I Have Arthritis That Affects A Lot Of My Joints – Could It Be Rheumatoid Arthritis And How Will The Doctor Know?
By Nathan Wei
There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis. Most of them involve inflammation. When a patient goes to a rheumatologist to get a diagnosis, there is a process of elimination in order to arrive at the proper diagnosis. This process of elimination is called “differential diagnosis.”
Differential diagnosis can be a difficult undertaking because so many forms of arthritis, particularly inflammatory forms of arthritis look alike. The following is a list of types of inflammatory arthritis that can be seen and must be considered when evaluating a patient with inflammatory symptoms of arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is an chronic, autoimmune, inflammatory disease, that may affect any joint in the body but preferentially attacks the peripheral joints (fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, …