Smoking As A Risk Factor For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The risk of developing RA in smokers is known to be double that of non-smokers. Previous epidemiological studies have identified smoking as an important risk factor for RA . Numerous environmental factors have been associated with an increased risk of developing RA, but to date tobacco smoking has been the most important environmental risk factor to be extensively studied and widely accepted. Multiple studies have reported odds ratios of association between smoking and RA of 2 or greater, with estimates that exposure to smoking accounts for 20%30% of the environmental risk for RA . Exposure to cigarette smoking was first linked to RA over 30 years ago . Smoking is now recognized as the most established environmental risk factor for the development of RA . Several studies have indicated that male smokers have a higher risk of developing RA than females , whereas others have demonstrated that female smokers have a higher risk of RA . A meta-analysis concluded that lifelong cigarette smoking was positively associated with the risk of RA even among smokers with a low lifelong exposure levels . In addition, a few large-scale epidemiologic studies have also provided support for smoking being a stronger risk factor of RA in men than in women this might indicate that there are sex-related differences in the effects of smoking or that women have different risk factors for the development of RA.
Physical Therapy And Exercise
Regular physical activity is an important piece of your overall treatment plan. It can help preserve range of motion in your joints and strengthen the muscles that support them.
Many people with RA benefit from working with an experienced physical therapist . A PT can create a strength and mobility program for you and show you how to move in ways that will help and won’t cause further damage. A physical therapist can also teach you pain relief techniques and prescribe splints and braces to support damaged joints.
In addition to exercises prescribed by a physical therapist, there are many activities you can do on your own to maintain or improve joint mobility, build muscles, strengthen your cardiovascular system and promote general health and well-being. The right form of activity for you depends not only on which joints are affected and the severity of your disease, but also on your interests. The best exercises are those you enjoy enough to do regularly. Popular and safe options for people with RA include walking, swimming, water exercise, low-impact aerobics and stationary cycling.
You should speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan.
Ive Heard Friends Say Passing Off A Hangover Gets Harder The Older They Get But They Havent Had To Pass Off A Hangover While Living With A Chronic Illness Says Eileen Davidson Who Has Rheumatoid Arthritis And Osteoarthritis
When I was younger, I couldnt wait to be the legal drinking age. I dreamt of the days when I could casually talk to a stranger at a bar or dance the night away with friends at a club. Once I turned 19 , my social life changed. On weekends, my friends and I would make our way to a bar, club, or tiki lounge and take turns buying rounds. We werent picky beer, wine, bubbly, shots, cocktails wed drink them all. Sometimes Id wake up the next morning with a blurry memory and a splitting headache, which took a day or two to shake off. But soon enough Id be ready for another night.
It went on like this for years. But eventually, I found myself unable to keep up with the steady stream of booze. Even one drink would make me feel ill. Id shrug it off, thinking maybe it was a one-time occurrence. I kept going to parties, armed with a few delicious craft beers, hoping that would be the day I could keep up with my friends. But Id only get through a few sips before the sick feeling set it, forcing me to give away my alcohol and stick with water or coffee.
It wasnt until I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder in which your bodys immune system attacks itself, that I realized what may be causing my sudden aversion to alcohol. With time and research, I learned that, for some people with arthritis, drinking alcohol can worsen inflammation, cause nausea, and negatively impact sleep.
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Smoking Worsens Knee Osteoarthritis In Men
Men who have knee osteoarthritis and smoke have greater cartilage loss and more severe pain than men who do not smoke, according to study results published in the January 2007 Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The study, led by a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist, examined the symptomatic knees of 159 men. The men were monitored for up to 30 months. Their knees were scanned using MRI and their pain level was scored. Of the 159 men, 19 were active smokers at the beginning of the study. On average, the 19 men smoked 20 cigarettes a day for about 40 years.
The study results revealed that the smokers were more than twice as likely to have significant cartilage loss than the non-smokers. According to researchers, reasons that may explain the link between smoking and cartilage loss include:
- Smoking may disorder the cells and deter cell production in cartilage.
- Smoking may raise levels of toxins in the blood, contributing to cartilage loss.
- Smoking may increase carbon monoxide levels in the blood, affecting blood oxygenation, which could impede cartilage repair.
The smokers also had higher pain scores than non-smokers. Since cartilage does not have pain fibers, increased pain may not be caused by cartilage loss. However, smoking may impact other structures in the knee or may have an effect on pain perception.
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How Fast Does This Medication Work
RheumatoidArthritis.net indicates that you can expect to see some results after a month or two of taking hydroxychloroquine, but in order to get the full benefits you will need to take the medication for at least six months. That can help you realize how much benefit youre going to actually get from the drug. Some people see a nearly complete remission of symptoms. Other people see only a slight improvement thats virtually nothing at all. For most people, there will be a difference in their symptoms that will be somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Taking the medication for the full six months can help you make a decision about continuing it.
