Forms & Other Resources

Forms

The following forms can be downloaded to your computer and printed at home. By filling out these forms prior to your visit you will save significant time when you arrive for your appointment. If you have questions when filling out these forms, please do the best you can, our staff will assist you on the day of your visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Rheumatic Diseases?

Conditions that affect joints, tendons, muscles and connective tissue and are due to an abnormal immune response, wherein the body makes antibodies against its own tissues. There are over 100 different autoimmune conditions/diseases which can lead to:

  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation (swelling, warmth and redness of the affected area)
  • Reduced range of motion of a joint(s)
Giant Cell Arteritis

Facts

  • Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a disease of blood vessels, may occur together with polymyalgia rheumatica.
  • GCA occurs only in older adults, mainly those over age of 50, and can cause swelling and thickening of the small artery under the skin called the temporal artery.
  • A new, persisting headache is a common symptom of GCA. Symptoms of GCA promptly improve with corticosteroids.
  • If GCA affects blood flow to the eye, loss of vision can occur. Prompt detection and treatment of GCA can prevent loss of vision.

External Links

General Information

Gout

Facts

  • Painful and potentially disabling form of arthritis that has been around since ancient times. It is sometimes referred to as the “disease of kings,” because people long have incorrectly linked it to the kind of overindulgence in food and wine only the rich and powerful could afford. In fact, gout can affect anyone, and its risk factors vary.
  • Initial symptoms:  intense episodes of painful swelling in single joints, most often in the feet, especially the big toe. The swollen site may be red and warm.
  • Treatment options are available – avoiding food and medication triggers and by taking medicines that can help. However, diagnosing gout can be hard, and treatment plans often must be tailored for each person.

External Links

General Information

Gout diet: What’s allowed, what’s not?

Lupus

Facts

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus, referred to as SLE or lupus, is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes systemic inflammation which affects multiple organs.
  • In addition to affecting the skin and joints, it can affect other organs in the body such as the kidneys, the tissue lining the lungs (pleura), heart (pericardium), and brain. Many patients experience fatigue, weight loss, and fever.
  • Treatment depends on the organs involved.
  • Lupus occurs ten times more often in women than in men.

External Links

General Information

Planning ahead of contraception and pregnancy

Planning your Pregnancy

Fibromyalgia

Facts

  • Affects two – four percent of people, women more often than men.
  • Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune or inflammation based illness, but research suggests the nervous system is involved.
  • Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on all the patient’s relevant symptoms (what you feel), no longer just on the number of tender places during an examination.
  • There is no test to detect this disease, but you may need lab tests or X-rays to rule out other health problems.
  • Though there is no cure, medications can reduce symptoms in some patients.
  • Patients also may feel better with proper self-care, such as exercise and getting enough sleep.

External Links

General Information

Tai Chi Has Similar or Greater Benefits Than Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia, Study Shows

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Facts

  • The average age when symptoms start is 70. Women are affected somewhat more often than men. It is more frequent in whites than nonwhites, but all races can get PMR.
  • The typical polymyalgia rheumatica symptoms (what you feel) of PMR are aching and stiffness about the upper arms, neck, lower back and thighs.
  • These symptoms develop quickly and are worse in the morning.
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica symptoms respond promptly to low doses of corticosteroids, but may recur as the dose is lowered

External Links

General Information

Psoriatic Arthritis

Facts

  • Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic arthritis. In some people, it is mild, with just occasional flare ups. In other people, it is continuous and can cause joint damage if it is not treated. Early diagnosis is important to avoid damage to joints.
  • Psoriatic arthritis typically occurs in people with skin psoriasis, but it can occur in people without skin psoriasis, particularly in those who have relatives with psoriasis.
  • Psoriatic arthritis typically affects the large joints, especially those of the lower extremities, distal joints of the fingers and toes, and also can affect the back and sacroiliac joints of the pelvis.
  • For most people, appropriate treatments will relieve pain, protect the joints, and maintain mobility. Physical activity helps maintain joint movement.

