West County Rheumatology
Rheumatologists located in Saint Louis, MO
Nearly 1.5 million people in the United States experience stiffness and warmth throughout their joints, causing discomfort and difficulty completing simple tasks. If you’re noticing such symptoms, West County Rheumatology in Saint Louis provides diagnostic services for rheumatoid arthritis and treatment services to reduce inflammation and slow the condition’s progression. To book your appointment with Sona Kamat, MD, FACR, or another team member, call the office or request a visit online today.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Q & A
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects the way your joints move and feel. If you have it, your protective immune system turns against the tissues in your joints and attacks them as if they’re invaders like bacteria or viruses. Eventually, your tissues start to swell and place pressure on your bones. This causes bone erosion, deformity, and reduced mobility.
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the small joints in your fingers and toes first, progressing to larger joints like your ankles, knees, wrists, and elbows. It’s essential to seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms to stop them from worsening and affecting more of your body.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis comes with some obvious symptoms that you’ll notice in your joint and others that aren’t easy to link to the condition. Typical rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms include:
- Swollen joints
- Warm joints
- Stiff joints
- Low appetite
For about 40% of patients, the disease causes symptoms that affect other systems of their bodies. You might experience inflamed eyes, skin, lungs, and other areas seemingly unrelated to your rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms such as these tend to occur in flare-ups that periodically come and go.
Am I at risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis?
While over a million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis, several factors put you at a higher risk of getting it. You’re more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis than the general population if you:
- Are a woman
- Are between ages 30 and 60
- Have family members with rheumatoid arthritis
- Smoke cigarettes
- Are overweight or obese
If you’re concerned about your likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis, the team at West County Rheumatology can help you make lifestyle changes to lower your chances.
What are my rheumatoid arthritis treatment options?
The team at West County Rheumatology works closely with you to establish a treatment plan to target your joint pain and alleviate your symptoms. No treatment will reverse the existing joint damage, but you can improve your outlook and keep your joints functioning with early diagnosis and treatments.
If you’re noticing stiffness in your fingers or toes, don’t hesitate to call West County Rheumatology or request an appointment online for rheumatoid arthritis assessment and early treatment.