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Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Prevented? Tips For Prevention

A good gut health with healthy gut microbiome can prevent RA. Gut health can be improved by eating a variety of local and seasonal foods.

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Prevented? Tips For Prevention

Keep away from infections by maintaining a good hygiene and eating clean

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks our own body cells. It affects primarily joints but lots of extrarticular manifestations can be seen like anaemia, eye involvement, lung involvement,  nervous system and even It increases heart risk. There can be  stiffness and pain in joints along with redness and swelling. Exact cause of RA in any patient May be difficult to elucidate but poor lifestyle and genetics may increase risk of RA. In case of genetics, RA is less likely to be prevented. However, by following a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body, this autoimmune disease can be prevented. 

Can RA be prevented? 

RA is not a disease which can be prevented but by following a healthy lifestyle, consuming a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can reduce risk of RA, believes Dr Sourabh. He adds that infections need to be prevented to reduce RA risk as infections can trigger development of RA. Infections in oral cavity and gut are the top causes of triggering RA. “If there is a genetic risk, then RA cannot be prevented,” he says while adding chances of genetic transfer of RA are upto 2- 3%1.


I feel it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity for prevention of RA. Going for a daily walk, running, walking, yoga and healthy diet can help in preventing RA. You should ensure that you consume a healthy diet with fewer consumption of junk food, deep fried food, packaged and processed food and fast food. 

A good gut health with healthy gut microbiome can prevent RA. Gut health can be improved by eating a variety of local and seasonal foods. Eat sufficient probiotics and prebiotics in natural way to improve gut health."

Dr. Sourabh Malviya

Dr Sourabh Malviya is Senior Consultant and Head Division of Rheumatology, Medanta and Clinical immunology, Medanta Super Speciality Hospital, Indore

Early diagnosis is the primary step for prevention of RA. Whenever a patient begins to get symptoms of joint pain or stiffness in joints, or if the disease runs in the family, then they should visit rheumatologist for early diagnosis in order to prevent progression of the disease. Delaying diagnosis of RA can lead to complications. As soon as the patient gets symptoms like joint pain, they should visit a rheumatologist for diagnosis so that the doctor can begin with early treatment. 

Tips for prevention 

As mentioned above, a healthy lifestyle is the top, most effective tip for RA prevention. Here are some more prevention tips: 

  1. Building a strong immune system can also help in prevention of RA. A strong immunity can be built by eating foods rich in Vitamin C like oranges, bell peppers, lemons and broccoli. Other foods that are known for giving a boost to immunity include garlic, ginger, leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds and turmeric to name a few. A strong immune system can help in prevention of infections and growth of unwanted antibodies in the body. This help in preventing and reducing RA risk. 
  2. Chewing tobacco and smoking can also increase risk of RA, he informs. Smoking and chewing tobacco can increase RA risk in men and women. 
  3. Take measures to protect yourself from air pollution. The incidence of RA has increased because of environmental factors like breathing polluted, high screen time, sedentary lifestyle, moving less and sitting more, etc can all put you at risk of RA. 
  4. Keep away from infections by maintaining a good hygiene and eating clean, healthy and nutritious food. 
  5. Maintain a good dental hygiene. Lots of microbiomes grow in our mouth. Poor dental hygiene in kids can put them at risk of RA. 
  6. A good gut health with healthy gut microbiome can prevent RA. Gut health can be improved by eating a variety of local and seasonal foods. Eat sufficient probiotics and prebiotics in natural way to improve gut health.
  7. Maintain hormonal balance. Hormonal imbalance is probably the reason why RA is more common in women than men. Episodes like puberty, pregnancy and menopause are characterised by fluctuations in hormones, which increases risk of RA. High oestrogen levels can lead to development of autoimmune diseases like RA. 

1https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589909019300127

(Dr Sourabh Malviya is Senior Consultant and Head Division of Rheumatology, Medanta and Clinical immunology, Medanta Super Speciality Hospital, Indore)


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