Why are women more prone to Arthritis ?

Arthritis is one of the most common problems that is widespread and affects both men and women alike. There may be no exact reason as to why women’s risks are higher, but several factors contribute to it.

A disorder that comes in hundreds of forms, women are comparatively at a significantly higher risk of arthritis than men.

Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is an inflammatory autoimmune condition that happens when a person’s immune system attacks the healthy cells by mistake and causes inflammation in the affected parts of the body.  In this condition, the joints get attacked mainly, usually many joints at once.

How common is rheumatoid arthritis in women?

As per research, women tend to be three times more likely to develop arthritis than men. One can get RA at any age, but it most commonly starts between 30 and 60 years of age. Women are mostly diagnosed with RA around the time of menopause.

A woman with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis raises the risk of developing the problem at the same age and in the same joints.

What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in women?

The symptoms of RA for men and women are the same.  Inflammation of the joints due to RA can cause symptoms such as:

  •  Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Pain

RA affects the joints on both sides of the body and usually begins in small joints, including that in the wrists, hands, fingers, and feet. The medical condition is not limited to joints only, and there are a variety of other symptoms that include sleep disturbances and fatigue.

Symptoms may come and go (especially in the mornings) in what is called a “flare-up”, and they can appear and stay for a longer time. The symptoms may not be very comfortable and people may find sometimes difficult to do day-to-day activities to seek medical care.

How is Rheumatoid arthritis different in men and women?

The symptoms and treatments of RA are the same for men and women, but as per research, RA is more aggressive in women. Women who suffer from this medical condition suffer a lot; they tend to experience more disability and have a greater impact on their quality of life.

Women who suffer from RA have a functional decline after menopause, as they may start having trouble in doing daily activities and will start depending on others for their activities.

How is arthritis diagnosed?

Your health care practitioner can diagnose arthritis. Your symptoms, medical and family history, and examination results will be considered.  Medical Imaging, and lab tests such as X-Ray, and MRIs may also be requested to find out whether arthritis is present and ascertain the type.  To manage some types of arthritis, you will be referred to a rheumatologist.

What is the treatment plan for RA in women?

There isn’t a cure, but many effective medications and treatments for RA are available. The treatment is same for women and men.

The main goals of treatment are to:

ü  Bring down the pain and inflammation

ü  To prevent damage to joints and other organs

ü  Improve and maintain functioning and the well being

 About The Doctor

Dr. A.B. Suhas Masilamani is a Consultant Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon and Program Director of Sunshine OrthRobotics at Sunshine Hospitals, Hyderabad. He is one of the best orthopedic surgeons trained in New York, USA, and obtained fellowships in adult hip and knee replacement and robotic surgery. He is also one of the few certified trainers in India for Robotic Joint Replacement. 

 Dr. Suhas practices all the modern techniques in Orthopedics, like robotic joint replacement, minimally invasive techniques for total knee and total hip replacement, Unicondylar knee replacement, and patella-femoral replacement. He is one of the very few surgeons from the city to become a member of the American Academy of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS). He is also a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the International Congress for Joint Replacement (ICJR).