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Follow the Mediterranean diet: Protect yourself from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis

डायबिटीज के मरीजों को 23% अधिक है रूमेटाइड अर्थराइटिस का खतरा, जानें कारण

A new study says that the Mediterranean diet high in vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil not only helps you live longer but may also prevent rheumatoid arthritis.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Published : September 11, 2020 12:56 PM IST

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the joints in your body. This chronic inflammatory disorder causes swollen and painful joints. Besides this, it can also affect your skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. It basically affects the lining of your joints, which causes painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. Treatment usually seeks to relieve symptoms, prevent joint and organ damage, improve function and overall well-being and reduce long-term complications.

Now researchers say that the Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil, not only helps you live longer but may also help prevent rheumatoid arthritis in individuals who smoke or used to smoke, say researchers. Previous research has demonstrated a variety of health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, cereals, fruit and vegetables, fish and a moderate amount of dairy, meat and wine. Now results from a new analysis from Universit de Paris in France suggest that the diet may also help prevent rheumatoid arthritis in individuals who smoke or used to smoke. This is published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology.

The link between Mediterranean diet and rheumatoid arthritis

According to researchers, they aimed to assess the relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, especially in high-risk individuals. For the findings, the research team included 62,629 women from France who have been taking part in a questionnaire-based study assessing dietary intake since 1990. In total, 480 women developed rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was not associated with rheumatoid arthritis risk overall. However, among women who smoked or used to smoke, it was associated with a decreased risk.

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The findings showed 383 cases of rheumatoid arthritis per one million people per year among those with high adherence to the Mediterranean diet, compared with 515 cases per one million people per year among those with low adherence to the diet. This suggest that adherence to the Mediterranean diet could reduce the high risk of RA among ever-smoking women. However, researchers say that further research is needed on the subject.

Usual treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

Early and aggressive treatment can help reduce or stop inflammation quickly. This is a progressive disease and doctors usually treat the symptoms and slow the progression of the condition. However, many advances have been made in treatment protocols is recent years, which has improved outcomes and lead to better quality of life for patients. There are medications that can offer relief and slow the progression of the disease. Alternatively, one can also try to deal with this condition with lifestyle modifications and home remedies. Dietary changes, as the aforementioned study says, can also play a major role in rheumatoid arthritis management. You may also talk to your doctor about exercises that can help. There are some specific exercises meant just for patients of this condition.

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