The link between coffee and RA
Do you love coffee ? Are you able to savor two to three cups of coffee per day? This is not a common problem. Americans consume an average of three cups per day. Are you suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Studies show mixed messages. While some research shows that drinking coffee can make your RA worse than it does for others, other studies don't support this conclusion. This is what the experts say.
Coffee and RA: The Link
The stimulant caffeine in coffee is known to increase energy levels, boost your mood and awaken you. While some studies say getting lots of caffeine can be harmless or even helpful for certain conditions, that may not be the case with RA.
One large-scale study to examine the effects of coffee and tea on RA found that drinking too much coffee was associated with a higher risk of developing RA. The coffee link was only found in seropositive and non-seronegative cases. So what does all this mean? What does this mean? It is determined by the presence of one of two kinds of proteins, rheumatoid (RF), or anti-cyclic cirullinated (anti-CCPs). It's known as seropositive arthritis if your blood tests are positive for any of the two. Seropositive RA patients tend to suffer from more severe forms of RA.
But a recent review of five separate studies done to test the link between RA and coffee found something different. Research shows that every additional cup decaffeinated espresso per day can increase your risk of getting RA by approximately 11 percent. It could be due to the decaffeination.
Many industrial chemicals can be used to remove the caffeine from coffee. Even small amounts of these chemicals can increase the risk for developing connective tissue diseases like lupus or RA.
The benefits of tea for people suffering from RA were found in the Tea. It was found that tea's antioxidant properties lower inflammation. This effect is not common for all teas. Although black tea was not effective in reducing inflammation, green tea can reduce your chances of getting RA by 35%. More studies are needed to truly prove this link.
Coffee and RA medication
Caffeine can be a drug. It may interact with other prescription drugs you take to treat RA.
A common treatment for RA is low-dose steroids such as prednisone. Although prednisone doesn't act like a stimulant it can make people feel extra awake and alert. The combination of prednisone and caffeine could make you hyperactive, which can affect the quality of your sleep.
Another common treatment for RA is Methotrexate (Rheumatrex and Trexall). Some side effects are common with this medication, including:
- You can't restrain yourself
- Stomach pain
Researchers have found that coffee, dark chocolate , and caffeine may reduce side effects. In one study, experts found that caffeine was able to help with severe side effects in 55% of the participants. Around 13% reported partial relief.
Many pain relievers contain caffeine to help with headaches and pain. Caffeine can also increase inflammation which is a problem with RA. Ask your doctor to change the way you drink coffee if you are on prednisone, another type of steroid or taking any other over-the-counter pain medication.
Let's find out what the takeaway is.
Most studies haven't found a significant risk between drinking coffee and developing or worsening RA. This is good news for those who can't live without coffee. You may find that the anti-inflammatory properties found in caffeine can help your RA symptoms. This topic needs more research.
Safe for health adults is a dose of around 400mgs caffeine, according to the FDA. It's equivalent to about four cups of coffee each day. If you're pregnant, limit your intake to 200mg per day. You should be aware of the amount you are consuming each day.
Caffeine can be found in many food and beverages, such as the following:
- Energy drinks
These products often contain a lot of sugar which may make inflammation worse. You should reduce the amount of sugar in caffeinated drinks if you plan on drinking them often. Your doctor may recommend something if you have severe or moderate RA.