Relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes

Rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are two completely different diseases but related to each other. Having rheumatoid arthritis increases your risk of diabetes and vice versa. Many studies have shown that rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of diabetes by 50%. While diabetes increases the risk of arthritis by 20%, including rheumatoid arthritis.

1. The relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes

Experts do not fully understand the link between rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Some hypotheses are put forward as follows:
Rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes are both autoimmune diseases. The immune system is responsible for destroying bacteria and pathogens that enter the body. However, sometimes the immune system recognizes and attacks the body's own healthy cells, causing autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the joints, and type 1 diabetes attacks the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, accounting for less than 5% of all diabetes cases. Research shows that some people tend to have more than one autoimmune disease at the same time, possibly partly due to genetic factors. Scientists have identified genes that increase the risk for both rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic inflammation. The inflammatory response brings many benefits to the body if it occurs only for a short period of time. But when it lasts longer, the inflammatory response causes a decrease in the body's response to insulin, known as insulin resistance. Over time, this condition causes type 2 diabetes, which means the body doesn't produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to its effects. Diabetes also triggers an inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation caused by diabetes also favors the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis by activating risk factors related to genes already present in the patient's body. Rheumatoid arthritis medications that can raise blood sugar levels and increase the risk of diabetes, such as statins and steroids. Rheumatoid arthritis reduces physical activity because the joints become stiff, swollen, and painful. One study found that 42% of rheumatoid arthritis patients did not exercise. This is one of the risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

2. Rheumatoid arthritis is the cause of diabetes?

The relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes is an overlap of risk factors, so it is not possible to completely confirm that one disease is the cause of the other disease. As an example of this view, some genes that cause one disease can also lead to another. Lifestyle and lifestyle habits such as smoking, exercise and weight are factors that together determine the likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. However, a few studies have shown that rheumatoid arthritis itself can lead to diabetes, with inflammation being the main culprit.

3. Effect of rheumatoid arthritis treatments on diabetes

Thuốc Hydroxychloroquine
Thuốc Hydroxychloroquine dùng để điều trị bệnh viêm khớp dạng thấp

Some rheumatoid arthritis medications affect the risk of diabetes. Steroids and statins can raise blood sugar levels and put people at risk of developing true diabetes.
However, some other groups of drugs have a protective effect on the body from diabetes, including:
Abatacept: this is a drug prescribed when other drugs do not work. The mechanism of action of abatacept is to reduce the inflammatory response by preventing cell-to-cell interactions. According to many studies, abatacept reduces the risk of diabetes by 50%. Hydroxychloroquine: is an antimalarial drug used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes in rheumatoid arthritis patients by about 33%. TNF inhibitors: These drugs inhibit the inflammatory response by inhibiting the inflammatory substance TNF. On the other hand, TNF is thought to play a role in the initiation of diabetes. One study found that rheumatoid arthritis patients taking this drug had a 51% lower risk of developing diabetes than the rest of the population.

4. Measures to prevent diabetes

Ăn nhiều đường dẫn tới nguy cơ béo phì, thừa cân
Duy trì cân nặng ổn định tránh để tình trạng thừa cân sẽ có nguy cơ mắc bệnh đái tháo đường

Rheumatoid arthritis patients can apply the following measures to reduce the risk of diabetes, including:
Start treatment as soon as possible: detect and treat rheumatoid arthritis In the early stages, joint damage and inflammatory reactions can be prevented. Thanks to that, pain symptoms are controlled and the patient can practice sports. Good control of rheumatoid arthritis: Use medicine regularly according to instructions to well control the inflammatory response inside the body. Patients need to monitor and discuss further with doctors to adjust the treatment plan in time. Maintain a stable weight: Being overweight is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Lead an active lifestyle: regular exercise reduces the risk of type 3 diabetes. Patients should walk 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week. Establish a reasonable and healthy diet: patients should prioritize choosing foods that are low in fat and high in fiber. Green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meat and low-fat dairy products should be added to the daily diet for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are both dangerous diseases and can leave dangerous complications to the patient's health. Therefore, early detection and treatment of the disease is very important.
Vinmec International General Hospital is the address for examination, treatment and prevention of diseases, including examination and treatment of autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular... When performing the examination process at Vinmec, customers will be welcomed and used modern facilities and equipment along with perfect medical services under the guidance and advice of experts. Good doctors, well-trained both at home and abroad.
Customers can directly go to Vinmec Health system nationwide to visit or contact the hotline here for support.

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