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Rheumatic diseases

Related Terms

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Background

  • Rheumatic diseases are illnesses that cause long-term inflammation and loss of function of one or more structures that help support the body. Examples of supportive structures include connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and the cartilage and bones that make up joints.
  • There are more than 100 types of rheumatic diseases. Examples of common rheumatic diseases include bursitis, fibromyalgia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Although each disease is unique, common symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling. These symptoms affect different body parts, depending on the specific disease. Some rheumatic diseases may affect internal organs.
  • There are currently no cures for fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, many treatments are available to manage symptoms. Treatment primarily focuses on reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Patients with bursitis usually recover completely after a few weeks of treatment to reduce swelling. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) usually goes away on its own after several months or years. Patients may take medications to reduce symptoms until the condition resolves on its own.

Common Types and Causes of Rheumatic Diseases

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Signs and Symptoms

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Complications

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Diagnosis

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Monitoring Inflammation

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.