You're likely to first bring your concerns to your family doctor. He or she may refer you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in joint diseases.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:
- Has anyone in your immediate family had similar problems?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical problems?
- What medications and supplements do you take regularly?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
May. 30, 2012
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1807/0.html. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Ortega-Hernandez OD, et al. Mixed connective tissue disease: An overview of clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2012;26:61.
- Bennett RM. Clinical manifestations of mixed connective tissue disease. http://www.uptodate.com/index.html. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Mixed connective tissue disease. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal_and_connective_tissue_disorders/autoimmune_rheumatic_disorders/mixed_connective_tissue_disease_mctd.html?qt=mixed connective&alt=sh. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Saag KG, et al. Major side effects of systemic glucocorticoids. http://www.uptodate.com/index.html. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Bennett RM. Prognosis and treatment of mixed connective tissue disease. http://www.uptodate.com/index.html. Accessed March 23, 2012.