritis
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, which can be identified with red, itchy skin in both men and women, at any age. It is caused by an overactive immune system, which creates lesions called plaques. Psoriasis is treated with medicine creams, and biologics (drugs).
Gout is a common disease which may be genetic, related to lifestyle or medication (i.e. requiring diuretics). It is caused by the deposition of urate crystals usually but not necessarily in patients who have a high uric acid. Initially, one or a few joints may be involved and with subsequent gout attacks, numerous joints may be affected. This disease is exquisitely painful but with appropriate diagnostic tools and anti-inflammatory medications, this disease can usually be well- controlled. Read more about Gout Treatment
Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) is seen more commonly in women of childbearing age. Its presentation can be extremely variable involving almost every organ in the body, and inflammation is a hallmark. Patients can present with bruising, fevers, unexplained rashes, hair loss, difficulty taking a deep breath, and cold fingertips (Raynaud’s), among many other possible signs or symptoms. Treatment is designed at suppressing inflammation using specific medications. There are new, recently approved medications for lupus which may improve longevity, as well as the quality of life. Read more about Lupus
|Paget’s disease of bone
Paget’s disease of bone is a chronic disorder that typically results in enlarged and deformed bones in one or more regions of the skeleton, primarily in the pelvis, skull, spine and legs. Because this disease causes the body to generate new bone faster than normal, the rapid remodeling produces bone that’s softer and weaker than normal bone, which can lead to bone pain, deformities and fractures, and further complications such as arthritis, hearing loss and pinched nerves in the spine. Read more about Paget’s disease of bone
Musculoskeletal diseases are associated with overuse or direct trauma, or could be due to a previous virus. Diseases include bursitis, tendonitis, Lyme disease, spinal stenosis. They are usually treated with an anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise and possibly a cortisone injection.
Autoimmune diseases affect one’s immunity system. It is manifested when one’s own immune system attacks itself and causes joint pain, swelling, rash or weakness, to name a few of the symptoms we treat. These diseases include lupus, scleroderma, myositis, antiphospholipid syndrome, sjogren syndrome, uveitis, polymyositis, and Raynaud’s phenomenon. There are many different treatment options depending on the disease.
Joint pain is a sign of chronic inflammation. It is often associated with stiffness and may affect large and small joints at different times of the day. There are many treatment options available for each.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, widespread, painful disease affecting more women than men. It is often associated with a sleep disturbance and diffuse tenderness at anatomical sites on the body. FDA approved medications, appropriate exercise and “alternative” or holistic treatments designed for each patient can be beneficial.
Vasculitis can be caused by autoimmune diseases, and is sometimes part of other rheumatic diseases treated by rheumatologists, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome. Vasculitis attacks blood vessels and is sometimes caused by reactions to medications or chronic long-term infections like Hepatitis C or B viruses. The condition can range from mild to life-threatening, and early detection and treatment of severe vasculitis can prevent permanent damage. Read more about Vasculitis
Between 400,000 and 3.1 million adults have Sjögren’s syndrome, an inflammatory rheumatic autoimmune disease that can affect many different parts of the body, but most often affects the tear and saliva glands. Rheumatologists have primary responsibility for diagnosing and managing Sjögren’s and can conduct a series of tests and ask about symptoms. Sjögren’s symptoms mostly appear between ages 45 and 55, and affects ten times as many women as men. Common condition symptoms include irritation, a gritty feeling, or painful burning in the eyes, dry mouth (or difficulty eating dry foods) and swelling of the glands around the face and neck. Some patients experience dryness in the nasal passages, throat, vagina, and skin. Swallowing difficulty and symptoms of acid reflux are also common. Other symptoms may include joint pain, digestive problems and significant fatigue. Read more about Sjögren’s syndrome