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How Are Rheumatic Diseases Diagnosed?

Discussion in 'Health Issues' started by subbutr, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. subbutr

    subbutr Senior IL'ite

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    Dear friends,

    sharing with you this link http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/arthritis/arthritis_rheumatic_qa.asp

    Diagnosing rheumatic diseases can be difficult because some symptoms and signs are common to many different diseases.

    A general practitioner or family doctor may be able to evaluate a patient or refer him or her to a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in treating arthritis and other rheumatic diseases).

    The doctor will review the patient's medical history, conduct a physical examination, and obtain laboratory tests and x rays or other imaging tests.

    The doctor may need to see the patient more than once to make an accurate diagnosis.

    Medical History
    It is vital for people with joint pain to give the doctor a complete medical history.

    Answers to the following questions will help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis:
    Is the pain in one or more joints? When does the pain occur?
    How long does the pain last? When did you first notice the pain?
    What were you doing when you first noticed the pain?
    Does activity make the pain better or worse?
    Have you had any illnesses or accidents that may account for the pain?
    Is there a family history of any arthritis or other rheumatic disease?
    What medicine (s) are you taking?
    Because rheumatic diseases are so diverse and sometimes involve several parts of the body, the doctor may ask many other questions.
    It may be helpful for people to keep a daily journal that describes the pain.
    Patients should write down what the affected joint looks like, how it feels, how long the pain lasts, and what they were doing when the pain started.
    Physical Examination and Laboratory Tests
    The doctor will examine the patient's joints for redness, warmth, damage, ease of movement, and tenderness.
    Because some forms of arthritis, such as lupus, may affect other organs, a complete physical examination that includes the heart, lungs, abdomen, nervous system, eyes, ears, and throat may be necessary.
    The doctor may order some laboratory tests to help confirm a diagnosis. Samples of blood, urine, or synovial fluid (lubricating fluid found in the joint) may be needed for the tests.

    So it is better to keep track of history on arthritis & consult doctors in time, before it is aggrevating.

  2. vjbunny

    vjbunny IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Subbu
    Thanks for sharing..

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