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If you have any modifiable risk factor for diabetes, you should be as proactive as possible. Your healthy weight, for example, can help a lot to deal with. More pounds of excessive weight you gain will make your joints work harder. This is bad if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Staying with your healthy weight is also important to keep your risk of diabetes at bay. In fact, obesity is one of leading risk factors for type-2 diabetes.
Your diet can help, too
Though there is no specific diet for RA, but it’s always important to stay with a healthy-balanced diet. What you eat plays a key role to control your weight. Some foods are also bad if you have systemic inflammatory disease such as RA. See also best foods to help soothe inflammation in here!
And it’s also recommended to avoid diet high in sugar and saturated fats. If you do concern about your risk of diabetes, these pre-diabetes diet checklists may help!
Having enough physical activity can provide numerous health benefits. It can help keep your weight off, gain more muscles, and also good for your insulin sensitivity (which is so helpful to help prevent insulin resistance).
Regular exercise is recommended to keep your joints strong. But in fact, exercise with RA is not always easy, especially when the disease flares up. RA and its discomforts are also more likely to drive you to become a physically inactive individual.
However, there are plenty of options to keep active with arthritis. Just make sure to avoid exercises that cause high impact on your joints.
Take your RA medications properly!
It’s important for people with RA to follow the treatment plan. The disease can go into remission with prompt treatment, and its complications (including the risk of diabetes) can be prevented.
Again, more RA flare-ups mean the greater the risk of developing RA complications. So, it’s very important control the disease.
While treatments are required to keep the disease off, certain RA medications (such as corticosteroids) may actually contribute to cause increased risk of diabetes as noted before. If you’re on corticosteroids, your doctor may ask you to be more aware of your blood sugar levels.
Interestingly, other RA medications may help lower the risk. Hydroxychloroquine, for example, is linked to a decreased risk of diabetes.
Does this mean that you should take hydroxychloroquine? The answer can vary, depending on several factors. In general, hydroxychloroquine doesn’t always work for all people with RA. Sometimes it is not strong enough to help treat RA inflammation. For more guidance of whether or not hydroxychloroquine is your option, talk with your doctor!