Did you know that the majority of people who develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 60?
You could very well be developing symptoms as you read this…
Inflammation could be building in your body; your immune system could be waging war on your joints, muscles, bones, and organs; your hands and feet could be becoming deformed.
It sounds like a nightmare, but RA is sadly a reality for 1.3 million adults in the U.S. today — a reality that leads to a life filled with pain.
If you’re a woman, you’re at even higher risk for RA, which is three times more prevalent in women.
Yes, you read that correctly…
Just because you were born with two X chromosomes, your chances of developing this crippling, inflammatory arthritis are three times higher! It doesn’t seem fair, does it?
And, guess what else…
Your doctor really doesn’t even know what causes the disease in the first place, and options for treatment are slim and loaded with side effects that range from stomach pain and diarrhea to trouble breathing and bloody vomit.
But, fortunately, a new study may be shedding light on the trigger behind RA.
Let’s take a look…
Infected milk, beef and produce
A team of researchers from the University of Central Florida set out to discover if there is a link between rheumatoid arthritis and a strain of bacteria commonly found in milk and beef.
This bacteria, known as MAP, is found in about half the cows in the United States. The bacteria can be spread to humans through the consumption of infected milk, beef and produce fertilized by cow manure.
The scientists had previously discovered a connection between MAP and Crohn’s disease and are involved in the first ever approved clinical trial to treat Crohn’s patients with antibiotics.
Since Crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis share the same genetic predispositions and are often treated using the same types of immunosuppressive drugs, the team decided to investigate whether MAP could also be linked to rheumatoid arthritis.
For the study, the team recruited 100 patients who volunteered clinical samples for testing. A full 40 percent of them tested positive for MAP.
This led the scientists to say this, “We believe that individuals born with this genetic mutation and who is later exposed to MAP through consuming contaminated milk or meat from infected cattle are at a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.”
In other words, exposure to the MAP bacteria may be a trigger for developing rheumatoid arthritis in people who are genetically at risk.
So, how do you avoid MAP and the higher risk of RA it brings?
According to the researchers, the best way is to limit your intake of cow’s milk and beef to prevent contact with the infection.
Other ways to ward off your RA risk, or keep your symptoms from getting worse, include:
Being overweight substantially increases your risk of RA as well as the joint damage that comes with the disease. Take steps to manage your weight right away.
Smokers are also at higher risk for the disease, so kicking the habit could save your joints as well as your lungs.
Avoid environmental pollutants
Studies have shown a link between exposure to environmental pollutants, like asbestos, and the development of rheumatoid. Avoid them whenever possible.
Support your body’s major detox organ
Your liver carries a heavy load as all of these toxins pass through in its effort to protect you. Turnabout is fair play — so be sure to support your hardworking liver.
It’s not easy to avoid the foods carrying these bacteria or the pollutants constantly around us, but following these tips and giving your liver a little extra care can certainly help out in the long run.