Rheumatology is a medical subspecialty that is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune disease, arthritis and related rheumatic diseases.
Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system of the body malfunctions and attacks it’s own organs. This can lead to inflammation in almost any part of the body, sometimes making these diseases difficult to diagnose and treat.
Such diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, myositis, vasculitis etc.
Connective tissue damage or inflammation can occur from mechanical reasons or from crystal deposition resulting in diseases like gout, pseudogout, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendinitis etc.
Diseases of eyes, skin, spine, thyroid gland, gastrointestinal system maybe associated with connective tissue disease. Because of the seriousness and complex nature of these conditions, the rheumatologist works closely with the primary care doctor and other physicians, sometimes acting as a consultant to advise another physician about a specific diagnosis or treatment plan.