Q: How do most patients get referred to a rheumatologist in the first place? Kremer: Usually, it’s the pain that’s perceived to be arthritis pain. Sometimes it’s muscle pain. Other times it can just be a nagging pain from anywhere that the primary care provider cannot diagnose. It’s more helpful to be referred to a rheumatologist when there are other symptoms along with the pain, such as early joint swelling. Q: What does the rheumatologist do when they see a referred patient? Kremer: We’ll take a history. Do you have morning stiffness? Fatigue? How long has this been going on? Do you have any family history of these same symptoms? After history, you do a physical exam looking for impaired joint movement, which joints are swollen, warm to the touch, difficult to move. Q: When do you take lab tests? And which tests do you start with first? Kremer: It depends on where the initial history and exams lead you. You many test for Rheumatoid factor (...
If you have lost the ability to feel your feet, you probably don’t know it. A study of 1,100 people with diabetes aged 61 or more found that more than 90 percent of them were unaware of it.
When you lose feeling in your feet, you have neuropathy, the most common complication of diabetes. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse says that between 60 and 70 percent of us have a form of it.
Neuropathy can be painful and even worse than being painful. It leads to 15 percent of us getting foot ulcers, and between 14 and 24 percent of those with a foot ulcer will require amputation, according to the American Diabetes Association’s “ Consensus Development Conference on Diabetic Foot Wound Care .”
But We Can Avoid All This
But none of this has to be your fate. We now have an inexpensive and easy way to check our feet so we can take charge of the health of our feet. It’s also clear what we can do to avoid getting diabetic ne...
My name is Cathee and I am currently 35 yrs old. I was diagnosed
with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 27. My introduction to RA was
rather quick. In fact, I had actually never heard of RA when I went
to see my doctor about a swollen knuckle. My finger had been
swollen for about 2 months and as I was reading through a magazine
I found an article about lyme disease. Since I spent a lot of time
hiking in the woods with my dog, I began to think I might have
contracted lyme disease from a tick. I went to my family physician
and luckily she had an instinct about what was going on with me and
sent me to see a Rheumatologist. The Rheumatologist immediately
ordered blood work and I was officially diagnosed with RA in March
of 1997. I didnt have any other symptoms at the time except
for the one swollen joint until August 1997. Literally overnight, I
became almost bed ridden. It was if I went to sleep as one person
and woke up another.
Since that fateful night, I have battled this crippli...
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