Rheumatic diseases, according to WHO statistics, affect 33% of the population
What is Rheumatology?
Rheumatology is the specialty that has to deal with the following diseases.
What are Rheumatic Diseases?
- Rheumatic diseases affect joints, muscles, tendons, bones and several integral organs such as heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, eyes and the skin.
- Others, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, systemic Lupus erythematous, scleroderma, etc., are diseases due to immune systems impairment.
- Metabolic diseases, primarily osteoporosis.
- Necrotizing vasculitis are a group of life threatening conditions.
- Degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis etc.
- Inflammatory diseases such as psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, enderopathic arthritis ( in the context of KROHN'S disease and ulcerative colitis) etc.
- Chrystal induced cynovitis (gout and pseudo gout), genetic diseases and joint malignancies.
- I would like to stress that this presentation of RD is in simple terms in order to be widely understood.
When do we ask for a Rheumatologist?
- When we experience pain in muscles, joints ex. lower back pain, hand or wrist pain, knee pain, pain concerning the shoulders, neck and other parts of the body.
- When joints are swollen with redness, stiffness, warmth and are painful , also when we feel muscle weakness or tenderness.
- When various rashes appear on the skin (of course with the collaboration of a dermatologist).
- When antibiotic resistant unremitting fever appears.
- Post-menopausal women.
- There are more specific reasons to apply to a rheumatologist which I will not stress as these patients are recommended to us by other medical specialties as rheumatology is a compilation of many medical specialties.
In recent years, the etiopathogenesis of several rheumatic diseases has been better understood resulting to new therapeutic modalities which lead in curing or improving the patients quality of life.
After many years of experience, as head of the major Department of Rheumatology in Greece, I decided to return to my home land with main purpose to offer my knowledge and expertise to the Cypriots -and not only- suffering from rheumatic diseases.
Under my supervision, a new Department of Rheumatology start functioning in Paphos at Evangelismos Hospital. As an organized clinic, we will soon be able to treat patients with severe rheumatic diseases, under my supervision and guidance, so the Cypriot patient will not have to search for help abroad.
Dr. Xristodoulos Antoniadis,
MD, ex-President of the Hellenic Society for Rheumatology