Do not Delay
BY DR LUBNA KHURSHID
April is celebrated as Rheumatology Awareness month worldwide. Aim of celebrating this month is to spread awareness about Rheumatological diseases so that any person who is suffering from autoimmune diseases and rheumatological disorder or arthritis of any kind can consult a Rheumatologist for proper treatment.
Rheumatological diseases are the second most common cause of disability throughout the world. However, with early diagnosis and proper treatment one can lead a near normal life.
In order to understand Rheumatological diseases we can divide them in three types
1. Inflammatory arthritis: These are the conditions involving joints. Common symptoms are pain, redness, swelling and early morning stiffness of the joints lasting more than 30 minutes. Common misconception is that arthritis affects only elderly – this is not true. More than 100 types of arthritis have been identified. It can affect children like Juvenile arthritis. Some arthritis are more common in young age like Rheumatoid arthritis. Some arthritis can be found in elderly due to deposition of uric acid in joints like Gout. With proper and regular treatment arthritis can be successfully treated. Life style changes are very important in management of arthritis. Regular exercise, brisk walking, proper diet, weight optimization and adherence to your treatment all go a long way in ensuring success of your treatment.
2. Soft tissue Rheumatism: Conditions like fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, carpel tunnel syndrome etc can be categorized into this category. Common symptoms are elbow pain, prolonged backpain, generalized body pain and fatigue. These can be difficult to diagnose, however, timely treatment can lead to a near normal life.
3. Autoimmune diseases: These are the conditions in which our immune system is dysfunctional and starts attacking our own body. The trigger can be our life style, some infections like bacterial and viral, smoking, alcohol and some genetic reasons. These can affect any part of our body like skin, eyes, hair, lungs, heart, kidneys etc.
Common symptoms are prolonged fever, mouth ulcers, hair loss, photosensitivity and rash, unexplained weight loss, whiteness of fingers on exposure to cold. Patients can also present with sudden kidney failure, stroke in a young age, interstitial lung disease and pleural and pericardial effusions and unexplained pregnancy losses. Common examples are SLE ( systemic lupus erythematosus) Scleroderma, dermatomyositis, Sjogren’s syndrome etc.
Most rheumatological diseases increase the risk of heart diseases, stroke and can be a silent killer like diabetes and hypertension if not treated timely.
Rheumatological diseases should be recognized as major diseases of public health concern. Early diagnosis and timely access to treatment can prevent further damage and burden on the individual and society.
By consulting a Rheumatologist these diseases can be diagnosed early and treated in time so that one can lead a disability free normal life. Therefore Do not delay your symptoms. Connect to your Rheumatologist.
Dr Lubna Khurshid, Consultant Rheumatologist at Nulife Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinic Bemina, Srinagar and can be reached at: email@example.com.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.