A Primer On Consulting A Rheumatologist


You consult a rheumatologist when you suspect having rheumatology diseases like arthritis. Rheumatology diseases are conditions where the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues and damages them. Besides, the success of treatment and the progress of these diseases can be significantly slowed down or stopped with early diagnosis. In most cases, you see a general physician when the symptoms of the rheumatoid disease appear, and they refer you to a rheumatologist. Read on to know all about seeing a rheumatologist and what to expect.

Who Is A Rheumatologist?

A rheumatologist is an internal medicine doctor who is specialized in rheumatology diseases. Their medical training helps them to diagnose diseases affecting muscles, joints, and bones, and this includes autoimmune conditions. Some of the common conditions that are treated by rheumatologists are:

  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Lupus
  • Long-term back pain
  • Tendinitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis

During your first consultation with a rheumatologist, they will get to know about your medical history and do a preliminary examination of your symptoms. Based on this, further tests and treatment for the suspected rheumatology disease are planned.

Questions That You Can Expect From A Rheumatologist

  • What are your discomforts or symptoms?
  • Since when have you been experiencing the symptoms?
  • How often do you experience the symptoms?
  • How bad is the pain?
  • Does exercise, rest, or medicine make you feel better?
  • Does inadequate sleep, lack of activity, stress, or certain food make you feel worse?
  • Where do you feel the pain?
  • Can you describe the pain, i.e. sharp, dull, throbbing, stabbing, aching, burning, cramping, or radiating?
  • What is the effect of pain, i.e. tiredness, sickness, upsetting?
  • Are the symptoms stopping you from enjoying your normal life?
  • Are there any other symptoms like rashes, dry mouth, itching, dry eyes, infections, or fever?
  • Is there a family history of rheumatoid arthritis or some other types of rheumatology diseases?

Questions That You Must Ask A Rheumatologist

  • How advanced is my rheumatoid disease?
  • Is there damage to joints?
  • What can I do to get a better night’s sleep?
  • What are the rheumatoid medicines that I must take, and are there any potential side effects?
  • When should I get medical help regarding the side effects?
  • Are there other treatment options apart from the rheumatoid arthritis medications?

We hope that these details have clarified your doubts about consulting a rheumatologist to diagnose and treat rheumatology diseases.