Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: Questions to Ask Your Doctor

October 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Health

Whenever we are diagnosed with a new health problem it can be a very daunting and upsetting experience. It is important that we are able to ask a doctor all the things we need to know and make sure we are fully aware of how we can prevent, treat and live with any condition that we may develop. Scientific and medical research is constantly changing and new discoveries are constantly being made in the field, this makes it even more vital for us to ask a doctor about all the information we need and keep up to date. Here are some of the more pertinent questions to ask a doctor when you are looking for more information about treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Are medications, primarily DMARDs, a good treatment choice for me? – DMARDs are the main drugs which are used to treat RA and in many cases will have a huge impact on the rate and symptoms of the disease. Though this is a very effective medication, it is not the best choice in all cases and you need to determine if this is the correct course of action for your particular condition.

Will I be on medications for the rest of my life? – In certain cases you will find that you are able to have a break from the medications, especially if you have a more dormant case of the condition. In most situations, the treatment for RA is lifelong, though it is a good idea to ascertain if that applies to you before you try to pause or stop your treatment.

Are there any side effects of the medication? – As with all medications, there will be an assortment of different side effects that may affect you during the treatment. It is always beneficial to be prepared for these and what you need to look out for.

Is surgery an option for me? – If your condition is chronic and you have been on medication for a while then there are further options that you can explore. Assisted living devices can be used to help mobility around the home, while in some situations you can even have surgical procedures to treat advanced cases of RA.

Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to ease the flare ups and reduce symptoms of RA? – There are certain lifestyle factors which can aggravate RA and cause flare ups. By talking to your doctor you can see if there are any changes you can make to your exercise, diet or general day to day activities which will help to ease the condition.

Is physical therapy an option? – Physical therapy is a recommended treatment for all people who suffer from RA. It is a great benefit to help relieve symptoms, prevent further damage to the joints and muscles.

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