Women suffer more than men
Pain when opening and closing your hands in the morning. Stiffness in the back when you try to pick up something from the floor. Discomfort in the knees when climbing up the stairs.
These are just a few signs of arthritis.
If you are experiencing them, then you are among the 1% of the world's population suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Some authors predict that 1 in every 5 adults between the ages of 35-50 will be affected by this disease.
Women are afflicted by arthritis 3 times more often men but sex difference levels off as the person gets older. Half of the cases are genetic, meaning, it is inherited from a gene passed down from your mother or father. Other cases are non-genetic, pointing to infection, environmental (such as smoking), hormonal and immunologic.
It is interesting to note that females with arthritis find relief during pregnancy and upon intake of hormonal medications like contraceptives.
The exact cause of arthritis is still very vague but scientists have continued to dig into this fairly common ailment and have come up with several theories.
One such theory was presented in the British Medical Journal last July 11, 2012.
3 glasses per week
The study shows that women who regularly consume three alcoholic drinks a week for at least 10 years decrease their chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis by half.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers on 34,141 Swedish women from 1987-1997. Participants were all followed up from 2003 -2009. At that point, some of the women were aged 54-89 years with 197 new cases of arthritis.
After tabulating all results, the scientists reported a 52 percent reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis among women who drank more than three glasses of alcohol per week as compared to non-drinkers.
A standard serving of alcohol was specified in their study as 500 ml of beer, 150 ml of wine or 50 ml of hard liquor.
If this data is to be accepted, then it will join the other propositions that support moderate alcohol intake as good or reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, memory loss and osteoporosis.
Dr. Diana Sarmiento is a mother of three, part-time doctor, and a full-time wife and mother. The topics closest to her heart are women’s health, parenting, and any new information that she can get her hands on. Read more on her personal blog, Filipina M.D.
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