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How do you prevent rheumatoid arthritis?

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According to Prevention, there is no known way to prevent or cure rheumatoid arthritis. The auto-immune disease that causes pain, swelling and warmth in the joints throughout the body has no one defined cause. As of 2014, some researchers have begun linking the disease to vitamin D deficiency, smoking cigarettes and oral contraceptive use. However, research is inconclusive.

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For women who smoke or have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, getting tested for a vitamin D deficiency is important, according to Prevention. Visiting a rheumatologist is recommended to receive an accurate diagnosis if symptoms occur. In most cases, a rheumatologist can diagnosis rheumatoid arthritis through an exam, physical symptoms and a family history. Blood tests can confirm a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Good treatment is the key to controlling the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to Healthline. If treatment is started early, it is effective in minimizing pain, maintaining a range of motion and reducing inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs and disease-modifying or biologic agent medications are the most common drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Daily exercise and diet modification to include plenty of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids can also help to control inflammation and other symptoms. Support groups can be helpful in dealing with the emotional toll of the disease.

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