Did you know that approximately 54 million adults in the United States have a type of rheumatic disease like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or gout?
These diseases have a huge impact on your daily life, so if you’re going to see a rheumatologist for the first time, you’ll need to know what questions to ask. This way, you’ll get a better handle on your condition overall.
In this guide, you’ll learn what to ask your rheumatologist so you can go into your appointment prepared.
Questions to Ask Your Rheumatologist
Before your first appointment, take the time to write down questions that come to your mind. To get the most information out of your first visit, you’ll need to ask questions such as:
What Is the Outlook for My Condition?
If you have a condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), it’s important to understand that this disease is chronic and will last your entire lifetime. Also, RA can flare up in cycles and go into remission.
For a RA diagnosis, you’ll usually get aggressive treatment at first, with the ultimate goal of remission.
There are also newer treatments, including biologics and other disease-modifying drugs, that can improve your overall outlook.
You’ll need to ensure you get enough details about the condition you’re diagnosed with to completely understand how it might affect the rest of your life.
What Types of Exercise Can I Do?
Exercise is likely the furthest thing from your mind when you’re in pain. However, it’s one of the most important questions to ask your rheumatologist.
Exercise can improve your arthritis symptoms and joint pain, so you’ll want to get a good idea of the types of exercises you should be doing. Then you can work on making them a habit in your daily life.
How Can I Manage My Fatigue?
If you have a condition like fibromyalgia or RA, you’ll likely experience episodes of fatigue and feel foggy or forgetful. Unfortunately, fatigue is a part of life with these conditions, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.
When you discuss your fatigue symptoms with your rheumatologist, provide details about your fatigue levels and how it affects your day.
This way, your rheumatologist will be able to give you specific tips you can try each day.
How Long Until My Medications Work?
If you have RA, certain medications like corticosteroids will provide fast relief, while other medications may take up to 3 to 4 months to make a significant improvement.
It’s best that you know exactly what to expect from your treatment, so be sure you get a complete understanding of every medication you’ll be taking.
What if My Medications Stop Working?
Whether you have RA or psoriatic arthritis, you’ll typically have to take medications long-term to see results.
You’ll need to know how to tell if your medications aren’t working how they should, and also what symptoms to look for that might suggest a change in treatment is needed.
This way, you’ll know if you need to call and make an appointment sooner.
The Best Questions to Ask Your Rheumatologist
Remember, the best questions to ask your rheumatologist are the ones that will give you a clear picture of your disease.
It’s a good idea to write down your symptoms and how you feel each day in a journal. Then, you’ll be able to easily see what questions to ask at your next appointment.
If you need to see a rheumatologist, you can turn to the professionals at Treasure Valley Rheumatology for help. Make sure you contact us today to schedule an appointment!