How Can I Tell If My Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Is Working?

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So when it comes down to it, it really is the patient because if it's just me and the patient in a room, I can't feel their pain. I have to listen to them and reflect with them on their disease and ow their treatment is going, so if they say, coming down I'm not feeling as good, then I have to say, maybe you need go back up, maybe we need to adjust something else, maybe we need to add something else.

So, in the end, what matters best, what matters the most really, is that we decrease the inflammation in the patient so the patient is as productive as possible, can do everything they want to do and has as little pain as possible because that's distracting and it's a sign to us that there maybe damage to the joint and has few signs of inflammation as possible. So one of the things you might ask is, how do you know? Some people feel good and maybe they have more inflammation.

Well, we have tools for that too. There is the said rate and the C-reactive protein that can give us indications of sustimic inflammation, it doesn't tell us where the inflammation is but it tells us if you has sustimic inflammation. And there's another test now called the vectra DA which is a composite test which gives us an idea, for instance, if it's between 0 and 29, we would call it low disease activity, 29-44 moderate, 44 and above high.

So I had a patient come in the other day, some patients are very [xx], and she said to me, I think my arthritis is doing okay, I've got the usual amount of pain, and I looked at her and I said, you know your joints look kind of hot, juicy, buggy, I think we need to do the vectra DA, and it came back 88 and I said, if I were you, I wouldn't be satisfied with your treatment, I'd do a little bit more.

There's a lot of people who are afraid to take more treatment, but if you have inflammation it's far better to get that under control and preserve the joints.