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Are you suffering from Rheumatological Disorders?

Understanding Rheumatological Disorders - Blog by JSS Hospital Mysuru

Visit Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, JSS Hospital, Mysuru

What are Rheumatological disorders?

Diseases affecting musculoskeletal system which are not due to trauma, autoimmune diseases affecting multiple organ systems and osteoporosis are considered rheumatological disorders. There are more than 200 distinct rheumatological disorders

What are the common Rheumatological disorders?

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (Lupus)
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Systemic vasculitis
  • Takayasu arteritis
  • Granulomatous Polyangiitis (GPA)
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial pain syndromes Gout

What are some of the rarer Rheumatological diseases?

  • Behcet’s syndrome
  • Adult onset still’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease related arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Relapsing Polychondritis Sapho syndrome

Who treats Rheumatological disorders?

Rheumatologists are doctors who are trained in internal medicine or pediatric and sub specialize in Rheumatology. They are trained to diagnose and treat rheumatological diseases. They are the specialists for many rare diseases and diseases affecting multiple organ systems.

What is the importance of seeing a Rheumatologist early in the course of a Rheumatological Disease?

Most rheumatological diseases have inflammation of autoimmune or other causes. Longer the inflammation stays uncontrolled in any organ system like joints or kidneys it will lead to damage. Damage is irreversible.

Arthritis can lead to joint damage and deformities and disability. Lupus and vasculitis can lead to kidney, nerve or digital damage and loss of function.

Controlling inflammation in joints and any other organ is important in preventing damage and preserving function and even loss of life. Since Rheumatologists are the doctors trained in diagnosing and treating these diseases, they can initiate prompt and appropriate treatment and thus prevent long term sequelae and complications. They are also adept in managing the side effects of some of the immunomodulator drugs, steroids and biological drugs.

When should i see a Rheumatologist?

Most of us experience joint or muscle pain at some point in time. Although most of the joint symptoms resolve by itself some of them persists. If your pain is not resolving in 1-2 weeks it is better to take an expert opinion

If joint symptoms are associated with following symptoms it is always advised

  • Systemic symptoms like fever weight loss
  • Most severe pain in the morning hours
  • More than 3 joints are involved at the same time
  • Skin rash, abdominal pain

Earlier referral should be made if you have relatives with autoimmune or rheumatic disease (as these conditions run in families) or if the symptoms are significantly worsening over a short period of time.

Joint damage can occur if the symptoms of joint pain are ignored or not treated properly over a period of time. This damage cannot always be reversed with treatment and may be permanent. Do not delay appropriate evaluation.

Are there Rheumatologists in all the districts of India?

Unfortunately, No! Up to 2-3% of people have some form of Rheumatological diseases. India produces around 60 rheumatologists per year. There is a need to introduce more training centres in medical colleges and private institutions. The dream is to have at least one rheumatologist in a district. Now most are concentrated in cities.

When to see a Rheumatologist?

Prevention is better than cure and Early Diagnosis is better than a delayed diagnosis. It does not take a genius to make that statement. A rare diagnosis often is a challenge for a patient and doctor. It is a tricky territory to tread on. Often the symptoms mimic other common diseases resulting in delay. Doctor-patient ratio makes the situation more complicated. Best way to move forward is increased awareness. There are multiple modes, but the internet has the most extensive reach. It is essential to help a patient sitting far away from a rheumatologist but with internet or technology in his palms and answer a few letters away – “Google”. When to see a Rheumatologist? Who is a rheumatologist? When should one be referred? This section is an attempt to answer some of these questions. It will help them to understand their symptoms and reach the right health professional at the right time.

Are Rheumatologists available at JSS hospital?

Yes. Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology was established on October 2011.It was the first Department to offer Rheumatology services in Mysuru.

The department provides OPD and IPD services for management of autoimmune diseases like RA, SLE, systemic sclerosis, Spondyloarthropathies, Myositis, Sjogren Syndrome, Vasculitis, Tropical Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis, and Gout in various age groups. Pediatric patients also fall under our scope of services. As a Department, we have been catering to nearly 1000 outpatients with Rheumatological problems per month along with approximately 100 inpatients per month. Patients from Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Mandya, Kodagu, Hassan, Chikamagalur districts are being benefitted by our services.


Dr. Subramanian R MD,
PDF (Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology),
Professor and HOD,
Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology,
JSS Hospital, Mysuru.

Dr.Mahabaleshwar Mamadapur,
MD,DM (Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology),
Asst Professor,
Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology,
JSS Hospital, Mysuru