A rheumatology profile screen is a test for connective tissue and rheumatoid disorders. These include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Dermatomyositis. Dermatomyositis and polymyositis are twice as common in women as in men. Dermatomyositis can occur in people of any age.
Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN) is higher in areas where hepatitis B is endemic and may be triggered by viral infections.
It can occur in childhood peaking at around 10 years. In adults, the most commonly affected age group is between the ages of 40 and 50. In men more commonly than women.
Scleroderma means areas of hard skin. You can also get hardening of some of your internal organs which prevent them working normally. The disease can vary from person to person. People with systemic sclerosis have to be monitored regularly: blood pressure, blood and urine tests, and lung function and any unexplained symptoms reported promptly to a doctor. Systemic sclerosis cannot be cured but there are treatments that can help. New treatments have improved the outlook for this condition.
Rheumatology is concerned with both the diagnosis and treatment of a range of rheumatic disorders involving connective tissue systems: joints, skeletal, and muscle disorders. A rheumatologist specialist in this field focuses on autoimmune diseases that underlie these conditions. We can arrange an appointment with an experienced specialist consultant rheumatologist at our clinic for you.
Rheumatism or rheumatic illness refers to the conditions which are primarily caused by swelling and inflammation of joints and muscles. Pain is the most notable symptom of a rheumatic condition.
In some instances, a rheumatic condition can be caused by wear and tear to the cartilage and joints.
Osteoarthritis is, unfortunately, one of the most frequent diseases in the older population.
Your connective tissues support, binds and separates the tissues and organs in your body. In autoimmune disease the body makes auto-antibodies that attack the normal cells and damages the connective tissue cells throughout the body.
It is not known what triggers the immune system to cause systemic damage however there is probably an inherited tendency to develop it. It is more common in people who have family members with a similar problem. It may be triggered by some viruses, medicines, street drugs and/or chemicals.
Rheumatic conditions may also develop i.e. rheumatoid arthritis, when the immunes system becomes over-active resulting in painful joints and swelling.
Rheumatic conditions left untreated can seriously affect the quality of your life and can lead to a disability, especially rheumatoid arthritis.
The symptoms of rheumatologic conditions are one or more of the following:
The majority of rheumatic conditions are due to wear and tear to the joints or muscles later in life. However there are cases when this disease develops earlier which is caused by viral and/or genetic factors.
With a rheumatology profile it helps to prepare prior to your appointment.
Make sure you drink plenty of water before you arrive for the test. This makes it easier to take a sample of blood from you.
A needle is inserted into a vein in your arm, near the elbow you may feel a scratch or prick and a small amount of blood is taken for laboratory analysis.
Initially our doctor will decide if you need a rheumatology specialist: appropriate blood tests will be ordered and carried out to get a better understanding and status of your rheumatic condition. The specialist, if required, will then assess your condition with the results and suggest the next steps to take to treat your disease together with you.
Gentle exercises: walking and swimming, will help improve your energy levels and mobility and enhance blood flow, including, muscle strengthening. Our doctor will suggest the type of exercises appropriate for your condition. A physiotherapist will also enhance this important part of your treatment.
If you have any concerns and notice symptoms that may suggest you have a rheumatic condition we recommend getting a definitive diagnosis. We can arrange an appointment with our specialist and do the necessary investigations to confirm your condition. A report can also be given to your GP for further treatment if that is preferred.