Thursday, December 27, 2012
Article # 161. What types of doctors treat autoimmune diseases?
Juggling your health care needs among many doctors and specialists can be hard. But specialists, along with your main doctor, may be helpful in managing some symptoms of your autoimmune disease. If you see a specialist, make sure you have a supportive main doctor to help you. Often, your family doctor may help you coordinate care if you need to see one or more specialists. Here are some specialists who treat autoimmune diseases:
· Nephrologist. A doctor who treats kidney problems, such as inflamed kidneys caused by lupus. Kidneys are organs that clean the blood and produce urine.
· Rheumatologist. A doctor who treats arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, such as scleroderma and lupus.
· Endocrinologist. A doctor who treats gland and hormone problems, such as diabetes and thyroid disease.
· Neurologist. A doctor who treats nerve problems, such as multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.
· Hematologist. A doctor who treats diseases that affect blood, such as some forms of anemia.
· Gastroenterologist. A doctor who treats problems with the digestive system, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
· Dermatologist. A doctor who treats diseases that affect the skin, hair, and nails, such as psoriasis and lupus.
· Physical therapist. A health care worker who uses proper types of physical activity to help patients with stiffness, weakness, and restricted body movement.
· Occupational therapist. A health care worker who can find ways to make activities of daily living easier for you, despite your pain and other health problems. This could be teaching you new ways of doing things or how to use special devices. Or suggesting changes to make in your home or workplace.
· Speech therapist. A health care worker who can help people with speech problems from illness such as multiple sclerosis.
· Audiologist. A health care worker who can help people with hearing problems, including inner ear damage from autoimmune diseases.
· Vocational therapist. A health care worker who offers job training for people who cannot do their current jobs because of their illness or other health problems. You can find this type of person through both public and private agencies.
· Counselor for emotional support. A health care worker who is specially trained to help you to find ways to cope with your illness. You can work through your feelings of anger, fear, denial, and frustration.