Be Wise- Identify Rheumatic Diseases Early

By Dr. Vishal Kaura Aggarwal in Rheumatology

Mar 15 , 2018 | 1 min read

Rheumatology is a subspecialty of Medicine which deals with various types of arthritis, connective tissue diseases and Vasculitis.

Q. What are Rheumatic diseases?

They are medical diseases causing the painful condition of the musculoskeletal system (joints, tendons ligaments etc).  

Q. What are the symptoms of Arthritis?

 Most kinds of Arthritis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in joints. There can be fever and fatigue also.

Q. What is the cause of Arthritis?

According to Dr. Vishal Kaura Aggrawal, Consultant – Rheumatology, Max Hospital, Gurgaon, it can be due to autoimmunity (when your body immunity attacks its own tissues by mistake), wear and tear, crystal deposition and infections. Rheumatoid arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic, reactive arthritis etc are autoimmune arthritis. Osteoarthritis is because of wear and tear in the joints. Gout happens when too much uric acid builds up in the body. It often starts in the big toe. Infection is a less common cause of arthritis

Q. Does Arthritis affect other parts of our body?

Most kinds of arthritis can also cause problems in our organs, such as our eyes, skin, lungs, kidneys and/or nerves. There are chances of getting the risk of heart diseases which may shorten the lifespan.

Q. Can Back-pain be Arthritis too?

Back-pain with prolonged morning stiffness can be Ankylosing Spondylitis which is called as Back Arthritis and if not treated, it can cause fused spine with restricted movement of the spine and reduced lifespan.

Q. What are Connective Tissue Diseases (CTDs)?

The Connective Tissue Diseases are diseases when our binding tissues are diseased. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE (affects kidneys, blood cells, nerves, blood vessels, spine and brain), Sjogren’s disease, Scleroderma are some of the examples.

Q. How to suspect one has CTDs?

Common symptoms are joint pain and swelling, fever, dryness of mouth and eyes, skin rashes especially after sun exposure, tightening of the skin, attacks of blue discolouration of fingertips in cold, breathlessness and fatigue etc

 Q. What is Vasculitis?

Vasculitis is a dreaded form of the disease that affects our blood vessel wall and compromises blood supply to various organs and can be life-threatening.

It is important to see a Rheumatologist for musculoskeletal diseases to start an early and optimal treatment. If you see some red flag sign of arthritis like fever, fatigue, joint pain with swellings; don’t wait and delay meet a Rheumatologist today!