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Focusing On Negativity And Pessimism
Simply put, it takes a positive attitude, rather than a negative or pessimistic one, to achieve positive results. It is logical that you need a positive approach to stay on track with your treatment regimen, exercise routine, diet, and more. You must believe in the goal. In a study published in December 2018 in The Clinical Journal of Pain, researchers found that optimism and mental resilience were associated with less pain severity in people with or at risk for knee osteoarthritis.
Stop Eating An Unhealthy Diet
Whats your diet got to do with arthritis? Eating well and maintaining your ideal weight is especially important if youve got arthritis. Excess pounds can put lots of stress on weight-bearing joints, which is likely to make arthritis pain worse. Even moderate weight gain can stress joints that are already burdened by arthritis.
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Alcohol And Ra Medications
When a person drinks alcohol, their liver processes and breaks down the ethanol. Overloading the liver with excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver.
The liver also filters many medications that people use to treat RA. Taking alcohol with these drugs can increase a persons risk of liver damage.
Taking NSAIDs increases the risk of stomach bleeding and ulcers, and excessive alcohol use may intensify these effects.
In addition, are a newer class of oral medications that a doctor can prescribe to treat RA. An example of a JAK inhibitor is tofacitinib .
Although these medications post a lesser risk in terms of liver toxicity than methotrexate, a person may still want to do some blood tests to check their liver function about 48 weeks after starting the medication and then every 3 months.
A person should also avoid consuming high amounts of alcohol to avoid increasing the risk of liver problems.
What Is Hydroxychloroquine And What Does It Do
According to the American College of Rheumatology, hydroxychloroquine , is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug , meaning that it helps reduce the pain and swelling that come with arthritis. It can also reduce the incidence of joint damage, thus lessening the risk of developing a long-term disability from complications of RA. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, talking to your doctor about hydroxychloroquine may be the right choice for your needs. The medication is generally well-tolerated, and has even been found safe overall for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Outlook And Prognosis Of Ra If A Person Smokes
The course of RA, including its progression, will differ from person to person. However, smoking generally worsens the prognosis of individuals with the condition.
Smoking can cause inflammation that adds to the chronic inflammation due to RA. This can lead to a worsening of preexisting RA symptoms.
RA is a chronic condition that can worsen over time. However, medication can help a person manage it and slow its progression.
Emerging research suggests that smoking could reduce the effectiveness of certain RA drugs.
As such, people should notify a doctor if they smoke. The doctor will be able to recommend the most appropriate RA treatment and can direct people to resources to help them quit smoking.
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Assessment Of Smoking And Covariates
We used data from the 1997 questionnaire as the baseline, since smoking information was not collected in the 1987 questionnaire. Women were asked about smoking status, average number of cigarettes smoked per day at different ages , age of starting smoking, and years since stopping smoking. Based on the data collected, we calculated the average number of cigarettes smoked per day during the smoking period and the years of the period of smoking , for both former and current smokers. Lifetime exposure to smoking was estimated by multiplying the average number of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years the person had smoked divided by 20 . For smoking cessation, the number of years since quitting smoking and the age at smoking cessation were calculated.
Intensity and duration were categorized according to tertiles of the distributions, while pack-years were categorized according to quartiles. Body mass index was defined as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters .
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Additional file 1: Sensitivity analyses. A series of sensitivity analyses were performed to evaluate the consistency of the reported results. In part A, different case definitions were considered. In part B, a probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed by excluding possible prevalent cases included in the study as incident cases.
Arthritis Patients Experiences With Cannabis
When it comes to the experiences of real patients, there are more than a few interesting stories.
Arthritis sufferers seem to find relief in cannabis, regardless of whether they smoke, eat edibles or apply topical ointments.
Here are just a few of the more interesting ones shared by arthritis patients.
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Can You Drink If You Have Ra
If you enjoy beer, wine, or a mixed drink now and then, it may be good for you even if you have RA. The catch: You need to limit how much you drink.
You could lower your risk of heart disease or even death if youâre a light to moderate drinker, even more than if you donât drink at all. Thatâs true even if you take methotrexate, a common RA treatment.
Whatâs moderate drinking? Itâs only about one small drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Thatâs about 14 grams of alcohol per drink, since every type of drink has other ingredients too, such as water or sugar.
