If you suspect that you have a rheumatic disease, it is important that you seek care and receive treatment as early as possible. It can be difficult to know which of your symptoms are due to a rheumatic disease. To help you, specialists have developed a questionnaire that covers most rheumatic diseases.
Your personal symptoms overview
With the symptom overview you can communicate more effectively with your health care provider about any symptoms you’re experiencing.You can save and print a PDF or review the results on your phone.
What is a rheumatic disease?
There are several kinds of rheumatic disease which cause different problems.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory joint disease which often starts with swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints, usually in the small joints of the hands and feet. The inflammation can cause damage resulting in a decreased joint function. Other rheumatic diseases include inflammatory back disease (axial spondyloarthritis), Sjogren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis, myositis and psoriatic arthritis. About 1 % of the population in the UK has rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and about 0,5 % has inflammatory back disease. A much more common joint disease is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by an imbalance between the breakdown and generation of cartilage in the joints, which leads to impaired function of the joint. Osteoarthritis often occurs in finger joints or in knee and hip joints.
Who is behind “Rheumatic?”
“Rheumatic?” is part of a research project which aims to contribute to better and earlier treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases with the ultimate aim of preventing these conditions.
It has been developed by specialists in Rheumatology and General medicine in collaboration with patients with rheumatic diseases. The aim is to tell you whether your symptoms indicate a rheumatic disease and whether you need to seek medical advice to investigate it further.
A clinical study will start in 2021 to validate the questions and make “Rheumatic?” able to detect a number of rheumatological diagnoses.
How do I find out if I have a rheumatic disease?
To know for sure if you have a rheumatic disease you need to visit a doctor for an assessment. If you wish to visit a doctor after you have answered these questions, you can bring your results with you. These results will provide a helpful basis for the consultation.
During the consultation, your doctor will make a general assessment based on your different symptoms. You will describe your problems and answer questions about your health and your lifestyle choices, whether you have any other diseases and whether you are currently on any medications. You will also have a blood test for the doctor to be able to assess whether there is inflammation in the body or whether you have antibodies in your blood which could be a sign of an inflammatory rheumatic disease.
If you wish to read more about the process of making a diagnosis you can find information at https://reumanederland.nl
“Rheumatic?” is a research project in collaboration between rheumatologists of Karolinska Institutet, LUMC, Erlangen and Birmingham and ReumaNederland. The goal is that “Rheumatic?” will contribute to a better and earlier treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases with the ultimate aim of preventing these conditions.