Menopause worsens the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, research claims

According to a study in the journal Rheumatology, women with rheumatoid arthritis suffer a faster and a sharper decline in physical functions after menopause.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder. It not only affects joints but also various body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. People suffering from the condition have their quality of life badly affected.

Moreover, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It develops when the immune system mistakes its body tissues as invaders and starts to fight them. It prevails in women at a rate three times higher than men.

Studies have found that women who fall prey to the condition experience severe decline and increased disability. They suffer from changes in their disease surrounding reproductive and hormonal life events. Scientists from The Oxford University carried out an observational study regarding the subject. The research aimed at analyzing the functional status of women with rheumatoid arthritis, especially after menopause.

Scientists collected the data of 8,189 women who developed rheumatoid arthritis. The results of the study revealed that women with rheumatoid arthritis, who did not have their menopause yet, exhibited a lesser decline in their physical functionality. On the other hand, the women who had developed both the disease and menopause showed a greater physical decline. This suggests that rheumatoid arthritis after menopause imposes adverse effects on the corporal functioning of women.

The authors of the study noted menopause to have a great impact on the level and rate of functional decline in women with rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, they linked menopause to a worsen the development of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Concluding the whole story, the study indicates that menopause largely affects the level and rate of functional decline in women with rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, menopause worsens the effects of the disease as well.

Elizabeth Mollard, the lead author of the study, stated that this decline is not only causing suffering for women, but it is also costly to both individuals and the healthcare system as a whole.

Menopause brings many changes to the body of a woman. It marks the end of the menstrual cycle. Menopause typically occurs in the 40s or 50s of a woman and is diagnosed after a year without a menstrual period. It is a natural biological process and includes physical and emotional symptoms like,

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Night Sweats
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Slowed metabolism
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Loss of breast fullness

All of these symptoms may affect sleep quality, the emotional health of women, and decreases energy. According to an article from the charity group “Women’s Health Concern,” a healthy lifestyle can lessen the effects of menopause.

There are some natural ways to manage menopause which are explained as follow,

Following a healthy diet is important during the menopausal stage. Menopause comes with a decline in estrogen levels, which increases the risk of heart diseases and osteoporosis. A diet low in saturated fats and salt and packed with calcium and vitamin D can help to improve the situation.

A regular exercise can help convert stress into positive energy. It helps you to stay active as well as prevents heart disease. Smoking has been found to cause earlier menopause and prompt hot flushes. Thus, women must refrain from smoking.

Excessive alcohol consumption increases flushes and is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. It also causes hormonal imbalance. Thus, the use of alcohol must be highly limited.

Hormonal imbalance during menopause leads to stress and even depression. It is important to find a way to relax and stay positive.



Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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