More Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis

How Is It Diagnosed?

People can go to a family doctor or rheumatologist to be diagnosed. A rheumatologist is a doctor who helps people with problems in the joints, bones, and muscles. Rheumatoid arthritis can be hard to diagnose because:
  • There is no single test for the disease
  • The symptoms can be the same as those of other kinds of joint disease
  • The full symptoms can take time to develop
  • A diagnosis requires multiple tests and exams, including a medical history, physical exam, x-rays, and lab tests.
(Click Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis for more information.)

How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated?

Healthcare providers have many ways to treat this disease. The goals of rheumatoid arthritis treatment are to:
  • Take away pain
  • Reduce swelling
  • Slow down or stop joint damage
  • Help people feel better
  • Help people stay active.
Treatment may involve:

What About Alternative Therapies?

Special diets, vitamins, and other alternative therapies are sometimes suggested to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Some therapies help people reduce stress. Many of these treatments are not harmful, but they may not be well-tested or have any real benefits.
A person with rheumatoid arthritis should talk with his or her healthcare provider before starting an alternative therapy. If the healthcare provider feels the therapy might help and isn't harmful, it can become part of regular care.
(Click Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis for more information on options such as vitamins, herbs, magnets, and acupuncture.)
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Info on Rheumatoid Arthritis

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