Myths and Facts about Rheumatoid Arthritis

Myths and Facts about Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a form of autoimmune arthritis in which the body’s immune cells attack it, causing inflammation. RA, or rheumatoid arthritis, is a chronic inflammatory condition that mostly affects the body’s small joints. According to a report published in 2019, RA is the third most common chronic health disorder, causing chronic morbidity, extreme pain, and psychosocial stress. It is characterized by chronic inflammation of the hands, wrists, knees, and feet joints. It also resulted in joint swelling, discomfort, decreased mobility, and morning stiffness. It may also cause fatigue, weight loss, fever, and generalized weakness in some people. It may cause permanent tissue, bone, and cartilage damage over time, resulting in joint deformity and muscle atrophy. With every illness comes a slew of theories and misunderstandings, hastening the recovery process and lowering quality of life.

So, in this article, Dr. Sandeep Singh who is one of the best orthopedic doctor practicing in Bhubaneswar will be busting myths and reveal the truth about RA to help people live an active life.

The following are some of the most common RA myths:

Myth: RA is a disorder that mostly affects the elderly. 

Fact: Most people incorrectly believe that rheumatoid arthritis, like greying hair, is a natural part of the aging process. According to arthritis & pain management doctors it is not valid as RA can affect people of any age. It typically strikes young people between the ages of 40 and 60. It can also be seen in children and adolescents in some situations.

Myth: RA is the same as any other form of arthritis. 

Fact: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is distinct from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis (OA). RA is an autoimmune disorder, while OA is the result of normal wear and tear as people get older. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system creates antibodies that target its own tissues, causing inflammation and harm.

Myth: Since RA patients’ joints are inflamed, exercise should be avoided. 


Fact: Gentle stretching and exercise should be done on a regular basis to alleviate stress and discomfort in the joints, as well as to help with pain and swelling. Rest is recommended, but not total inactivity. This is because immobility will make your muscles weak, which means they won’t be able to keep your joints stable, causing your condition to worsen.

Myth: Leading a healthy lifestyle will help people avoid getting RA.  Fact: Since rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with no identifiable trigger, there is nothing that a person can do to prevent it. Certain causes, however, can increase the risk, and smoking is the only one that can induce an immune response against the body while also interfering with the efficacy of RA medication. However, maintaining a balanced diet and exercising regularly will help to keep the joints in good shape.

Myth: Arthritis is just about joint pain and injury. 

Fact: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) begins with joint inflammation, which causes discomfort and damage to joints and other structures (bones and cartilage). However, since RA is a systemic disease, it can affect many other organs besides the joints, including the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. It may actually cause systemic symptoms including fatigue, exhaustion, and fever.

Myth: RA flares up every now and then. 

Fact: There is no one-size-fits-all solution to RA flare-ups. An RA flare can last for days, weeks, or months, depending on the individual. In fact, unlike other autoimmune diseases such as lupus, many people do not experience a flaring and remitting disease pattern.

Myth: Avoid eating brightly colored vegetables since they aggravate RA symptoms. 


Fact: There is no proof that brightly colored vegetables exacerbate RA symptoms or put you at risk of contracting the disease. Antioxidants, which are present in dark-colored vegetables and fruits, can actually help the body resist free radicals and boost overall health. Depriving them from your diet will do more damage than good because they are rich in nutrients.

Myth: Consuming milk or milk-based products makes RA symptoms worse. 

Fact: Calcium is abundant in milk and milk products, making it one of the most important minerals for proper bone growth and bone health. As a result, eliminating milk, cheese, and curd from your diet raises your risk of calcium deficiency as well as bone problems.

Myth: If you have RA, you should stop citrus fruits. 


Fact: Excluding citrus fruits from your diet will not boost your RA symptoms because they are high in Vitamin C, which aids in the formation of new cartilage in your joints. As a result, people with RA can eat citrus fruits to keep their bones and joints healthy.

Myth: Omega fatty acids aid in inflammation regulation. 

Fact: Not all omega acids are helpful. Joint stiffness and tenderness are only combated by omega 3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish oil or in fish such as salmon and tuna. Omega-6 fatty acids, which are also present in processed foods, function in the opposite direction to Omega 3 fatty acids.