Tara Rizvi, MD
Rheumatologist located in Katy, TX
When you have a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it’s important to have a knowledgeable, experienced provider who can give you long-term support. Tara Rizvi, MD, at Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists in Katy, Texas, utilizes her experience as an educator and researcher for Baylor College of Medicine to provide personalized, evidenced-based, patient-centered care for those with this autoimmune condition. For a consultation with Dr. Rizvi, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Q & A
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes your body’s immune system to attack your joints. It’s fairly common, affecting around 1.3 million Americans, about 75% of whom are women.
The autoimmune response of rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation and damage to your tissues joints, including connective tissue and cartilage. It usually affects the smaller joints, such as your hands, wrists, elbows, and feet, but can affect other joints as well. Rheumatoid arthritis can also impact the tissues of your eyes, skin, and lungs.
While there’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms can be controlled with early intervention and long-term management. For many, it’s possible to accomplish remission of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis are related to inflammation of joint tissues and the damage caused by the progression of the disease. Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
- The stiffness of joints, which usually improves with use
- Joint redness and warmth in joints
- Swelling and tenderness in joints
- Decreased range of motion
- Joint weakness
- Loss of energy
- Low-grade fevers
- Loss or changes in appetite
- Firm nodules under your skin near joints
- Deformity of joints with advanced disease
Rheumatoid arthritis is often seen in connection with conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome or psoriasis, which causes skin inflammation.
How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
Dr. Rizvi uses blood tests and diagnostic imaging to help diagnose the underlying cause of your joint pain. A specific blood test can show changes in your blood, including decreased red blood cells and the presence of antibodies and proteins indicative of autoimmune disease.
Dr. Rizvi makes a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis after a thorough health history, physical assessment, and collection of lab and diagnostic results. She may use X-rays, MRI, or ultrasound to detect early changes in the affected joint.
What treatments are available for rheumatoid arthritis?
Dr. Rizvi has extensive knowledge of the most up-to-date methods, medications, and treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis. Your treatment plan may include:
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Immunosuppressant medications
- Extensive education
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Multispecialty care
Treatments serve to improve symptoms, as well as the slow progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Rizvi is committed to helping ensure you have all the tools you need to enjoy a high quality of life in the face of rheumatoid arthritis.
For a consultation with Dr. Rizvi regarding your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, call Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists or book an appointment online today.