Dealing With A Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Diagnosis
Mercy rheumatologist Dr. Lynn Ludmer diagnoses and treats a variety of diseases associated with arthritis and muscle disease, including multiple types of inflammatory arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as autoimmune connective tissue disorders. In this brief article, Dr. Ludmer offers her advice regarding the treatment of RA from the patient’s perspective…
To me the most important thing about an RA diagnosis is to develop a good long-term relationship with one's rheumatologist. While there are great web sites like the American College of Rheumatology’s rheumatology.org, the disease is complex and not the same in every patient. Therefore treatment approaches will vary based on the activity of the disease, damage present, potential for damage, other complicating medical conditions and allergies and patient preferences.
We strive to get each patient as close to remission as possible to prevent joint and other organ damage form persistent inflammation,, while limiting the potential for side effects of treatments. Of course, there is room for integrative medicine: diet, exercise, relaxation techniques, but these are supplements tp pharmacologic treatments which have been proven to reduce damage and prolong life intros with RA.
--Lynn M. Ludmer, M.D.
Dr. Ludmer is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. She works with patients to care for chronic conditions that can cause symptoms of varying severity, such as pain, swelling and tenderness. Named a "Top Doc" in Rheumatology by Baltimore magazine, she has written numerous articles on rheumatic conditions and has participated in related lectures and presentations.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.
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