Rheumatoid Arthritis (cont.)

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Is it possible to prevent rheumatoid arthritis?

Currently, there is no specific prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. Because cigarette smoking, exposure to silica mineral, and chronic periodontal disease all increase the risk for rheumatoid arthritis, these conditions should be avoided.

What specialists treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

The primary specialist for diagnosing, managing, and monitoring rheumatoid arthritis is a rheumatologist; the rheumatologist works together with the primary doctor and other specialists to maximize health outcomes and minimize comorbid health conditions. Other specialists that can be involved in the care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis include dermatologists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, nephrologists, radiologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, orthopedists, and general surgeons.

What new information about RA has come from the 2015 national meeting of the American College of Rheumatology?

There are many new biologic treatments for rheumatoid arthritis on the near horizon. Many of these are being studied with and without simultaneous methotrexate. Some block chemical messengers and some block specific cell types of inflammation.

The significant benefit of treating lipid/cholesterol profiles in patients with rheumatoid arthritis to improve long-term risks of stroke and heart attack was emphasized.

Diets that were higher in fish, grains, and vegetables were shown to decrease the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, while the Western diet, defined as including more processed meats increased the risk. It is not certain whether this is because of a direct anti-inflammatory effect of the fish, grains, and vegetables or because of changes in the natural bacteria in the gut.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/12/2015

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