Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease and is one of the most common types of arthritis. While people usually associate arthritis with the elderly, rheumatoid arthritis can affect anyone: age and gender do not matter. It affects 1.3 million Americans. 1.7% of men develop RA. Women are more likely to develop RA: 3.6% of women will develop it in their lifetime. They are also developing it earlier in their lives: often in their 30’s.
Additionally, women tend to report more symptoms than men and do not respond to treatments as well as men.
Risk factors for developing RA are:
- Significant hormonal imbalances,
- Exposure to harmful chemicals (such as smoking),
- Imbalance of intestinal microbes (from infection or other illness),
- Having a close family member with RA (it is not inherited itself, but the predisposition to develop it is).
Because RA involves inflammation, you can help control your symptoms by controlling your diet. Here are five ways to control your RA through food: