Drinking away the pain

Listen up arthritis sufferers!  If your painful and swollen joints allow…lift a glass and cheer this news.  Research finds drinking alcohol not only eases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, it also appears to reduce the severity of the disease.  (For the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, click here.)

A new study out of Britain finds patients who drank alcohol frequently had less damage to their joints and less pain, inflammation and swelling than their sober counterparts.

It’s not yet understood why imbibing reduces symptoms of RA, but it probably has something to do with alcohol’s anti-inflammatory properties.  Other studies have shown the most effective anti-inflammatory drink is red wine (although all alcohol, including gin and beer, have these properties).

Needless to say, more studies need to be done on the connection between RA and alcohol and it also goes without saying that RA sufferers (like myself) shouldn’t take the study as a green light for drinking more.  Although the next time I’m chided for drinking maybe one glass too many, I’ll whip out this study in my defense.


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