Quit smoking to avoid succumbing to Rheumatoid Arthritis

11:28 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

A diet rich in bone healthy food is a must

New Delhi, 19 June 2018: A recent study has suggested that those with increased levels of gum disease are at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This could be a key initiator of RA-related autoimmunity. Autoimmunity in RA is characterized by an antibody response to citrullinated proteins. The oral bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) is the only human pathogen known to express an enzyme that can generate citrullinated proteins.

RA is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects a person’s joints, causing pain and disability and can also affect internal organs. Over long periods of time, the inflammation associated with this condition can cause bone erosion and joint deformity.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India, said, “Rheumatoid factor is a protein in the blood which is seen in about 2 out of 3 people with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it can also be positive in about 5% to 10% of healthy individuals. Rheumatoid factor can also be positive in other disease conditions which cause joint pain. So, a mere positivity of rheumatoid factor doesn’t mean that one has rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis should not be viewed as a disease that affects purely the joints. It can involve various internal organs including the eyes, lungs, heart and the kidneys. A rare patient with rheumatoid arthritis can also have inflammation in the blood vessels called vasculitis, which if not treated promptly can even be fatal.”

The most common symptoms of this condition are joint pain and stiffness. Stiffness is most marked in the early morning hours affecting one’s ability to do daily routine activities. Swelling of the joints is another important symptom of rheumatoid arthritis which differentiates it from other causes of joint pain.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis yet. However, modern treatment can control the symptoms and help the patient in leading a normal life. But it is important to start treatment at the earliest to reduce joint damage. There are medications called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These drugs not only reduce the symptoms but modifies the disease process in such a way that the joint damage is prevented.”

Some tips from HCFI

Quit smoking: This is one of the main reasons for bone problems among the young and the old alike. The earlier you quit this habit, the better.

Lose extra weight: Excess weight can put pressure on the joints and cause inflammation as well.

Eat healthy: Like any other condition, this preventive tip holds true for RA as well. Eat foods that aid bone health.

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