25 May Why Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis With Concierge Medicine?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks itself, causing joint pain and swelling. Because RA affects the joints, it can cause chronic pain, and it can hinder your ability to perform daily tasks. Having comprehensive medical care can help with optimal disease management to restore quality of life amid an RA diagnosis. Concierge medicine is a patient-focused approach to managing this chronic disease.
Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis
When a person has Rheumatoid Arthritis, their immune system accidentally attacks itself, targeting the joints.
Joints are the connection between bones that allow for physical movement. RA often causes joint stiffness, pain, tenderness, and swelling. The exact cause of RA is not understood, but it is known that it is due to an inappropriate immune response.
Risk factors for RA include:
- Being over the age of 60
- Being female
The Role of Concierge Medicine in Rheumatoid Arthritis Management
Concierge medicine is an approach to help patients have more focused care from their doctor. A concierge doctor is more readily available than a standard doctor. They may provide you with 24-hour phone availability as well as same-day appointments. Of course, these services come at a higher cost, but in-home care can be invaluable for patients with chronic illnesses like RA.
Some benefits that RA patients can expect from using a concierge doctor include the following:
- A unique and personalized approach to healthcare
- Fast access to appointments
- Coordinating care with specialists
Medication Management by a Concierge Doctor
Navigating a chronic disease can be difficult and confusing for patients, which is why it is important to have an involved doctor to help guide you.
A concierge doctor can help you manage your medications to help assess the need for medications as well as decide which medications are best for you. They can also provide ongoing evaluations to determine if the medications are working and look for any side effects.
Common medications prescribed for RA include:
Lifestyle Guidance from a Concierge Doctor
Your doctor may recommend that you make some lifestyle changes to help boost your overall health and slow disease progression.
Diet and Nutrition Recommendations
Your doctor can offer nutrition recommendations such as eating anti-inflammatory foods and any supplements you may need to help support overall health. Having close medical care from a concierge doctor can help to make these new habits easier to integrate into your routine and stick to them.
Stress Management Techniques
Keeping your stress levels low can help to reduce inflammation and keep you feeling your best. You can try some mindfulness exercises like meditation and breathwork to keep your stress levels low and work to build a support network.
Physical Activity and Exercise
Exercises like walking, stretching, tai chi, and yoga can greatly benefit patients with RA. Your doctor can recommend the best exercise plan for you to help maintain optimal joint flexibility and mobility.
Coordination of Care with a Rheumatologist
Some patients with RA seek help from a rheumatologist. This disease specialist can evaluate you and prescribe special drugs to help manage your disease. Your concierge doctor can help you determine the best time to seek specialized care, and they can collaborate with specialists to ensure optimal treatment.
Additional Services Offered by Concierge Doctors
Other services offered by concierge doctors include:
- Health screenings for preventive purposes
- Managing any complications from RA
- Coordinating with other providers
Choosing a Concierge Doctor for Rheumatoid Arthritis Management
In order to find a doctor who best suits your needs, you’ll want to take some important factors into consideration when looking for a concierge doctor. Important factors to consider include:
- Experience: You’ll want to make sure that you choose a concierge doctor who is experienced and has worked with RA patients in the past.
- Compatibility: Let’s be honest; the best doctor for one patient will look different for another patient. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the doctor you choose and that they have a communication style that works well for you. This will help ensure that you’re comfortable asking questions and talking with them about your diagnosis and treatment.
- Accessibility: Pay attention to where your doctor is located and determine their availability to be certain you can see them as needed.
Other tips that can help you find the best concierge doctor include looking at online reviews and asking other patients and doctors for recommendations.
Having a concierge doctor on board can be a convenient and accessible way to help manage a chronic illness. When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, choosing concierge medicine can help ensure that your disease is well-managed and that you have the healthcare team that fits you best on your side.
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