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Rheumatoid Arthritis in Young People

Posted by Ron Cotting on

More and more young people are diagnosed with RA all the time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that RA is more prevalent than it used to be, it just means that we are getting better at recognizing the signs. The quicker you are diagnosed, the sooner you will be able to start treatment, but how do you know if you have RA? The following is our list of warning signs of RA in young people:

  • Diminished range of motion.
  • Swelling or tenderness in the joints.
  • Pain in the muscles.
  • A low-grade fever and other flu-like symptoms.
  • Pain or stiffness after long periods of immobility, commonly in the morning.
  • Lumps of tissue, often called rheumatoid nodules, under the skin.
  • Weight loss, a loss of appetite, anemia, or depression.
  • Sweaty and/or cold feet and hands.

RA can affect even the most athletic people or people who are otherwise in excellent health, so don’t put off being tested. Keep in mind that certain things can put you at a higher risk for getting RA, like smoking and genetics.

When to go to your doctor

Doctors don’t want us to call for every little ache and pain. But Arthritis experts recommend that you see a doctor if you have pain in your joints AND:

  • The pain isn’t connected to an injury, or lasts for longer than a week.
  • Your joint is swollen, but hasn’t been injured.
  • You also feel unwell or have a high temperature.
  • Joint or muscle pain is stopping you from carrying out your everyday tasks.
  • Your back hurts after lifting something heavy and painkillers and heat hasn’t helped after a day or so.
  • You get swelling, stiffness, a tightness, or a painful “squeeze” in your joints.

What causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

No one knows for sure why the immune system goes awry, but there is evidence that hormonal, genetic and environmental factors are involved. The cause of RA is not yet fully understood, but an abnormal response of the immune system plays a leading role in the inflammation and joint damage that occurs. 

Research has shown that people with a specific genetic marker called the HLA shared epitope, which controls immune responses, have five times the chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis than do people without the marker.  STAT4, a gene that plays important roles in the regulation and activation of the immune system; TRAF1 and C5, two genes relevant to chronic inflammation; and PTPN22, a gene associated with both the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis all appear to have a connection to rheumatoid arthritis. Not all people with the condition have these genes. The condition does not appear in all of those who have these markers. The research continues to find the reasons why. 

Other factors may play a role including infectious agents such as bacteria or viruses. Researchers are investigating whether or not these agents act as triggers in the development of the disease in a person with at-risk genetic markers. 70 percent of people with RA are women, so the link between female hormones and RA is being explored.  Environmental factors like exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution, insecticides and occupational exposures to mineral oil and silica are also being explored.


Anti-inflammatory Diet and Healthy Eating

While there is no specific “diet” for RA, researchers recommend foods rich in antioxidants and to eliminate or significantly reduce processed and fast foods that fuel inflammation.  Many recommended foods are part of the "Mediterranean diet" which emphasizes fish, vegetables, fruits and olive oil, among other healthy foods. 

Rest When you Flare Up

Rest helps reduce inflammation and fatigue that can come with a flare. Taking breaks throughout the day conserves energy and protects joints. Rest is important when joints feel painful, swollen or stiff.

Exercise is Part of Treatment

A main part of RA treatment is exercise. The exercise program should emphasize low-impact aerobics, muscle strengthening and flexibility. A physical therapist can help to design an exercise program. The program should be tailored to fitness level and capabilities, and take into account any joint damage that exists.

Topical Treatments

These treatments are applied directly to the skin over the painful muscle or joint. They may be creams or patches. Different types of topical treatments may contain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), capsaicin or salicylates, which help reduce pain. The Synodrin® topical gel contains menthol, Immunodrin®, hyaluronic acid, aloe and vitamin E. It is safe to use along with other topical treatments.

Alternative Therapies

Prayer, meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery and visualization can help train painful muscles to relax. Massage can help reduce arthritis pain, improve joint function and ease stress and anxiety. Acupuncture and acupressure may also be helpful. 


Studies have shown that turmeric and omega-3 fish oil supplements may help with rheumatoid arthritis pain and morning stiffness. In addition, there are numerous studies linking the ingredients in Synodrin to joint relief and joint health. We not only have turmeric, but the cetyl myristoleate blend that we use called Immunodrin® along with hyaluronic acid and glucosamine make our product a multidimensional tool to help you fight against pain. Our products also differ in that we use the highest quality ingredients at an optimum dosage. Our blend is the most powerful effective blend we could create. Talk with a doctor before taking any supplement to discuss side effects and potential interactions, however in over 30 or more years of use, our ingredients have not had any negative side effects or interactions.