Rheumatology is a specialty of internal medicine that specifically focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the muscles, joints, bones, and immune system. There are more than 100 types of rheumatologic conditions and diseases. According to the American College of Rheumatology, an estimated 43 million Americans have one or more of these.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is associated with aging, joint injury or certain metabolic conditions. It is caused by a degeneration of the cartilage in the joints or the discs in the spine.
A less common type is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. With this type of arthritis, a person's immune system is triggered to attack the body. This can cause damage to joints and organs, including the skin, heart, kidneys, brain and eyes. Other autoimmune diseases treated by rheumatologists include lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE) and Sjögren's (SHOH-grinz) Syndrome.
The board certified rheumatologists at Laureate Medical Group are specially trained to diagnose and treat these conditions and diseases. Since many rheumatologic diseases can cause pain and discomfort with even the simplest daily activities, treatment is generally focused on controlling pain and limiting joint or organ damage. Our rheumatologists work with each patient to come up with a proper treatment strategy, which may involve medication, exercise and nutrition plans or physical therapy.
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