Alcohol Lessens Pain for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a form of inflammatory arthritis and an autoimmune disease. Its common symptoms are a high level of joint pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints. Up to now, the causes of rheumatoid arthritis have been understood fully.

Alcohol is often believed to lead to a great deal of diseases. However, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Sheffield, England shows regular alcohol consumption may reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

The study was conducted on 873 people with rheumatoid arthritis and 1,004 people who did not have the disease about their alcohol consumption. All were questioned in the month prior to the study. Later all were evaluated the severity of inflammation in their bodies. Pain, swelling and disability were also measured.

The researchers found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently had symptoms that were less severe than those who had never drunk alcohol or only drank it infrequently.

People who drank on more than 10 days per month were four times less likely to develop the condition than those who did not drink. Similarly, people with less inflammation, joint pain, swelling and disability are those who drank more regularly.

However, it is still unclear what role alcohol might play in preventing or alleviating the disease.  Some evidence shows that alcohol suppresses the activity of the immune system, and that this may influence the pathways by which RA develops. Perhaps the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of alcohol reduces the severity of symptoms once they get rheumatoid arthritis.

Anyhow, it is recommended people with rheumatoid arthritis not drink more than 10 drinks per week.


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