Drawing attention to the importance of rheumatoid arthritis awareness on 12 October World Arthritis Day, Turkish Rheumatology Association Board Member Prof. Dr. Timuçin Kaşifoğlu underlined that early diagnosis contributes positively to the treatment process.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of chronic inflammatory rheumatism that affects 0,5-1 percent of the adult population in Turkey. Genetic predisposition and smoking are among the risk factors affecting the development of rheumatoid arthritis, which is twice as common in women as in men. Making statements about rheumatoid arthritis within the scope of 12 October World Arthritis Day, Member of the Board of the Turkish Rheumatology Association prof. Dr. Timuçin Kaşifoğlushared important information about the disease.
“You may be at risk if your joint complaints persist for more than 6 weeks”
prof. Dr. Timuçin Kaşifoğlu Emphasizing that the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is mainly based on clinical evaluation, he said: “The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis should be considered, especially in the presence of symmetrical pain, swelling and tenderness in the joints or morning stiffness for more than an hour. If a first-degree relative in your family has rheumatoid arthritis, this is about three times higher risk for other family members. If you have any of the mentioned joint complaints, you should talk to your doctor. In addition to joint problems, some laboratory tests may be helpful in diagnosis. High levels of inflammatory markers in the blood, called the acute phase response, and the presence of some autoantibodies (rheumatoid factor, anti-CCP) may help diagnose the diagnosis.
What should an individual with or suspected of having rheumatoid arthritis do?
Inflammatory joint rheumatism such as rheumatoid arthritis requires long-term treatment since it has a chronic course. prof. Dr. Timuçin Kaşifoğlu, He underlined the importance of contacting a rheumatology doctor and starting the treatment as early as possible in order to monitor the patients' conditions properly. Stating that smoking, which aggravates the disease and has a negative effect on cardiovascular diseases as well as rheumatoid arthritis, should not be used, Kaşifoğlu also suggested using information platforms such as RomatizmaTV, prepared by the Turkish Rheumatology Association, to get more information about rheumatoid arthritis.
“Improved treatment options available for rheumatoid arthritis”
Emphasizing that the treatment options developed for rheumatoid arthritis disease are much more than in the past, prof. Dr. Timuçin Kaşifoğlu“The treatment should not be delayed in order to both improve the clinical findings of the disease and prevent permanent damage to the joints. In addition to the more traditional treatments used for initial treatment, therapies designed as targeted small molecules are used successfully in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In this direction, choosing the appropriate treatments for the patients and following the patients closely are critical in successful treatment.
Treatment compliance is an important point
prof. Dr. Timuçin KaşifoğluEmphasizing that long-term treatment may pose a challenge for patients, given the chronic course of rheumatoid arthritis, he reminded the importance of following a rheumatologist who deals with the treatment of rheumatoid diseases: “A single treatment may not be sufficient in many patients. The use of more than one treatment is a factor that may complicate treatment compliance. A doctor's control and blood count may be required at regular intervals for both the follow-up of the undesirable effects in the treatment and the adjustment of the dose. However, our patients should know that rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can be treated much more successfully than in previous years in patients with good treatment compliance.”
Lilly Pharmaceuticals Medical Director, Dr. Levent FlameStating that early diagnosis is of great importance in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, as part of the 12 October World Arthritis Day, shared the following statements: “As Lilly, we have been working to develop innovative treatment options in many therapeutic areas, including rheumatoid arthritis, for 145 years.”