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Can you prevent rheumatoid arthritis?

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There’s no known way to prevent rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but you may be able to lower your chances.

Even though there’s nothing you can do to ensure you won’t get it, keep in mind that early treatment can make your symptoms less painful and save your joints from damage.

  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Lose weight, especially if you’re 55 or younger.
  • There may be a link between RA and periodontal (gum) disease, so brush and floss and see your dentist for regular checkups.

SOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Arthritis Foundation: "Frequently Asked Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Current Rheumatology Reports: "Treatment Strategies in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prevention of Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Mayo Clinic: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Medscape: "Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases: "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?"

McIlwain, H, MD and Bruce, D, PhD. Marlowe, 2007. A Diet for a Pain-Free Life,

Reumatologia Clinica: "Tobacco and Other Environmental Risk Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 06, 2018

SOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Arthritis Foundation: "Frequently Asked Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Current Rheumatology Reports: "Treatment Strategies in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prevention of Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Mayo Clinic: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Medscape: "Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases: "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?"

McIlwain, H, MD and Bruce, D, PhD. Marlowe, 2007. A Diet for a Pain-Free Life,

Reumatologia Clinica: "Tobacco and Other Environmental Risk Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 06, 2018

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How does rheumatoid arthritis affect the body?

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