Inflammatory Conditions or Diseases
Inflammation is a process where the body's white blood cells and chemicals help protect from infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses.
In inflammatory diseases, the body's immune system triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign substances to fight off. In these autoimmune diseases, the body's normally protective immune system damages its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or are abnormal.
In an inflammatory response, chemicals are released into the blood or into affected tissues. This release increases blood flow to the area, resulting in redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into tissues, causing swelling. An inflammatory response can stimulate nerves and cause pain, redness, joint stiffness and loss of joint function.
Increased blood flow and the release of chemicals attract white blood cells to the inflamed area. The increased white blood cells and inflammatory substances within joints can cause irritation and wearing down of cartilage and ultimate swelling of joint lining (synovium).
Some types of arthritis are the result of misdirected inflammation. Some types of arthritis associated with inflammation include:
Tendonitis or bursitis
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Dermatomyositis and polymyositis - inflammatory muscle diseases
Physicians in Rheumatology Provide Expertise In The Treatment Of Lupus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation throughout the body, and can affect the skin, the musculoskeletal system, and major organ systems. As many as two million Americans are believed to suffer from various forms of lupus, and the disease primarily affects women.
The Rheumatology and Immunology team collaborates with a multi-disciplinary group of clinicians to deliver experience, expertise, and compassion to the diagnosis and management of this potentially debilitating condition.