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Do You Know What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis? — an article on the Smart Living Network
February 7, 2010 at 8:12 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Do You Know What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which is a condition characterized by the body's inability to distinguish between healthy necessary cells and unhealthy foreign substances.

The Immune System

The immune system normally functions to protect the body from foreign substances that may cause infections. The immune system uses antigens to identify these foreign particles. Antigens are located on all bodily tissues, cells, bacteria, viruses, and toxins. These antigens vary based on the specific individual and species. The immune system is capable of the production of antibodies that recognize and mark these antigens for destruction.

Autoimmune Disorder

As the immune system cannot distinguish healthy tissues when an autoimmune disorder is present, it is common for the destruction of normal body tissues to occur. As with allergies, aAutoimmune disease response cycles are distinguished by hypersensitivity. Hence, the immune system attacks and destroys healthy tissues that would normally be ignored. Autoimmune disorders cause certain ailments within the body.

  • Healthy bodily tissue destruction
  • Organ functional changes
  • Abnormal organ growth

Autoimmune Disorder Causes

While the exact causes of autoimmune disorders remain unknown, the fact remains that the body is unable to effectively distinguish the antigens located on the healthy bodily tissues from foreign substances. There are a couple of environmental theories for the development of autoimmune disorders, including that some drugs trigger the response, and that various microorganisms may be responsible. There is also thought to be a genetic factor that contributes to the development of autoimmune disorders.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

One autoimmune disorder is rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation leading to severe joint pain and inflammation. This is due to the fact that the immune system has lost the capability to distinguish healthy, normal cells from foreign substances, causing hypersensitivity and inflammation. This inflammation is typically localized to the joints, but it can also become a systemic problem, affecting other organs.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Your Joints

Rheumatoid arthritis is typically localized to the joints, but it can possibly affect organs if systemic. The joint is defined as the area where two bones meet that is surrounded in specific tissues including cartilage, tendons, muscles, muscles, and other tissues. The joints serve as axes of movement for the body. Arthritis is defined as joint inflammation. This chronic inflammation of the joints, known as rheumatoid arthritis is capable of causing joint deformities and is associated with many signs and symptoms.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes

The causes of rheumatoid arthritis remain unknown, but it's thought to be a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. It is also thought that certain infections and hormones are involved in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is capable of afflicting individuals of all ages, but is more commonly diagnosed in middle-aged individuals. It typically affects the joints of the knees, feet, wrists, and ankles on both sides of the body. The severity and cause of the condition both vary and are typically based on individual factors, including genetics and environmental conditions.

Sources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/rheumatoid_arthritis/article.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/rheumatoid-arthritis/DS00020/DSECTION=1

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