Rheumatoid arthritis starts with painful inflammation, and when left untreated, it can cause lasting damage to your joints. At Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists in Katy, Texas, board-certified rheumatologist Kiran Farheen, MD, detects and treats rheumatoid arthritis with the goal of keeping your symptoms in remission so you can regain control of your life. To schedule an appointment to see Dr. Farheen, call the office or use the convenient online booking option.
An autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. The disease results from your body’s immune system attacking your joints by mistake. This underlying action of the disease distinguishes rheumatoid arthritis from osteoarthritis, which results from your joints wearing down over time.
When your immune system attacks your joints, they become inflamed. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can affect your entire body, and may include:
Your symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe, but no matter what it’s important not to ignore them as rheumatoid arthritis is degenerative, meaning it gets worse over time. Dr. Farheen can provide the most effective treatments the earlier the condition is detected.
In its early stages, rheumatoid arthritis usually affects small joints, such as those in your fingers and toes. Your affected joints may be tender and painful, but not noticeably swollen or red.
In many people, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms come and go, or change in severity. If your symptoms fade or vanish, that doesn’t mean the disease is no longer there.
Periods when you experience symptoms are known as “flares.” Over time, flares may be more frequent, intense, and long-lasting as the disease spreads to other joints, including potentially your wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips, and shoulders. Often, you experience inflammation in the same joints on both sides of your body.
When left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can cause permanent joint damage, including deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis complications can also affect your eyes, skin, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
Though there’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Farheen can help you control your symptoms, reduce your pain, and prevent serious complications. Treatment is most effective when it starts early in the progression of the disease, and depending on your unique situation it may include:
Though life with rheumatoid arthritis is challenging, there are ways to cope with and manage the disease. To learn more, call Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.