Should you see a rheumatologist?

joint pain

The immune system that keeps people safe from illness and fights infection has the potential to also target the body itself.

dr. hassan baydoun
Dr. Hassan Baydoun

This is the objective of a rheumatologist-to ensure that the patient's immune system leaves their healthy tissue alone.

"When our bodies fight illness, our immune systems might also needlessly begin attacking healthy parts of the body, causing additional painful symptoms," said Dr. Hassan Baydoun, a rheumatologist with McLaren Macomb. "It's a rheumatologist's goal to relieve the patient of those symptoms and get the immune system back to proper function."

The most noticeable symptom of rheumatic disease is joint pain.

All joints of the body, including the spine, are susceptible to the more than 200 forms of rheumatic disease. If left untreated, rheumatic diseases can worsen and begin affecting the body's internal functions.

Symptoms can also include rashes and redness across the cheeks.

"Symptoms might be difficult to recognize initially since they may also be symptomatic of another condition," Dr. Baydoun said. "But with a full diagnosis by a rheumatologist, we can tailor a treatment to each patient's condition, which include medication or a minor procedure."

A patient's specialist or family physician may refer them to a rheumatologist for an evaluation of a suspected rheumatic disease.

Ask your physician if your joint pain or other chronic condition should also be evaluated by a rheumatologist.

Dr. Baydoun is located at McLaren Macomb Internal Medicine & Health (37399 Garfield Road, Suite 106, in Clinton Township). For information, call the office at (586) 226-3500 or visit mclaren.org/macombrheumatology.