Drink sizes really vary, but standard servings of alcohol are:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 8 ounces of malt liquor
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces of liquor or whiskey
Research Is Cloudy But There Are Helpful Takeaways
Take for instance a recent review that looked at the available research on alcohol and psoriasis. The scientists concluded that more research is needed to get a better handle on whether alcohol does indeed trigger or worsen psoriasis and if so, how much alcohol it takes. That said, other studies have found several links between drinking, psoriasis, and PsA, especially where medication is concerned, so there is some evidence that alcohol could potentially have negative effects.
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Medical Studies On Cannabis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
Cannabis has been used to treat pain for thousands of years. There are broadly two equally important aims in RA treatment. The first is to control inflammation and prevent irreversible damage to the body this is known as disease-modifying treatment. The other aim is to improve symptoms, especially pain and quality of life. THC and CBD, the main components of medical cannabis, have different effects on the ECS and therefore play different roles in achieving these goals. Nonetheless it is also thought that THC and CBD may have a synergistic effect . This entourage effect is an advantage in medical cannabis that is not currently seen with the synthetic preparations.
One study has shown that ingestion of medical cannabis in humans . In studies using animal models CBD has also been shown to reduce antibody levels.
Different studies have also examined the effects of treatment with cannabinoids in arthritis in mouse models. CBD and synthetic cannabinoids that activated the CB2 receptor all reduced the arthritis severity and the amount of inflammation and musculoskeletal damage.
Physical And Emotional Stress
While rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can often flare up for no apparent reason, certain things may trigger a sudden worsening of symptoms.
Physical overexertion is one of these things. While the mechanism for this is poorly understood, its believed that the sudden and excessive release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, may cause changes that indirectly intensify the autoimmune response. While this doesnt in any way undermine the enormous benefits of exercise in treating rheumatoid, it does suggest that physical activity needs to be appropriate, particularly insofar as the joints are concerned.
The bodys response to physical stress may be mirrored by its response to emotional stress. While scientists have yet to find a clear association between stress and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, people living with the disease often report that flare-ups come right after moments of extreme anxiety, depression, or fatigue.
Other common triggers include infections, including the cold or flu, which are associated with immune activation and eating certain foods that trigger an allergic response in some people, causing the immune system to react abnormally.
All of these factors place varying degrees of stress on the body which the immune system responds to, sometimes adversely.
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Genetic Differences Play A Role
A study specifically in Americans of African ancestry showed that smoking risk affected both autoantibody-positive disease and autoantibody-negative disease although most previous studies have linked smoking to being seropositive. The study, Associations of Cigarette Smoking with Rheumatoid Arthritis in African Americans, contradicted the Swedish results: they found the risk of RA attributable to smoking is limited to heavy smokers. The African American study did agree with previous studies that people with genetic risk are more susceptible to RA risk from smoking.
Cannabinoids: All You Need To Know In One Guide
When researchers first noticed that cannabis has some potential in treating chronic pain, they basically didnt have a clue how that happens.
They first discovered that the joints of people suffering from arthritis have extremely elevated levels of CB1 receptors. That led them to conclude that the substances in marijuana which trigger the activation of those receptors have a potential in reducing the inflammation, as well as reducing the pain.
In another study discovered that THC was able to change molecules, leading to suppression of inflammation.
The second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana called cannabidiol , has also shown to be effective in treating arthritis symptoms.
According to a study done by the University of Kentucky, applying CBD topically can relieve inflammation as well as pain in conditions connected to arthritis. What is also important, besides the great therapeutic potential, is that CBD provides relief without any side-effects.
Another study found that early CBD treatment can prevent pain and nerve damage in osteoarthritic joints.
What we can take away from these studies is that THC and CBD work in unison, but that high CBD marijuana strains may be the best choice in this case, giving us the best of both worldspain relief without the strong intoxication.
By Joene Hendry, Reuters Health
3 Min Read
NEW YORK In people with rheumatoid arthritis, heavy cigarette smoking appears to slow the rate of joint destruction, new research suggests.
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Smoking And Risk Of Ra Susceptibility
Previous epidemiological studies have identified smoking as an important risk factor for RA . Important studies are summarized in . Some studies demonstrate that smoking increases the risk of developing RA in men more than in women , while several other reports show that smoking increases the risk of developing RA in women . Recently, Sugiyama et al. conducted the first meta-analysis investigating the significance of smoking as a risk for developing RA, which suggested that smoking is indeed a risk factor for RA in RF-positive men and heavy smokers. The risk of developing RA was approximately twice as high for smokers than for non-smokers. For female smokers, the risk was approximately 1.3-times higher than for non-smokers . Even though many previous studies could not confirm a significant association between smoking and the development RA in women , Sugiyama et al. provided quantitative evidence that smoking is an important risk factor for women in developing RA .