For those suffering, it is of the utmost importance to learn how to treat palindromic rheumatism (PR), also known as Hench’s syndrome. Palindromic rheumatism is considered to be a form of an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues rather than harmful external substances. It is listed on the World Rare Disease List. It is characterized by sudden flare ups of joint inflammation and pain, especially in the large joints, that last for days or weeks and then subside. The person then remains symptom free until another sudden episode occurs. It also causes swelling in the heel and finger pads, or may target the top of the feet and lower forearm. The person may possibly experience fever and swollen joints. There is no known cause and it affects men and women equally.
Before you begin treatment you need to:
- Discuss your medical history with your doctor
- Have specific testing done to determine whether it is PR or gout
- Seek confirmation of the diagnosis with a rheumatologist
- There is presently no cure for PR because there is no known cause. Treatment usually begins by having the patient take anti-inflammatory medication. For frequent long-term symptoms, doctors usually treat with DMARDS (Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs) such as Plaquenil, Azulfidine, or some other rheumatoic arthritis medication. These drugs will help with inflammation and pain and slow down the onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (if you are likely to develop RA)
- All medication has the potential for side effects. For this reason, doctors usually try drugs with fewer side effects initially. If they do not work or cause serious side effects, a combination of drugs may be tried.
- There is a new class of drugs available called anti-TNFs. Three drugs, Remicade, Enbrel and Humira, are combined. This combination blocks the action of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) which is known to increase inflammation in people with RA.
- Another form of treatment that may be used is the Antibiotic Treatment. An antibiotic called Minocin is believed by some to be a cure. They feel it does more than just reduce pain and inflammation. Although it relieves symptoms and joint swelling, it does nothing for those experiencing joint damage from PR that go on to have RA.
- Everyone with PR experiences symptoms differently. There is no one medication that will work for all. Always discuss treatment and medications with your rheumatologist before trying different treatments. There are many different medications such as pain killers, NSAIDS, DMARDS, steroids, anti-TNF therapy, and antibiotics that are available. You may have to try several to find the one(s) that are the most helpful to you.