Rheumatic Diseases

Rheumatic Diseases

Rheumatic diseases are a group of conditions that cause inflammation and pain in the joints or muscles. These conditions can affect people of all ages, but are often seen in middle-aged adults. Some of the more common forms of rheumatic diseases include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis - an inflammatory disorder that causes joint swelling, stiffness, and pain
  • Osteoarthritis - the most common type of arthritis that is usually caused by “wear and tear”
  • Gout - a type of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid in the joints
  • Fibromyalgia - a disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus - an autoimmune disorder that can affect various organs and systems in the body
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome - an autoimmune disorder that usually affects the joints, but can also cause dryness in the eyes and mouth

Although rheumatic diseases can affect anyone, there are certain factors that can increase your risk. These include:

  • Being female. Women tend to be more likely to develop rheumatic diseases than men.
  • Having a family history of rheumatic diseases. People with a family history of arthritis, gout, or other rheumatic conditions may be more likely to develop these diseases.
  • Being overweight. Excess body weight puts more stress on the joints and can increase your risk for certain types of rheumatic diseases.
  • Leading an inactive lifestyle. Not getting enough physical activity can increase your risk for certain rheumatic diseases.
  • Having certain medical conditions. People with chronic infections, diabetes, and certain other medical conditions may have an increased risk for rheumatic diseases.

If you have any of the above risk factors, it is important to talk to your doctor about your overall health and whether you should be tested for any of the rheumatic diseases. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce pain and improve your quality of life.