Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain, inflammation, and damage throughout your body.
What is affected by rheumatoid arthritis?
Commonly affected areas of the body include joints in your fingers, hands, wrists, knees, ankles, feet, or toes. It can also affect tissues and organs in your body, including your skin, eyes, mouth, lungs, and heart.
Though anyone can develop RA, it usually starts to develop between the ages of 30 and 60. You may be more likely to develop this chronic illness if you are a female, a smoker, obese, or have a close relative with the disease.
Did you Know:
According to the Arthritis Foundation, an estimated 1.3 million Americans live with RA, and it is twice as common in women as men.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can vary from mild to severe and often fluctuate between periods of flares and remission.
Common symptoms include:
- pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness in multiple joints
- stiffness, especially in the morning or after other periods of rest
- pain and stiffness in the same joints on both sides of your body
- loss of joint function and deformities
- weakness and fatigue
- loss of appetite
Early diagnosis is important for effective treatment of RA, so we recommend discussing any symptoms you may be experiencing with your provider.
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis
First, it’s important to understand the differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that wears away the cartilage that connects the bones in your joints, while rheumatoid arthritis causes your immune system to attack your joints.
One way to determine if an individual has RA instead of OA is to examine the nature of the joint damage. RA usually affects both sides of the body – both arms or legs, for example.
There is not one individual test that can diagnose RA. Instead, medical providers use a combination of joint and organ examinations, blood test results, and X-ray or ultrasound image review to confirm your diagnosis.
How infusion therapy can help treat rheumatoid arthritis
When you experience moderate to severe RA symptoms, you may have difficulty taking oral medications or they may not be effective in alleviating your symptoms. Infusion therapy medications prescribed by your physician can provide relief from pain and swelling, prevent additional damage, slow disease progression, and reduce fatigue.
Our team at FlexCare Infusion Centers will work closely with your physician to help administer the prescribed treatment at one of our comfortable, patient-focused infusion centers.
Get started with infusion therapy
If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and are discussing infusion therapy with your provider as part of your treatment plan, they can easily send us a referral. If you have any questions, you can also contact us directly. We look forward to helping you soon.
Rheumatoid arthritis medications available at FlexCare Infusion Centers.
Rituxan • Actemra • Orencia • Remicade
How To Switch
Physician referral & paperwork
The first step is always a referral from your physician for infusion therapy services, including the specific medication and dosage for your condition.
Insurance approval & scheduling
We’ll work with your insurance company and your physician’s office to verify insurance approval for infusions and schedule your first appointment, typically with one week.
Experience infusion therapy re-imagined
We designed our stand-alone infusion centers with patient comfort in mind, including heated massage chairs, streaming services, and a well-stocked snack bar.