18:02 PM

How to Handle an Arthritis Flare, According to Patients and Rheumatologists

CreakyJoints discusses how to manage an arthritis flare and includes guidance from Dee Dee Wu, MD, rheumatologist at HSS.

According to Dr. Wu, “It’s important for patients to report their symptoms accurately to their rheumatologists. From there, it’s up to the rheumatologist to determine what may be causing the flare and the best course of action.”

She explained, “When people are sick with viral or bacterial illness, that can trigger their immune system, causing a flare. And, on top of it, a lot of the patients have to stop their meds when they’re sick, which only fuels the flare.”

Dr. Wu said that flares are rarely a sign of disease progression. She continued, “[A flare] is not necessarily indicative that the disease is progressing. If flares happen frequently, then I would say, more often than not, the medication is not completely controlling the disease and there is room for adjustment.”

Finally, she advised being in touch with a doctor when experiencing a flare. “Being in touch with the doctor earlier rather than later, is, I think, the most important thing to do when you experience a flare. I usually tell my patients not to handle this on their own. I’d rather they come to me than dabble in herbal remedies and things like that,” she noted.

Read the full article at Creakyjoints.org.