8 Ways to Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis Joint Damage
Everyday Health discusses ways to prevent rheumatoid arthritis (RA) joint damage and includes guidance from Susan M. Goodman, MD, rheumatologist at HSS.
Dr. Goodman suggested healthy lifestyle choices as a first step to preventing joint damage. “The most important thing for someone with RA is to avoid the things we know that stimulate the immune system and make RA more active,” she noted.
Smoking is a significant trigger for active RA and can reduce the effectiveness of some medications. Dr. Goodman said it increases disease activity, which in turn can affect how your disease progresses, making joint damage more likely to occur.
Regular exercise is even more important for people with RA, and “you can really get a lot better functional capacity if you strengthen your muscles,” added Dr. Goodman. She recommended lifting light weights to help prevent osteoporosis, which can often develop and complicate RA.
Managing weight is also important. Dr. Goodman explained, “A high BMI [body mass index] makes it more likely you’ll develop RA if you’re genetically susceptible to the condition in the first place — and it also makes it more likely you’ll have more severe disease.”
Dr. Goodman concluded, “The most important thing for someone with RA is to avoid the things we know that stimulate the immune system and make RA more active.”
Read the full article at EverydayHealth.com.