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Rheumatic Diseases

As a privately practicing physician of rheumatology and internal medicine in Macon, Georgia, Kathy C. Lynn, MD, treats patients diagnosed with rheumatic diseases. While there are many illnesses that fit into this category, rheumatic diseases are characterized by pain and inflammation in joints and muscles. Here, Dr. Lynn discusses some common forms of rheumatic disease.

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1. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): This condition is an autoimmune disease, a disease in which the body is attacked by its own immune system. More than one million Americans suffer from RA, and the disease manifests disproportionately in women. Doctors can diagnose RA, which is characterized by pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, with a blood test and x-rays.

2. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS): Another autoimmune disease, this painful condition is more common in men than women and manifests as a gradual fusing and stiffening of the spine. People with AS often notice the onset as pain and stiffness in the sacroiliac region, which gradually, over the course of months or years, works its way up the spine. Like rheumatoid arthritis, AS may be diagnosed with x-rays and physical examination findings.

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