Smoking, Drinking, and Rheumatoid Arthritis – WebMD

Part of living the healthy life of a SuperAger includes not indulging in unhealthy activities, like smoking. I have written numerous posts on it and you can find them by searching SMOKING in the search box on the right. As far as drinking goes, I like a beer with pizza and a couple of other meals over the course of a month. I probably drink less than four beers a month, mostly in restaurants dining out with my girlfriend. I do suffer from osteoarthritis in both my hands, no RA.

Here is what Susan Bernstein wrote for WebMD on the subkject:

Is it safe to smoke or drink if you have RA? Smoking is a very bad idea for anyone with rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also an unhealthy habit that puts your heart and lungs at risk.

The occasional wine, beer, or cocktail may be OK for people with RA. But the amount you drink each day or week matters.

Photo by Maria Orlova on

There’s a Link Between Smoking and RA

Lighting up makes you more likely to get RA even if you haven’t been a heavy smoker. The more you smoke, the higher your chances go. Cigarettes can make your RA more severe.

Smoking boosts inflammation, and RA involves inflammation that’s out of control because your immune system attacks your own healthy tissues by mistake. Your synovium, the tissue that lines your joints, can get inflamed and thickened. Tobacco smoke includes lots of nasty substances like free radicals. They put stress on your body and can trigger inflammation.

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