External Links

General Information

Informative Video Series

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Facts

  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon can be classified as either primary or secondary
  • Approximately 10% of the population has Primary Raynaud’s
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the Raynaud’s and whether it is associated with another condition
  • Typically, Raynaud’s is not disabling but can affect quality of life

External Links

General Information

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Facts

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis. It is caused when the immune system (the body’s defense system) is not working properly. RA causes pain and swelling in the wrist and small joints of the hand and feet.
  • Treatments for RA can stop joint pain and swelling. Treatment also prevents joint damage. Early treatment will give better long term results.
  • Regular low-impact exercises, such as walking, and exercises can increase muscle strength. This will improve your overall health and lower pressure on your joints.
  • Studies show that people who receive early treatment for RA feel better sooner and more often, and are more likely to lead an active life. They also are less likely to have the type of joint damage that leads to joint replacement.
  • It is important to get the help of a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist is a doctor who treats arthritis and autoimmune disease. There are diseases that can be mistaken for RA. It is important to get the correct diagnosis without unnecessary testing. A rheumatologist will help find a treatment plan that is best for your disease.

External Links

General Information

Yoga for Arthritis

Sjogren’s Syndrome

Facts

  • Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition that can occur at any age, but is most common in older women. Many patients develop Sjögren’s syndrome as a complication of another autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • Symptoms vary in type and intensity, but many people with Sjögren’s are able to live normal lives.
  • Most of the treatment for Sjögren’s syndrome is aimed at relieving symptoms of dry eyes and mouth and preventing and treating long-term complications such as infection and dental disease. Treatments often do not completely eliminate the symptoms of dryness.
  • Most patients with Sjögren’s syndrome remain healthy, but some rare complications have been described, including an increased risk for cancer of the lymph glands (lymphoma). Thus, regular medical care and follow up is important for all patients.

External Links

General Information

Spondyloarthropathy

Facts

  • Spondyloarthritis is a type of arthritis that attacks the spine and, in some people, the joints of the arms and legs. It can also involve the skin, intestines and eyes. The main symptom (what you feel) in most patients is low back pain. This occurs most often in axial spondyloarthritis.
  • In a minority of patients, the major symptom is pain and swelling in the arms and legs. This type is known as peripheral spondyloarthritis.
  • People in their teens and 20s, particularly males, are affected most often. Family members of those with spondyloarthritis are at higher risk.
  • Many people with axial spondyloarthritis progress to having some degree of spinal fusion, known as ankylosing spondylitis. This more often strikes young males.
  • Newer treatments have helped a great deal in controlling symptoms. Frequent fitness activities and back exercises are important in managing the symptoms of spondyloarthritis.

External Links

General Information

Systemic Sclerosis

Facts

  • Scleroderma differs from person to person but can be very serious.
  • There are medications, as well as steps individuals can take, to ease the symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon, skin problems and heartburn.
  • Effective treatments are available for those with severe disease, including acute kidney disease, pulmonary hypertension, lung inflammation and gastrointestinal problems.
  • It is important to recognize and treat organ involvement early on to prevent irreversible damage.
  • Patients should see physicians with specialized expertise in the care of this complex disease.

External Links

General Information

Additional Information and Resources:

For a more complete list of rheumatologic conditions and diseases we see and treat click here

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520 S. Elm Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

Call Us: +1-314-645-4434

Fax: +1-314-645-3801

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Our Mission

“We offer unique services. Our goal is to offer you what it takes to stay healthy and independent.”

At Saint Louis Rheumatology, our mission is to provide exceptional care for patients with rheumatic diseases through innovative treatments and compassionate care. Our values include integrity, patient-centered care, and continuous improvement. We strive to create a supportive and healing environment where patients feel valued and understood. Learn more about our dedicated team and our commitment to excellence.