Arthritis affects joints and the tissues around them, causing pain. It is a rheumatic condition, and in India alone, more than 10 lakh people suffer annually with this. A study published based on research conducted by Sweden links Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) with testosterone in men. You might already know testosterone as the man maker and the hormone responsible for all manly features and sex.
Before this study, another research done on men suffering from RA shows they tend to have lower testosterone levels. Although experts didn’t have a clue why that happened exactly but can low testosterone levels trigger RA or vice-versa.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases published this study but before we move on further to the study, let’s first discuss a bit about Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Overview & Symptoms
There are over 100 types of arthritis and 200 types of conditions that affect joints and cause-related issues. It is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s body is attacked by its immune system leading to damages in joints, bones, and the surrounding tissues. In the case of RA, fluid accumulates in joints and causes all sorts of discomfort in movement.
Pain, limited movement, swelling, fatigue, and inflammation are common symptoms of RA. The irony is that besides millions of people suffering from RA every year, scientists still don’t know the exact cause of arthritis. Although genes can be one of the factors, however experts have put potential bacteria, viruses, and even smoking under the radar for investigation.
Since we don’t know the specific cause behind the diseases, there is no permanent cure available. Until now, some basic medications, surgeries and physical therapies have been used by doctors to counter the symptoms of RA. More women suffer from arthritis during the age of thirty to fifty as compared to men who develop the disease at a later stage in life.
The link between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Low Testosterone
Lack of information has led scientists to keep studying this subject to bring new development here and there. This time Swedish Researchers used the health data of the Swedish Malmo Preventive Medicine Program. This program collected blood samples of 33,000 people born between 1921 and 1949 who went through medical tests and answered questionnaires before submitting their blood samples.
Under this program, those samples were stored for studies later. Scientists studied the testosterone levels in the samples of 104 men who were diagnosed with RA later. They also studied 174 samples of men who didn’t develop RA.
This study revealed that smoking and body mass index are accountable as a potential risk for developing RA, but lower testosterone levels also increase the likelihood. The samples used for research indicated low levels of testosterone among men with RA. Such hormonal change which disturbs the testosterone levels in men happens before they develop RA.
Before you start worrying, please note that low testosterone won’t certainly cause RA; therefore, more studies of genetics and environmental links are needed. For now, if someone has low testosterone levels and has had a family history of RA, you might be prone to developing it. Hence, we recommend you to eat well and be healthy, keeping essential body nutrition and hormones balanced.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP