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Autoimmune Diseases and RA

What Are the Treatments?

Medication and lifestyle changes can often control symptoms and slow these diseases from getting worse.

Medication. Manydrugs can now treat RA and other autoimmune diseases. Some are used for pain relief. Others target inflammation. Early treatment with drugs like these may be the best way to prevent joint damage.

Lifestyle choices. You can’t change your genes, but you can sometimes change how you live, and that can help your treatment work better.

Even if you don’t have an autoimmune disease, but you think you might be at risk, these steps may help lower the risk.

To curb inflammation:

  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Lower your stress. Try techniques like deep breathing or meditating. Or find a hobby you enjoy. Strengthen your relationships, too. Peyman says research shows that lonely people tend to have more inflammation in their bodies.
  • Don't get too much sun.
  • Exercise.
  • Avoid foods that boost inflammation. A nutritionist can tell you which foods those might be and how to cut them from your diet in a healthy way.
  • Choose foods that lower inflammation, like ones that have a lot of omega-3 healthy fats. Salmon and enriched dairy foods or eggs are options.

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Reviewed on March 26, 2015

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