When you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis or another condition you will be referred to a rheumatologist specialist or a consultant rheumatologist. This is a doctor whose experience, training and specialism is in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions.
Getting a Referral to a Rheumatologist Specialist
You shouldn’t find getting referred to a rheumatologist specialist too difficult. Your GP should be able to refer you once they have checked out your symptoms and have a reasonable belief they need further exploration.
What will my Rheumatologist do differently?
As specialists, rheumatologists have the expert knowledge in the area relating to your condition. They will have in depth knowledge of treatment options and what may or may not work for the individual. The main ways a rheumatologist will help you is through:
While you may have had an informal diagnosis from your GP, a rheumatologist will arrange all of the necessary tests to find out as much as they can about your condition. You may have to have blood tests and x-rays to further diagnose elements of your condition and give your rheumatologist the best picture of your situation.
- Treatment Planning
Your rheumatologist may give you a choice of treatment options or may have a defined recommended route for you to take for the best possible results for your condition. They will be involve in administering drug treatments but they may also refer you to other health professionals including podiatrists and physiotherapists as part of their overall goal of managing and lessening the symptoms of your condition.
It’s also worth noting that there are some rheumatic conditions which effect more than just your joints. Your rheumatologist will ensure you are referred to necessary specialists in other fields but they will still manage the core rheumatic element of your condition