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  • Writer's pictureValerie Smith, APRN

What to Expect When Living with a Rheumatic Disease

If you feel like living with a rheumatic disease comes with uncertainty and confusion, you share the same sentiments as many other patients.

Our bodies do not always behave as we would hope or expect, and those unforeseen bumps in the road can make managing a rheumatic disease quite the challenge.

Here at Paducah Rheumatology, we strive to do all we can to help you find answers, discover solutions, and live life to the fullest.

We know that the unpredictable nature of rheumatic diseases can be frustrating, and that’s why we work hard to help you understand the steps required to best manage a rheumatic disease.

3 Simple Steps to Rheumatic Disease Management

Rheumatic diseases tend to have a mind of their own, which means that the best approach to managing a rheumatic disease is a carefully-monitored approach.

Step #1 - Visit with a Rheumatologist

A rheumatologist is a qualified medical professional with specialized training to treat autoimmune diseases, rheumatic diseases, and inflammatory diseases. If you have a rheumatic disease, you need the expertise and knowledge of a rheumatologist as you work toward improving your health.

Why is the care of a rheumatologist a critical step in disease management?

Since autoimmune diseases do not have a cure, some people disregard the need for guidance from a rheumatologist. That assumption could not be further from the truth, though.

Rheumatic diseases are chronic conditions. But moreover, rheumatic diseases are progressive inflammatory diseases.

Unchecked inflammation can lead to severe and even life-threatening complications. Long-term inflammation is extremely detrimental to your bones, joints, muscles, tissues, and organs.

The goal of a rheumatologist is to prolong your quality of life before inflammation ruins it. Rheumatic diseases might not be curable, but they are treatable.

You can live a long and prosperous life with an autoimmune disease, and our team at Paducah Rheumatology wants to help you on your journey to better health.

Yes, living with a rheumatic disease might mean you have more doctor appointments compared to an individual without such a diagnosis, but we guarantee that visiting a rheumatologist is worth the time and effort.

Step #2 - Comprise a Treatment Plan

Once you’ve established care with a rheumatologist, the next step in rheumatic disease care is formulating a treatment plan.

At Paducah Rheumatology, we only offer personalized treatment plans that are catered to the specific symptoms and particular diagnosis of each one of our patients. We believe treatment plans are meant to support the precise needs of every individual.

For some, lifestyle changes might make all the difference in controlling their disease progression. For others, taking prescribed medications and vitamin supplements should be part of the picture.

And for patients where these strategies have proven to not be enough, infusion treatments may be required. We are pleased to offer our patients infusion therapy at our very own Infusion Suite. If you are unfamiliar with infusion services, click here to learn more about how we operate the Paducah Rheumatology Infusion Suite.

Your disease development will be unique to you, so your disease management must match that progression. Just like rheumatic diseases create numerous symptoms, treatment plans consist of numerous options.

Paducah Rheumatology offers a wide variety of treatment plan options to ensure our patients receive the best care possible.

Step #3 - Track Your Symptoms

A treatment plan is not some sort of final game plan. Treatment plans are meant to be adjusted according to how your body responds.

Your body will change over time. Your symptoms can increase or decrease in severity. You might develop new health issues that need to be addressed or find that a particular treatment is not working well.

As you follow your treatment plan, you need to be aware of what your body is telling you. Track your symptoms. Identify what triggers your flare-ups. Keep a written record of what makes you feel better or worse.

The more mindful you are, the more you can communicate your needs back to your rheumatologist … and this is where the three-step process starts over.

A Continuation of Care

Living with a rheumatic disease means regular visits with your rheumatologist where you discuss the ongoing changes that come with the inflammatory process.

Living with a rheumatic disease means you work together with your rheumatologist to make necessary tweaks to your treatment plan.

And finally, living with a rheumatic disease means you carefully monitor your health and disease progression to make sure you have the best quality of life possible.

The team at Paducah Rheumatology is ready to help you along this journey, no matter the unexpected twists and turns that might come your way.

With all the uncertainty that comes with chronic conditions, you are not alone. We are here for you.

Give us a call today at 270-408-6100 to schedule an appointment or send in a physician’s referral if you are a new patient.

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