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What questions should I ask my doctor if I have rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Review the following questions to ask about rheumatoid arthritis (RA) so you're prepared to discuss this important health issue with your healthcare professional.
  • Do I have rheumatoid arthritis? How can you tell?
  • Can you rule out similar diseases, like osteoarthritis and lupus?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • How can I recognize a flare? What should I do when one occurs?
  • What drugs are available to help me? What are their benefits and side effects? Will these drugs interact with any other medications I am taking?
  • Can you recommend an exercise plan that is compatible with my stage of RA?
  • Should I try nutritional supplements like green tea and fish oils?
  • How far has my RA progressed? How does that affect the management plan you're recommending?
  • Can I benefit from starting therapy with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) early?
  • Are there any RA support groups in my area?
  • Are there any special devices that can help me stay as independent and active as possible?
  • What is methotrexate and how can it help me? How should I take methotrexate, and what are its risks? Are there any alternative drugs similar to methotrexate that I can try?
  • Should I take the selective COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex or one of the standard NSAIDs? What are the risks and benefits of both?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.