Making Decisions About Home Care

Should You Schedule A Visit To The Rheumatologist?

by Mae Ferguson

Your immune system is meant to protect your body from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. But like all other systems in the body, it does not always work as intended. When your immune system starts acting up, you can develop any one of a number of conditions known as rheumatic disorders. These include things like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Doctors who diagnose and treat these immune disorders are known as rheumatologists. But how do you know your immune system is malfunctioning and in need of this care? Take a look at these indicators.

Joint pain that comes and goes

Often when you develop joint pain, it's due to an injury or overuse. But if that joint pain keeps coming back, even when you're pretty sure you didn't do any physical activity to aggravate it, something more sinister may be going on. This is a key sign of rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be a symptom of other autoimmune disorders, like lupus. It's a good idea to keep a diary of your joint pain symptoms and present it to a rheumatologist so they can investigate.

General feelings of fatigue 

When they are diagnosed with autoimmune disorders, many patients remark that they have felt fatigued and miserable for months or years. They sometimes struggle to describe how, exactly, they feel. They may not even realize how miserable they have felt until they start undergoing treatment and begin to feel better. So, if you are often finding that you feel tired, under the weather, and generally unpleasant, this means you should look into autoimmune disease as a possible explanation.

Trouble thinking or concentrating

There's a common misassumption that autoimmune disorders only cause physical symptoms. However, many patients with these diseases also experience what's known as brain fog. You may struggle to gather your thoughts. You may feel like a word is on the tip of your tongue. You may even find that you often walk into a room and then immediately forget why you came there. This type of symptom can make you and those around you concerned that you're developing dementia or some other mental problem, when in fact, it's just another symptom of an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder.

Autoimmune disorders can be sneaky and tough to notice at first. So, if you're experiencing any of the difficulties above, visit a facility, such as Sarasota Arthritis Center, that treats rheumatic diseases. Once you're in treatment, you'll feel a whole lot better.