• What is Rheumatology ?

    Rheumatology is the profession that deals with conditions affecting the connective tissue and the musculoskeletal system, including conditions such as arthritis, autoimmune connective tissues disorders such as Lupus, muscle and tendon disorders and musculoskeletal pains.

    The word Rheumatology comes from the Greek word ‘rheuma’ which means "a substance that flows".

    There are over 120 rheumatic / musculoskeletal disorders.

  • Who is a Rheumatologist ?

    A Rheumatologist is a physician who specialises in the field of Rheumatology. They have done many years of study and work to become a physician and then they have done more years of work and study in this particular field to specialise in this field. A Rheumatologist is always undergoing continuous learning to stay up to date with the latest treatments and understanding of illness and disease.

  • What is Rheumatology the profession ?

    A medical science devoted to the study of rheumatic diseases & musculoskeletal disorders.

    These conditions can include what are called ‘autoimmune connective tissue disorders’ such as Lupus, but also include conditions more generally affecting the joints or muscles, such as arthritis, or myositis as well as general musculoskeletal pain syndromes such as shoulder, knee, hip and back pain.

  • What conditions does a Rheumatologist treat ?

    A Rheumatologist treats a lot of conditions. A Rheumatologist is often a diagnostic expert as they look at the body as a whole, and not just one organ. Rheumatologists are often asked to see people who are ill for no obvious reason to see if there is perhaps an autoimmune connective tissue condition that is affecting them.

    There are specific conditions that Rheumatologists are experts in diagnosing and treating:

    • Arthritis
    • There are many forms of arthritis, which is a condition affecting the joints of the body.
    • The most common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Gout.
    • Other types of arthritis include: Psoriatic arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Reactive arthritis and Seronegative Arthritis.
    • Autoimmune diseases (also known as Connective Tissue Diseases)
    • Back Pain
    • Behcet’s Disease
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Dermatomyositis/Polymyositis
    • Scleroderma

Common Rheumatological conditions.

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Gout
  • Lupus
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  • Osteo Arthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Vasculitis
  • Pregnancy and Rheumatological conditions
  • Information about your medications

    In Rheumatology, there are specific drugs that we use to treat Rheumatological conditions. We provide information pamphlets about your drugs from reliable sources. It is an important part of managing illness and disease to empower ourselves to know about the medications that we are on.

    Its important that you read these documents before taking the medications and make sure that you are fully informed and have had all of your questions answered about the medications before starting them. If you have any further questions I suggest speaking with your Rheumatologist about them.

  • What are the biologicals ?

    The biologicals are a class of drugs that have become quite prominent in the treatment of Rheumatology diseases in the last 10 years.
    The term ‘biologic’ when applied to drugs means that drug has been derived from a source that is alive, such as a microorganism, plant or animal cell. Most drugs are simply chemically engineered (Chemicals), but biological drugs are derived from an organic living source.

    The biological drugs in Rheumatology have been genetically engineered to target and block particular chemicals in the immune system, known as ‘cytokines’, that cause inflammation and disease.

    Different biological agents target different chemicals in the immune process as different chemicals have more of an impact and role in certain diseases.

    There are other drugs in Rheumatology which have also been engineered to target particular cytokines in the immune process, but because they do not come from a living cell, they are not called ‘biological’.

  • Pregnancy and Medications

    Pregnancy is a very special time in the life of a woman, and also their partner.
    Most women at this time deepen their relationship with and care of themselves and understandably would much prefer not to take any drugs at all.

    However, with many Rheumatological conditions there is a real risk of serious flares of disease in pregnancy when not taking medications and the consequences can be debilitating, if not life threatening. If the disease is not well controlled and the body is not well, then this makes it difficult to sustain a healthy pregnancy so the health of the mum-to-be takes first priority.

    There are many different Rheumatological conditions, with them each having differing effects on the body in pregnancy. Its important to be well informed about your particular Rheumatological condition as it can have an impact on your ability to get and stay pregnant, depending on your condition.