- Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is a chronic inflammatory condition that leads to joint pain, swelling, and discomfort.
- Menopause often makes the symptoms of RA worse and causes faster functional decline in the patient.
- This happens because menopause is accompanied by estrogen loss, which aggravates the symptoms of RA.
- Both conditions increase the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.
- Women with RA need to be extra careful about their lifestyle and treatment when nearing menopause.
- Apart from treatments like hormone therapy, menopause supplements can help to reduce the symptoms associated with this phase.
- Further lifestyle changes can help women dealing with both these conditions to lead healthier lives.
Introduction – What’s the Link Between Menopause and Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Menopause is a difficult phase of life for most women. It is accompanied by hot flashes, poor sleep, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. Furthermore, the drop in estrogen levels increases the threat of certain illnesses too.
For women struggling with Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA, menopause brings even more difficult challenges. This chronic illness leads to severe joint pain, swelling, stiffness, fatigue, and emotional trauma. When paired with the symptoms of menopause, RA becomes much harder to cope with.
According to studies, menopause leads to faster functional decline in women with RA. It is speculated that the drop in estrogen levels due to menopause directly worsens the symptoms of the disease, along with other lifestyle and physiological factors.
If you suffer from RA and are nearing menopause, know what can make your transition to this phase easier.
9 Things You Should Know If You Are Nearing Menopause and Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Lifetime Estrogen Exposure Impacts Functional Decline – According to experts, a higher lifetime estrogen exposure can reduce the functional decline due to RA after menopause.What this means is that if you have been pregnant during your fertile years, or have received estrogen through hormone therapy, then your RA symptoms might be less severe post-menopause.How estrogen offers protection against RA is not completely clear yet, but the hormone does play a crucial role in preventing functional decline. So, using some top-rated menopause supplements might reduce the severity of symptoms.
- Early Menopause May Increase the Risk of RA – Studies indicate that early menopause can be treated as a predictor of RA. This means that women who face menopause before the age of 45 are more likely to develop RA. The relationship between RA and menopause seems to be bidirectional.If you are someone who hit menopause early, consult a doctor regarding your chances of developing RA over the years to come. Other factors like smoking, stress, and breastfeeding may contribute to the severity of your symptoms.
- Increased Risk of Osteoporosis – RA directly impacts the bones through inflammation that may lead to bone loss. On top of this, when the estrogen levels drop during menopause, it further makes the bones weak and brittle, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.Menopausal women with RA should get their bone density checked regularly and should increase their calcium intake too. Also, top-rated joint pain supplements may help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by these bone issues.
- Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease – Cardiovascular disease is another common complication caused by both RA and menopause. The inflammation due to RA affects not just the bones but also the heart. Moreover, hormonal fluctuations during menopause further contribute to heart issues.So, taking preventive measures to improve your heart health, such as dietary changes and exercise, can help you. Also, consult a cardiologist regularly to evaluate your cardiovascular health.
- How It Impacts Your Sex Life – Menopause causes decreased libido, mood swings, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, which can also affect your sex life. Add to this the pain and emotional distress associated with RA, and you may not be able to enjoy healthy sex life.
The first way to improve the quality of your sex life is to have open communication with your partner to explore what works for both of you. Furthermore, vaginal lubricants and menopausal supplements can help. According to Amberen reviews by consumers, this menopause supplement may help you manage symptoms like night sweats and hot flashes, which can indirectly improve your sex life.
- Tracking Your Symptoms Is Important – Prevention and early intervention can help you manage the complications of menopause and RA better. Maintain a journal to track your symptoms associated with both conditions and report any anomalies to your doctor.Get your bone density and cardiovascular function checked regularly to prevent comorbidities associated with the two conditions. Also, maintain a precise list of symptoms so that your doctor can customize a treatment plan that works the best for you.
- Hormone Therapy May Help Some People – Hormone Therapy or Hormone Replacement Therapy is often used to increase estrogen levels in menopausal women. However, it may not be the right treatment approach for everyone, and the decision should be taken after consulting a doctor. The doctor will evaluate your symptoms of menopause and RA to determine whether hormone therapy will be the right treatment for you.
- Menopause Supplements as An Alternative to Hormone Therapy – Menopause supplements can help you manage your symptoms if you do not want to opt for hormone therapy. These supplements usually contain natural ingredients and minerals that improve hormonal health, reduce mood swings, and improve bone health.They can reduce your symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and poor libido. You can opt for one of the top-rated menopause supplements if hormone therapy does not seem like the right fit.
- Lifestyle Changes Can Help – Apart from hormone therapy or the top-rated joint pain supplements, lifestyle changes can also help you manage your RA and menopause symptoms. Increase the intake of foods rich in calcium, vitamins, and minerals, and avoid inflammatory foods. Also, try to exercise daily to boost your mood and improve your core strength. These small changes can make a massive difference to your overall health.
What You Can Do When Dealing With Menopause And Rheumatoid Arthritis Together
If you are dealing with menopause and RA together, here are some tips that can help you prevent or manage your symptoms.
- Follow your RA treatment as prescribed by your doctor diligently.
- Track your menopause and RA symptoms daily to get prompt treatment.
- Get your bone density checked regularly and consume calcium supplements to improve it.
- Take better care of your heart health and visit a cardiologist for regular check-ups.
- Consume foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, such as milk, yogurt, egg yolks, fatty fish, and leafy greens.
- Exercise daily, be it a brisk walk or weight lifting. It will improve your bone strength.
- Sleep in a cool, dark room to avoid hot flashes and night sweats.
- Talk openly about your symptoms to your partner and doctor to address them better.
Apart from the above, a menopause supplement can help you tackle the various symptoms of menopause in one go.
Amberen is a popular menopause supplement that contains Calcium to improve bone health, Magnesium to reduce hot flashes, and Zinc to improve hormonal health.
It also contains Amino Acid Glycine to improve brain function and reduce emotional distress.
According to the Amberen reviews by consumers, it may reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. This supplement might be useful for menopausal women who are also dealing with RA.
The Bottom Line – RA and Menopause Can Be Managed Together with the Right Approach
Women suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis have to deal with chronic pain, inflammation, and discomfort.
Menopause further makes matters worse by worsening bone strength and causing mood swings and night sweats. Handling the two conditions together can be taxing.
However, close monitoring of symptoms to get prompt treatment can make this phase of your life easier.
Switch to a healthy lifestyle and consult a doctor to address all your symptoms before they become severe. Also, consume the right supplements to compensate for nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.
With this approach, you will be able to reduce your symptoms significantly. While RA and menopause cannot be eliminated, you will still be able to lead a healthy life despite these conditions!