In this article we discuss the most common five signs that will make you see a rheumatologist. Many patients get confused when it comes to seeing a specialist. First, they try to see their primary care physician get evaluated and get help for their new symptoms. However, if symptoms do not improve after a few visits with your doctor, you should ask yourself if you need a specialist.
What are the most common clinical signs that you need to see a specialist?
Here, I included the most common five signs when you should see a rheumatologist:
1. Joint pain -Do you suffer from joint pain and swelling? pain and stiffness in the mornings? Is it difficult to get out of bed in the morning? Do you feel stiffness in your joints? Do you have pain after doing activities that you love, like hiking or gardening? If you answered YES, to one or multiple questions, then you should see a rheumatologist.
2. Muscle pain -Do you suffer from muscle pain or weakness? Do you have difficulties raising your arms above your head? Do you have problems getting out of your chair, and you need to push yourself out? Do you see muscle wasting? Do you have pain after doing activities that you love, like hiking or gardening? If you answered YES, to one or multiple questions, then you should see a rheumatologist.
3. Rashes – Do you have rashes when you get exposed to the sun? Do you have unexplained rashes on your hands, elbows, knees? Do you have psoriasis and also joint pain? Do you have changes in the color of your hands when exposed to the cold? Do they turn white or blue? Then YES, the best advice is to consult a rheumatologist.
4. Unexplained fever? Do you have a fever, but you have no other signs of infection? Do where you get treated, and your fever comes back? There might be many reasons for unexplained fever or fever happening with a certain periodicity. Still, if the fever persists, your doctor should evaluate you for autoimmune disease. Rheumatologists are experts in many autoimmune diseases. They diagnose and treat Sjogren syndrome, Lupus, Scleroderma or vasculitis, and even more rare conditions like periodic fever syndromes.
5. Has no one figured out your symptoms yet? It is not uncommon for a rheumatologist to see patients that were seen multiple times by multiple specialists. Most times, rheumatologists are looked at as detectives. They take a lot of time with their patients to get a comprehensive history and try to put the puzzle pieces together. If you are still struggling and no one has an answer for you, think about seeing a rheumatologist.
You’ve got lots of options to help you feel better if you suffer from these common symptoms. Schedule an appointment with our doctor today, and start your journey toward a better life.
About the author
Diana Girnita, MD, PhD is an US board certified internal medicine and rheumatology. She completed a PhD in immunology, postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, immunology fellowship at University of Pittsburgh and rheumatology fellowship at University of Cincinnati. She is the founder&CEO of Rheumatologist OnCall, a telemedicine company that serves multiple states in the US. She is an assistant professor in the department of Rheumatology at University of Cincinnati. Dr. Girnita is a graduate of the Nutrition Science course from Stanford University. Dr. Girnita was recognized many times with “Top Doctor” award (2017-2020) and is frequently invited speaker of the US National Arthritis Foundation. Read more…