A diagnosis of an autoimmune disease or an inflammatory arthritis can be a shock, making you feel out of control and overwhelmed. Becoming informed and empowered can help alleviate these feelings. Although prompt treatment can help you get any symptoms you may be experiencing under control, you have time before you begin treatment to learn about your diagnosis and treatment options.
These conditions are typically chronic and can affect organs other than your bones and joints. Importantly, great advances have been made in treatment and through participation in clinical trials other novel therapies are becoming available. Ask questions, and—if you choose—get a second opinion. This section is designed to help you address your initial questions and prepare for treatment.
- Newly Diagnosed – Steps you can take in order face a new diagnosis.
- Building Your Medical Team – Inflammatory arthritis and rheumatoid conditions are complicated, understand the kinds of physicians and healthcare providers that may be involved with your care.
- Becoming a Practiced Patient – Tips on living and coping with a chronic health condition.
- What You Need to Know to Become Empowered – Learn how to become empowered and a self-advocate.
- Videos– Learn from other patients and experts.
RA, AS, PsA, SLE and other inflammatory conditions are complex, and often misunderstood. As you learn to navigate life with a chronic condition, you’ll need two critical things: information and support.