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  • Question 1/10

    Which of the following is linked with rheumatoid arthritis?

  • Answer 1/10

    Which of the following is linked with rheumatoid arthritis?

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    • Correct Answer:

    If you smoke, you’re more likely to get RA, particularly if your body makes a certain protein. If you also have a high-salt diet, your odds go up again. Smokers who regularly use more than a dash or pinch of salt at meals double their risk of RA.

  • Question 1/10

    Beer could help you steer clear of RA.

  • Answer 1/10

    Beer could help you steer clear of RA.

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    • Correct Answer:

    Women who drink two to four beers a week may lower their chances of getting the condition. Although this kind of booze is best -- cutting RA risk by about 30% -- an occasional glass of wine or liquor also lessens the likelihood. If you have the disease and drink in moderation, you, too, might have a reason to toast, because your symptoms may be less severe. Before you declare happy hour, though, remember that alcohol can damage your liver, especially if you’re taking drugs for RA.

  • Question 1/10

    Sugary soda could make you more likely to get RA.

  • Answer 1/10

    Sugary soda could make you more likely to get RA.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Soft drinks may be hard on the molecules that fight inflammation and fend off rheumatoid arthritis. In a recent study, women who drank more than one sugar-loaded soda per day were 63% more likely to get RA than those who drank one or none a month. Drinking skim milk instead of pop appears to lower your chances, possibly due to the helpful effects of vitamin D.

  • Question 1/10

    If you have RA, exercise is bad for your joints.

  • Answer 1/10

    If you have RA, exercise is bad for your joints.

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    • Correct Answer:

    Doctors recommend a balance between rest and exercise. Being active not only keeps your joints mobile and your muscle tone healthy -- it also helps you sleep better and fights fatigue. If the activity you're doing hurts, ask your doctor how to change it up so it's easier on your joints.

  • Question 1/10

    Researchers think the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is tied to:

  • Answer 1/10

    Researchers think the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is tied to:

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    • Correct Answer:

    The precise cause of RA is unknown, but many things are involved. Researchers have identified dozens of genes linked to the disease. They also think certain things in the environment, like viral or bacterial infections, may trigger it, although the condition isn’t contagious. Changes in sex hormones -- especially in women -- also play a role, which may explain why three times as many women as men get RA.

  • Question 1/10

    Pregnancy can ease RA symptoms.

  • Answer 1/10

    Pregnancy can ease RA symptoms.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    If you’re pregnant and have rheumatoid arthritis, you may get a break from symptoms for a while. A little more than half of the women who have RA say they feel better from the end of the first trimester through delivery. You may have a flare shortly after giving birth, though. Tell your doctor as soon as you know you’re expecting -- some medications can hurt your baby.

  • Question 1/10

    The sooner you’re in remission -- when disease symptoms go away for a while -- the longer it’s likely to last.

  • Answer 1/10

    The sooner you’re in remission -- when disease symptoms go away for a while -- the longer it’s likely to last.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Tackle RA head-on, sooner rather than later. Doctors suggest you start out with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs for short), which were once saved for later-stage treatment. These strong medicines can relieve symptoms and slow or even stop joint damage.

    Pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis need to be careful about medications, though. Some RA drugs may increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or birth defects.

     

    Most new mothers with RA experience a recurrence of symptoms in the weeks after pregnancy.

  • Question 1/10

    Which food could ease your symptoms?

  • Answer 1/10

    Which food could ease your symptoms?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Want to add natural treatments? Fish oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is the only one shown to relieve joint pain and stiffness. The best catches of the day if you have RA? Try herring, mackerel, salmon, or tuna.

  • Question 1/10

    Which critter could help create a new drug?

  • Answer 1/10

    Which critter could help create a new drug?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Parasitic worms make a compound that can calm your immune system. Researchers are working to turn this into a treatment for RA.

  • Question 1/10

    Bacterial infections in your body might lead to rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Answer 1/10

    Bacterial infections in your body might lead to rheumatoid arthritis.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    People with RA are more likely to have specific types of bacteria in their gums and guts, where trillions of tiny organisms you can only see with a microscope live. Among other things, having too many of these bacteria can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis) or colon (colitis). Doctors think those conditions stir your immune system and may trigger the start of RA.

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Sources | Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on October 20, 2016 Medically Reviewed on October 20, 2016

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on
October 20, 2016

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

Frederic Cirou / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections

SOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology: “Pregnancy and Rheumatic Disease.”

American Dental Association. “Gingival Inflammation Without Loss of Periodontal Attachment (Gingivitis).”

CDC: “Arthritis: Physical Activity and Arthritis Overview,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Chhabra, S. The FASEB Journal , published online June 2, 2014.

Durcan, L. The Journal of Rheumatology , published online Aug. 15, 2014.

Eurekalert: “Smokers who consume too much sodium at greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.”

Hu, Y. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online July 16, 2014 .

Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: “Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment.”

Kuriya, B. The Journal of Rheumatology , published online Oct. 1, 2014.

Lu, B. Arthritis & Rheumatology, published online July 28, 2014.

Maxwell, J. Rheumatology, published online June 3, 2010.

Medwire News: “Periodontitis may induce rheumatoid arthritis precursor.”

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

National Institutes of Health: “Genetics Home Reference: Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

National Institutes of Health: “NIH Research Matters: Gut Microbes Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

National Institutes of Health: “Rheumatoid Arthritis and Complementary Health Approaches.”

NYU Langone Medical Center: Rheumatoid Arthritis: “Principal Proposed Natural Treatments; Other Proposed Natural Treatments.”

UpToDate: “Rheumatoid Arthritis and Pregnancy.”

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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