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Smoking makes Rheumatoid Arthritis worse

Smoking makes Rheumatoid Arthritis worse

Kolkata, May 10 (UNI) Smoking is linked to the development of Rheumatoid Arthritis, particularly for people who have smoked 20 years or longer, according to medicos of CK Birla Hospitals-CMRI.

Smokers also have an increased risk of more-severe rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, they may be less likely to experience remission. Smoking decreases the effectiveness of some drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and can be a barrier to engaging in activities that may relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as exercise.

The exact reason why smoking is linked to rheumatoid arthritis isn't well-understood, but in fact smoking somehow ignites faulty immune system functioning in people genetically predisposed to getting rheumatoid arthritis.

Both environmental and genetic factors play a role in who gets rheumatoid arthritis, and smoking is considered one of the most important environmental risk factors. But it's a risk factor that's completely preventable.

Many people with RA aren't aware that smoking makes their condition worse, so they don't see it as a reason to quit. Plus, there are factors unique to rheumatoid arthritis that may make it more challenging to quit smoking. These factors include the idea that smoking is a distraction that helps people cope with the pain of RA and feelings of isolation and lack of support. But quitting smoking is important for your overall health too.

Along with increasing RA risks, smoking also ups your odds of: Lung and other cancers, Stroke, Respiratory disease, Cardiovascular disease and Osteoporosis

“You already know smoking is bad. You know you should quit. But did you know smoking also has a negative effect on your arthritis? Not only is smoking a proven risk factor for developing both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, but it also can make your existing arthritis worse. Smoking has been shown both to increase disease activity and decrease the effectiveness of treatment medications. And since people with rheumatoid arthritis are already at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, choosing to smoke can be doubly harmful for your heart,” says Dr Ranjan Kr. Das, consultant, department of respiratory medicine, CMRI

Think twice before lighting up that cigarette. “Nicotine-induced pain relief is short-term. Over time, smoking may worsen your pain,”Dr Das said.

He further explains, “Smokers are nearly three times as likely to get lower back pain. Smoking may aggravate abdominal pain and joint pain, as well. In fact, smoking may increase pain sensitivity in general.”

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