How Is Your Health?

Rheumatologists Are Multidisciplinary Professionals Who Treat Other Diseases In Addition To Rheumatoid Arthritis

by Camila Davidson

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes your immune system to mistakenly attack healthy cells in your body. That results in painful swelling and inflammation, particularly in the joints of hands, wrists, and knees. You should seek early treatment from a rheumatologist specialist to address the symptoms you are experiencing so that you can be diagnosed and treated for rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis usually attacks a number of joints all at once. The lining of the joint becomes inflamed when attacked and damage is done to the joint tissue. That, in turn, could cause you to experience chronic and ongoing pain as well as balance problems. RA can even damage other tissues throughout your body in addition to also causing problems with organs such as the eyes, lungs and heart.

What Else Does A Rheumatologist Do?

Rheumatology is a subspecialty of internal medicine. So board-certified rheumatologists will have had focused training on the diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases in internal medicine such as joints, muscles, and connective tissues. Because of their wide knowledge of musculoskeletal issues, they are often called upon for assistance in helping to diagnose and manage difficult systemic diseases.

Other Diseases Treated By Rheumatologists

Rheumatology specialists not only treat rheumatoid arthritis patients but also patients who do suffer from osteoarthritis, gout, spondyloarthropathies, vasculitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, inflammatory muscle diseases, Sjogren disease, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and sports injuries among other conditions. So rheumatologists are multi-disciplinary professionals, as you can see.

An Impressive Accreditation Background

When you are seen by a rheumatologist for your joint and other associated musculoskeletal problems, rest assured that you are being seen by a physician with impressive accreditation who has completed a three-year basic internal medicine residency. The rheumatologist will have also completed a rheumatology fellowship that makes it possible for him or her to obtain board certification through the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Pursuing Dual Certification

A rheumatologist also has the option of pursuing dual certification in both rheumatology and allergy and immunology. The dual certification requires a minimum of an additional three years of training beyond the three years already spent gaining the basic internal medicine residency. There is no limitation to prevent him or her from pursuing the additional dual certification. Once the rheumatologist completes the combined fellowship, that allows him or her to obtain a dual certification in rheumatology and allergy and also immunology.

Contact a clinic like the Sarasota Arthritis Center to learn more.