Essential Information to Know Following a Recent Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Any new medical diagnosis can seem overwhelming, particularly when it’s a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis, predominantly affecting women and most often developing between the ages of 30 and 50.

Although rheumatoid arthritis isn’t yet curable, you can regain control of your health through treatments and lifestyle changes recommended by a rheumatologist at Empowered Arthritis and Rheumatology. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know about your new diagnosis.

Importance of Collaboration and Treatment Compliance

RA is manageable; however, it’s important to get your health under control quickly to limit further joint damage. You should know that not every treatment will work well for every patient. Collaborate with your rheumatologist and clearly communicate your response to the treatments so that your provider can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

When you and your rheumatologist do find the right treatment or combination of treatments that work for you, it’s essential to continue to comply with your treatment plan. Take all medications as prescribed and call the office if you experience any changes in your health, medication side effects, or RA symptoms.

Types of Treatments

When developing a medication plan, your rheumatologist will try to find the drug or combination of drugs that is most effective and causes few to no side effects. It’s possible that you’ll first try less potent medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), before trying other drugs if necessary. Some examples include:

  • COX-2 inhibitors (a type of NSAID)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Janus kinase inhibitors
  • Biologics

In addition to medication, your rheumatologist may recommend other treatment modalities and lifestyle modifications in the following areas:

  • Physical therapy
  • Stretches and low-impact exercise
  • Postural awareness
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Diet
  • Alcohol and smoking avoidance

Take Control of Your Health in Cary, NC

Empowered Arthritis and Rheumatology provides comprehensive, compassionate diagnostic and therapeutic services for Wake County residents. Our comfortable new office in Cary, NC offers everything you need under one roof, including imaging and bloodwork. In addition, we schedule in new patients within five to 10 days, compared to weeks to months for other practices.

Contact us today to request an appointment with a rheumatologist and get on the road toward living better with rheumatoid arthritis.

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