Baptist Health Floyd: Treating Rheumatic Conditions
Rheumatologist Carla Gamarra-Hilburn, MD, talks about rheumatological conditions and the importance of treating them before they result in more serious damage to the body’s organs.
Treating Rheumatic Conditions Health Talks Transcript
Carla Gamarra-Hilburn, MD, Rheumatology
Sometimes we think about rheumatological conditions and we say, OK, it’s joints, bones, and cartilage, but that’s not all. Some rheumatological conditions are very, very serious and can affect the patient in many ways and produce severe damage. So when I say severe damage, organ damage, I’m referring to possible brain damage, lung damage, kidney problems. Rheumatic diseases are a variety of conditions. Some of them are degenerative in nature. Some of them are inflammatory in nature. Others are autoimmune. In the majority of the cases, we have a good response to treatment. We work with our patients to come up with a plan that’s designed specifically for the patient. For the most part, patients respond very well to the treatment. There are many types of medications, too, that we use in rheumatology. Those include prescription medication. We discuss with the patient which medication will accommodate better for the patient. I think the most important part is to live a healthy lifestyle. That includes avoiding excessive weight gain and smoking, alcohol intake, eating a healthy diet, exercise. But just by living a healthy lifestyle, I think you are decreasing your risk of getting some of these conditions. The ultimate goal is to prevent worsening of the condition.