(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Muscat- People are putting themselves at the risk of death by failing to act on early signs of rheumatism, experts in the field have said. The crippling condition that causes swelling or pain in the joints can actually affect other organs of the body as well. But it is often ignored as either signs of ageing or too minor to be treated by a doctor.
According to experts Muscat Daily spoke to, rheumatism is an immune disorder that targets joints, but it can also cause damage to the other organs. There is a need for awareness regarding the seriousness of the condition among the general public, said doctors.
Dr Farida al Balushi, senior consultant and head of rheumatology department, The Royal Hospital, said that the disease can affect multiple organs and can be fatal if left untreated.
'There is a need for public to be aware regarding the existence of this disorder. People should seek medical advice if they experience joint pains or any abnormality in the skin, before it is too late,' she said. Rheumatic diseases can be life-threatening, said Dr Farida.
'There are different categories in this disease. In many patients, the disease affects the kidney as well. Our aim is to treat patients before it reaches that stage where it can damage other organs. Once the damage is done, it becomes difficult to treat. So early detection is important. Most patients get relief with treatment but some fail to complete the course of medication and do not recover.'
Dr Maha Muradha Hassan Ali, acting consultant rheumatology and treasurer of Oman Society of Rheumatology too stresses on timely medical intervention. 'If patients start observing any abnormality they should seek medical attention immediately. And once the treatment starts, it should not be stopped,' she said.
There are many ways to control the disease but no complete cure, said Dr Nasra al Adhoubi, consultant rheumatologist. 'The problem is that the disease attacks the immune system. Early detection and diagnosis and treatment of the disease can help control the disease. It is a misconception that rheumatism is just one disease but the reality is that it is a source of many other diseases. It differs the way it affects different people.'
In order to spread awareness, the Oman Society of Rheumatology in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) held a three-day congress recently under the theme, 'Promoting Rheumatology Researches in the Arab World'.
The event, which saw around 50 speakers from the sultanate and abroad, discussed clinical practices surrounding the diseases. A comprehensive update of core topics in rheumatology were discussed and experts shared researches on the subject so that specialist can make use of them to treat patients.
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