Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseasesRheumatoid disorders basically include those that affect joints, bones and muscles. Being very common, they have a significant impact on the health wellness of many people all over the world. Conditions that are more severe usually cause inflammatory rheumatic diseases which lead to destruction or organs and joints. Normally, these are the major causes of the severe pain felt, disability and sometimes even death. They greatly affect the quality of life in addition to causing several associated ailments or co morbidities.

Diagnosing and treating rheumatic diseases

Rheumatologists are people trained in this field and are the ones who diagnose and treat those afflicted with the rheumatic diseases. According to medical records, these rheumatologists usually treat more than 100 different forms of arthritis and rheumatic diseases including major proportions of the inflammatory diseases like lupus, gout and rheumatoid arthritis.

Understanding the term ‘rheumatism’

Historical contexts used the term rheumatism to refer to a large number of various inflammatory joint disorders. Today’s medical literature no longer uses this term as such with the diseases categorized in rheumatoid disorders now been grouped under rheumatism. There are some countries that still use Rheumatism for describing fibromyalgia syndrome and there are two forms of rheumatism:

  • Articular or one that affects joints which commonly includes lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis and gout.
  • The non- articular ones which affect muscles and tissues leading to the regional pain syndromes.

Previously, pains and aches regarded rheumatism as a normal aspect of aging. As most of the population age, they tend to develop pain and stiffness. Most of the cases that were regarded as rheumatism were actually osteoarthritis cases and not inflammatory disorders or rheumatoid arthritis at all.

Disorders categorized as rheumatoid disorders

Actually, osteoarthritis is not included in rheumatoid disorders. Some of those disorders included are lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, scleroderma, spondylarthritides, sjogren’s syndrome, systemic vasculitis such as giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatic among others.

Symptoms and signs of inflammatory joint disorders

More often than not, inflammatory joint disorders usually involve swelling, intensive joint pain, fatigue and stiffness experienced when a person reaches middle age.

This can have a severe effect on the working capacity and functioning especially when it comes to child rearing, career building and sustenance and other essential daily activities.

How common is rheumatism?

More than 7 million Americans have inflammatory rheumatic disorders and of the figure, 1.3 million US adults suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Over 100 million people in Europe are affected by these rheumatic diseases and this is nearly a quarter of the entire population.

US statistics show that about 161000 to 322 000 adults suffer from lupus with about 300000 children in America suffering from rheumatic diseases with the most common one being juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis.