About Rheumatic Disease
Getting out of bed, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and driving to work… For most people these are the simple tasks that begin any normal day, but for people with rheumatic diseases and arthritis, such tasks can be difficult, if not impossible. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and the symptoms of other rheumatic diseases are more than just aches and pains. These diseases can cause inflammation and damage to the joints and organs of the body, the development of co-existing diseases, disability, and even death.
When not properly diagnosed and treated, years of rheumatic disease leads to damage that make joints loose, unstable, and painful.
What is Rheumatic Disease
Rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, and gout to name a few, occur when the body’s immune system goes awry and mistakenly attacks organs, tissues, and joints. The resulting inflammatory process leads to thickening of the joints’ tissues, swelling, and pain.
Inflammatory arthritis is systemic, meaning it not only affect joints but also other systems of the body such as the heart, lungs, eyes, and brain. Simple tasks like getting up each morning, buttoning a shirt, brushing hair, or even walking can become excruciatingly painful, or even impossible.
Be an Advocate for Rheumatology
Simple Tasks encourages all rheumatology patients to advocate in support of healthcare policies that promote safe, effective, affordable, and accessible rheumatology care.
Early Diagnosis is Key
The sooner a person is diagnosed and receives proper treatment by a rheumatologist, the better his/her chances are to lead a fuller, healthier life. The time between the onset of rheumatic disease and the start of treatment is crucial and is called the window of opportunity.
Treatment by a Rheumatologist
Seeing a rheumatologist, skilled in treating rheumatic diseases, is key. Unfortunately, many patients struggle to access and afford the care they need due to specialist shortages, high drug prices, and other healthcare policies that limit patient access to high-quality care.