Some women find that menopause affects their rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers are not sure about the role of hormones in worsening the condition of rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in women get better during pregnancy. This may be attributed to the fact that estrogen levels rise during pregnancy. Around the time of menopause, the estrogen levels fall, which may lead to the worsening of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy will not decrease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis because it is associated with the risk of heart disease which is another increased risk for women with rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, doctors rarely advise this therapy to treat menopause symptoms in women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Is There Any Link Between Early Menopause and Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
In a study, it was found that women who went through early menopause were significantly more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are the Various Increased Risks That Come with Menopause in Women with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Menopause and reduced sexual desire
Sometimes, rheumatoid arthritis makes it hard to have coitus. Menopause also causes an increase in vaginal dryness which makes coitus painful for a woman. You can ask your doctor about the lubricants that can help you.
- Fatigue and Depression
Menopause can make the fatigue, which occurs due to rheumatoid arthritis worsen. Also, you must consult your doctor if you feel depressed.
- Menopause and bone loss
The time shortly before menopause and the time after menopause are linked with the loss of bone. Women with rheumatoid arthritis already suffer the risk of bone loss due to chronic inflammation. Therefore they experience the additional elevated risk of osteoporosis due to menopause. It means that women with rheumatoid arthritis are at tremendously high risk for fractures and other complications associated with bone loss after menopause.
- Menopause and cardiovascular risk
In women, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases after menopause. This risk is much higher for the women with rheumatoid arthritis due to chronic inflammation associated with this disease.
What Can Be Done to Prevent the Risks Associate with Menopause?
There are various measures that can decrease the health risks that come with menopause in a woman with rheumatoid arthritis. The major one is to ensure that you are treating and managing your rheumatoid arthritis. Also, pay attention to the risk of other health problems that usually affect postmenopausal women. Quitting smoking can decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease