Rheumatoid Arthritis

More than RA

If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), be on the lookout for other health problems associated with the autoimmune disorder.They may be caused by RA-related inflammation or Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments, or they may occur at higher rates for unknown reasons.Regardless of the cause, most related conditions can be prevented or treated. Although it’s challenging to cope with the pain and fatigue of Rheumatoid Arthritis—much less other health problems—it makes sense to keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of these conditions.

Bone thinning

Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause bone thinning and osteoporosis (which increases the risk of bone fractures), as can the inflammation-fighting corticosteroids used to treat it. In addition, people with RA often cut back on activity due to pain, which can accelerate loss of bone and muscle mass, says Guy Fiocco, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, in Temple.Have regular bone-density scans and talk to your doctor about bone-strengthening medications and exercise. Also, get enough calcium and vitamin D, Dr. Fiocco says.

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