Rheumatoid Arthritis

Allergy & Immunology, Rheumatology & Asthma Specialists located in Amarillo, TX

Rheumatoid Arthritis services offered in Amarillo, TX

If you notice swollen, painful joints — and especially if pain strikes the same joint on both sides of your body — don’t wait to seek help. Constantine K. Saadeh, MD, FAAAAI, FACP, FACR, Nicole Davey-Ranasinghe, MD, FACP, FACR, and the caring Allergy A.R.T.S. team in Amarillo, Texas, determine if it’s rheumatoid arthritis and begin treatment with medications that can stop the inflammation and put the disease in remission. Early treatment can prevent the bone deformities caused by chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Call the office or use online booking today to schedule an appointment and learn more about your treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis.

What causes rheumatoid arthritis?

Your immune system protects you from harmful substances like viruses and bacteria. But autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis develop when the system overreacts and mistakenly attacks your body’s healthy tissues.

Rheumatoid arthritis begins when your immune system attacks the synovial membranes lining your joints. The membranes become inflamed and swollen, causing pain and stiffness. Without treatment, ongoing inflammation damages the bones, resulting in deformities.

Rheumatoid arthritis typically begins in the small joints in your fingers and feet. But it can affect other joints and often develops in your shoulders, knees, and spine. 

What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? 

Most people have rheumatoid arthritis in the same joint on both sides of their body, one way to know in the early stages it’s rheumatoid arthritis rather than osteoarthritis. Recognizing this sign is a red alert to seek treatment and get medications that stop damaging inflammation.

The symptoms often come and go. When they flare up, you experience:

  • Swollen, tender joints
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Low-grade fever
  • Fatigue

Joint pain and stiffness are worse in the morning, often lasting several hours. 

Does rheumatoid arthritis affect areas outside the joint?

Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to inflammatory conditions outside the joints, such as:

  • Eye disorders (dry eyes, uveitis, and scleritis)
  • Cardiovascular disease (accelerated atherosclerosis)
  • Blood disorders (anemia and thrombocytosis)
  • Lung diseases (nodules and pleural effusion)

These conditions develop in about 40% of people with rheumatoid arthritis. 

How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?

 It’s important to seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms because your Allergy A.R.T.S. provider can prescribe medications that relieve your symptoms and slow down joint damage.

In many people, these disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can restore the disease, protecting your joints from progressive damage that causes deformities.

If you have severe symptoms, your provider may recommend biologics. These medications significantly reduce inflammation and stop your immune system from causing additional inflammation.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms also improve with lifestyle changes, such as eating an anti-inflammatory diet, exercising, and losing excess weight. 

Your provider can help you choose gentle exercises that won’t stress your joints and remind you to limit your activities when symptoms flare.

Whether your joint pain just started or you need care for ongoing symptoms, don’t wait to seek treatment at Allergy A.R.T.S. Call the office today or connect through online booking to start advanced care for rheumatoid arthritis.