To Your Health
October, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 10)
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Antibiotics Increase RA Risk

By Editorial Staff

In our last newsletter, we reported on research suggesting a specific class of antibiotics impacts (in a bad way) how blood flows to and from the heart. Now comes another study suggesting antibiotics increase other health risks as well - in this case, the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition characterized by chronic inflammation that manifests as painful joint swelling, joint stiffness, fatigue, fever and loss of appetite. All this happens because with RA, the immune system – which normally defends the body against "foreign invaders" – mistakenly attacks healthy cells.

RA Risk - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark All that is to say this: You don't want to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis! Unfortunately, your risk increases significantly if you've ever taken an antibiotic, suggests research published in BMC Medicine: 60 percent higher. The risk increases beyond 60 percent in dose-dependent fashion, meaning the more antibiotics one takes, the higher the risk of developing RA. And compared to the aforementioned research on antibiotics and heart issues, this study found, "All classes of antibiotics were associated with higher odds of RA."

As we stated last issue, antibiotics have a purpose, but they're often overprescribed, particularly when someone is suffering from a viral infection. (Antibiotics aren't effective in such cases, but they tend to make people feel as if "something is being done" do help them.) Is peace of mind worth the increased risk of having your body attack itself? Not for us. Talk to your doctor for more information.