Immune Wellness in Rheumatology

Our philosophy of care is to take a holistic and integrative approach to your health. 

We want to create a customized treatment plan that caters to your individual needs and provides a world-class patient experience. 

At Southwest Florida Rheumatology, in addition to a full medical consultation from our expert rheumatologists, you will also be able to access lifestyle coaching and education. 

What is immune wellness in rheumatology?

An important aspect of immune wellness is knowing that, generally, the conditions and diseases that rheumatologists treat are diseases that last the lifetime of a patient. 

When patients are optimized with regards to their medication and their treatment plan for their disease, it means the prescribed drug or treatment plan is controlling the activity of the disease.

Even if the activity of the disease is controlled, patients may still have fatigue, generalized malaise, and feel sore or achy; this limits their ability to feel fully ‘well’ while dealing with chronic illness. 

This is where addressing components of lifestyle - many of which are behaviors that have been affected by having a chronic disease - becomes important. 

Wellness behavioral changes are founded on promoting positive personal choices and habits and this goes hand in hand with pharmacotherapeutic treatments. 

Can you lead a healthy lifestyle when living with a rheumatologic disease?

As more patients and practitioners incorporate and actively engage in wellness regimens with their practice. 

Rheumatology expert Dr. Leonard H. Calabrese, DO states there are growing evidence that suggests wellness can be achieved through individual choices and activities.

This includes, among others, avoiding harm, such as excess alcohol, drugs and smoking, as well as engaging in exercise, healthy eating and achieving optimal mental and spiritual health.

As Dr. Priya Reddy described: 

“Immune wellness is a concept that's important for everybody whether you have chronic disease or not, but when you specifically have something that's going to last forever and that's already affecting your life today, it's even more important to address these different concepts of wellness.” 

What lifestyle changes help relieve symptoms?

Southwest Florida Rheumatology recognizes and participates in incorporating wellness when counseling our patients on simple lifestyle change concepts such as:

  • Empowering through exercise and addressing the right way to exercise when you have a certain disease, how much exercise, how intense, and what right types of exercise to do 
  • Managing sleep and moving towards good sleep hygiene by getting a restorative or restful sleep
  • Learning techniques for stress management and addressing stressors

Understanding these things makes a difference, especially for the long term. 

Engaging wellness concepts in a patient’s daily life, and creating an atmosphere of wellness for the patient is critically important for our patients with rheumatologic disease.

What is the lifestyle education program and how does it work?

The lifestyle education program is a 90-minute visit structured as direct counseling that is tailored to the individual and personalized to the patient.

It starts by answering a completely different type of health assessment that helps us target specific areas depending on the patient’s needs.

Our expert rheumatologist, with the assistance of one of our Advanced Practice Providers (i.e. physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner) builds and personalizes the care plan that our APP will help deliver. 

We like to take the time to talk to our patients about these issues and educate them about the simple lifestyle changes and follow up specific action items to take. 

At Southwest Florida Rheumatology, good disease control means a partnership between the provider and the patient, where together we move toward better outcomes, and know there are things our patients can do to feel better.

Check Our List of Rheumatology Services