How Do You Know If You Have Arthritis?
If you think you do, see your physician sooner rather than later; don't just try to treat yourself. Your symptomatic and long-term treatment may be much more successful if begun early.
The diagnosis is primarily based on clinical findings including- pain, a pattern of joint involvement, joint enlargements, and specific joint deformities. Your doctor will probably recommend x-rays to identify the extent of the damage and certain blood tests to rule out other conditions or to help identify the specific type of arthritis.
Take Dr. Donnica's Decisionnaire ™. Check off all the points that apply to you and take this list with you when you consult your physician.
|___ || You have joint discomfort or swelling.|
|___ || You have unexplained fatigue.|
|___ || You notice a change in your fine motor skills with your hands.|
|___ || You notice difficulty writing. |
|___ || You have a sudden unexplained limp or difficulty walking.|
|___ || You have repeated bouts of tendonitis.|
|___ || You have visual changes.|
|___ || You have morning stiffness that improves gradually over a few hours.|
|___ || You have feelings of stiffness in certain joints.|
|___ || You have low-grade fevers.|
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Created: 9/21/2000  - Donnica Moore, M.D.