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  • Writer's pictureJessica Frizzell, PA-C

4 Things You Need to Know About an RA Diagnosis

A rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is life-changing, and unfortunately, there is no magic cure to take it all away nor a crystal ball to predict how disease development will play out.

Many patients want instant answers - to know what is to come, what they can do to avoid complications, what foods or activities trigger flare-ups, and so on.

The unpredictable nature of rheumatoid arthritis is a challenge for many of our patients. Autoimmune diseases play by their own set of rules, and living with rheumatoid arthritis means you can expect to encounter a few twists and turns along the way.

That’s why we feel patient education is a critical component of our treatment plans. We want our patients to learn all they can about their diagnosis to know what they can do to better their lives amidst the difficulties that come with rheumatoid arthritis.

More importantly, we want our patients to feel hope. We want to encourage, inspire, and motivate. We want to answer questions and address concerns. We want to see YOU live a fulfilling life!

So, what do you need to know about a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis? Let’s discuss our top three recommendations:

#1 Follow your treatment plan - Treatment plans are your best friend. The purpose of a treatment plan is to improve your quality of life by reducing inflammation, minimizing symptoms, managing pain, and decreasing disease progression all while increasing physical capabilities, strengthening your body, supporting mental health, and bettering your overall wellbeing.

Here at Paducah Rheumatology, we formulate individualized treatment plans based upon the specific needs of our patients. What does that mean for you? During your visits, we will take the time to get to know your unique circumstances, your ailments, your worries. We understand that no two patients are exactly the same, so why would treatment plans not need variation.

#2 Maintain order and remain consistent - As we have all experienced, life comes with curveballs. When living with rheumatoid arthritis, you will be no stranger to those curveballs. The key to sidestepping a throw is knowing what works for your body.

For example, rheumatoid arthritis feeds off inactivity. Many of our patients can avoid flare-ups by sticking to a regular exercise regime. It doesn’t have to be big and grand, but it does need to be manageable and consistent.

While some days might be a struggle to get up and move, a little bit goes a long way. It’s when you stop moving that the negative repercussions begin.

All in all, be observant and aware of how your body responds to foods, activities, sleep patterns, exercise, medications, and supplements. You will feel your best when you respect your body.

#3 Keep in touch with your rheumatologist - Although this might seem like a straightforward suggestion, you’d be surprised at how many men and women with autoimmune diseases drop their rheumatologist once they get feeling good.

Patients tend to seek out an appointment when feeling their worst, but autoimmune diseases should be tracked and managed continuously. Yes, there are visits when we will discuss more urgent or time-sensitive matters. Those appointments are needed and useful, yet so are the less intense ones as well.

If you are feeling crummy, the goal is to get you feeling great and to keep you feeling great. That takes regular communication as we work together to comprise a treatment plan that fits your needs.

#4 Make an appointment at Paducah Rheumatology - Oh wait, we said this blog would only list our top three suggestions. We simply can’t wait to help you on your journey to better health!

If you are newly diagnosed and seeking a permanent healthcare home, we want to see you. If you were diagnosed years ago, we also want to see you.

We know the uncertainty that comes with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and we are here to support you through the ups and downs.

You can do this! You are strong!

We are accepting new patients with a physician's referral. Give us a call today at 270-408-6100.

Paducah Rheumatology would be honored to be a part of your healthcare team.

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