Updated: Apr 29
I'll start again by being completely honest, yes I have previously smoked. I have smoked socially and mainly after a drink, but I don't even enjoy it, I don't like the smell of it and it does not benefit any part of my life. Some members of my family smoke and I am constantly begging them to quit, you are choosing to put your body under risk of many health implications.
This risk factor is in YOUR control and I would really really recommend giving up if you can! The health benefits of giving up smoking are endless for your body, and will greatly reduce your chances of developing RA!
‘Smoking can increase the risk of getting RA by 1.3-2.4 times.’
Smoking is known to have an adverse effect on health casuing heart attacks, strokes, cancers, lung disease and many more illnesses. But many people are unawre of the negative effect on RA patients. Smoking increases the risk of developing RA, makes your symptoms worse and makes medication less effective.
RA still has no known cause, but it could be due to a number of reasons including genetic and environmental factors, smoking being one of them. The risk is calculated by the number of cigarettes per day and for how many years you’ve been smoking, and even lightly smoking (1-7 per day) can significantly increase the risk of developing RA.
Research has also found smokers had more joint damage , and more severe symptoms than non smokers. Its also been linked to an increase in the production of rheumatoid factor, which is the substance checked for in blood tests.
How much can the risk of developing RA decrease when quitting?
In a study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, the overall risk of developing RA decreased by 1/3 15 years after they quit smoking. But the risk was still much higher than those that have never smoked.
The affect smoking can have on your joints?
Smoking is harmful to your bones, joints and connective tissue. In a new report appearing in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, scientists show that nicotine activates certain white blood cells, called neutrophils, which in turn release molecules that lead to increased inflammation.
QUIT NOW! (Please?)
There are many helplines, websites, methods to help you Quit smoking. I have attached some helpful links to those of you that may need it .
Thanks for reading,
Chloe & Arthur :)