Smoking And Arthritis

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We know about the dangers of smoking and the diseases it causes such as different types of cancer and the various lung and heart diseases. But, recent research has suggested a link between smoking and arthritis. In fact most of the arthritis are linked with smoking. These arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and gouty arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It causes swelling and inflammation of the joints of the body, the tissues surrounding the joints and the overall body organ. It is almost three times more common in women than in men. In US alone, rheumatoid arthritis alone affects two million people.

Many of the health problems caused by tobacco are well known. But, recent reports have identified a link between smoking and osteoporosis and bone structures. Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones weaken and are more likely to fracture on the slightest instance. Fractures from osteoporosis can result in pain, disability and sometimes death. Women are more likely to suffer from it than men. Apart from smoking, osteoporosis can also be caused by having a thin and small body frame, history of the disease in the family, not getting enough calcium, or drinking too much alcohol, and due to using certain drugs for a long time.

Cigarette smoking as a cause of osteoporosis was identified almost 20 years back. Smoking leads to decreased bone density. In addition, smoking increases the risk of having a fracture.

The effects of smoking on bones are as follows:
1) As the smoker smokes up to an old age, he is more likely to suffer from osteoporosis.
2) In older women and men who smoke, significant bone loss has been found.
3) A smoker needs more time to heal than a normal person.
4) Secondhand smoke can also be dangerous in the sense that a youth exposed to secondhand smoke is more likely to have less bone mass.
5) Kicking the habit reduces the risk of low bone mass and fractures.

Smoking has also been implicated as a possible cause of rheumatoid arthritis. The best thing a smoker can do is quit smoking. This is the best way to protect your bones and keep away from arthritis. There are certain other ways such as having a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, training for your bones and avoiding excessive intake of alcohols which can help you to avoid arthritis.