What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Is it Only Affecting the Elderly?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is known to be an autoimmune disease. Inflammation of the synovium causes chemicals to thicken the thin layer of tissue which lines and lubricates the joint.
The thickened synovium may eventually damage the cartilage and ultimately the bone. Arthritics suffering with RA may experience symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, swelling and impaired function of the affected joint. In advanced cases the condition may lead to configuration and twisting of the affected area.
Rheumatoid Arthritis can be apparent in any age and is not confined to one sex, having said that RA does tend to be more prevalent in females; women are thought to be three times more likely to suffer with rheumatoid arthritis than men.
RA is not often restricted to just one joint, many arthritics will often find themselves symmetrically affected, such as in both hands, or perhaps in both knees.
Also Read:- Arthritis Diet – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
The juvenile form or rheumatoid arthritis is basically the same as the adult version, and is the most common form of arthritis found in childhood. As with the adult form of rheumatoid arthritis, any part (joint) of the body may be affected.
What Causes Arthritis? 9 Risk Factors You Should Be Aware of!
Many factors are known to contribute towards different types of arthritis, unfortunately even with modern day medical practices, identifying any specific route cause is almost impossible which makes effective treatment difficult.
Listed within this chapter are some widely accepted risk factors, and causes which are known to contribute towards all types of arthritis. Also listed are some lesser known possibility’s which research indicates may also having a bearing.
This is just a small list of some of the risk factors thought to be responsible for and attributed to arthritis, many prescribed and over the counter drugs may also play a very damaging part which we will cover later.
Excess weight puts unnecessary pressure on the supporting joints, especially hips and knees. It is hard to say whether obesity actually causes arthritis, or if having arthritis leads to obesity.
Either way obesity has a detrimental effect on all of us. It is very clear that a reduction in weight will greatly help people in all walks of life, especially arthritics suffering with osteoarthritis.
As the body becomes older it may become more susceptible to arthritis. The reason for arthritis being more prevalent in the elderly is due mainly to the bone becoming brittle.
With age, an increasingly brittle cartilage has less capacity to repair itself, which may ultimately lead to arthritis.
A lesser known reason for rheumatoid arthritis becoming worse or developing with age may be a build up of toxins throughout the gastrointestinal tract.
3. PREVIOUS INJURY / TRAUMA
It is very common for osteoarthritis to develop after a serious accident, trauma even surgery. Osteoarthritis will frequently develop in the joint where the damage occurred.
Arthritis, as we know, is not a disease restricted to sex, however woman are far more likely to develop arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Research has suggested a figure of around 60% of all arthritics to be female.
Gout tends to be more prevalent in the male population, articles linked to grout suggest alcohol may be a contributing factor & may help explain why more men than women suffer with this condition.
Also Read:- Arthritis in Knee – Reasons and Treatment
5. GENETICS / FAMILY
Studies into the causes of arthritis suggest the association of specific genes which could be linked to certain types of arthritic conditions.
It’s thought that rheumatoid arthritis or genes containing the disease may be passed down through family generations.
Having the gene passed to you through family puts you at a higher risk of developing arthritis, known as genetic predisposition; this however does not mean you will develop the condition.
Smoking cigarettes and passive smoking has damaging effects on many parts of the human body, its clear to everyone what smoking does to their heart and lungs, not to mention their skin.
You may be surprised to learn that studies now indicate a very strong link between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis.
The connection is yet to be fully understood, but research has shown that smoking releases excess free radicals and toxins into the bloodstream.
Excess free radicals along with numerous other toxins are known to attack and affect the immune system, which may cause abnormality in white blood cells. Smoking over a long period may also have a significant effect on bone and the bones ability to repair itself.
7. ALLERGIES / FOOD INTOLERENCIES
There are very few foods which cause obvious allergic reactions, the best known are probably peanuts.
Not knowing what foods you may be allergic to is a real problem, a bigger problem than you might imagine.
Many people go through life with food intolerances and never show any classical signs of an allergy, for this reason they may never suspect their favourite food may be the cause of their arthritis.
Symptoms of food intolerances, when apparent are more often than not delayed reactions, so even if you do display symptoms it can still be difficult to link a reaction with a particular food.
Nutritionists specialising in food intolerances and arthritis suggest that the main culprit will be our favourite food or beverage, the foods we crave, the food or drink you can’t live without. These foods may have an addictive quality,
Candida is normally harmless yeast contained within the gastrointestinal tract, under normal circumstances Candida is a sugar fermenting yeast which along with other micro-organisms helps break down and digest food.
The human body’s biochemistry is very fragile and may be easily thrown off balance.
Candida can transform itself from part of the body’s natural yeast, into a pathogenic fungus, a condition known as candidiasis.
The transformation of Candida into candidiasis can be caused by the prolonged use of antibiotics, stress, diabetes, acidic pH level, & depleted immune system.
Candidiasis growth can affect the normal functioning of the gut, without treatment the fungus can penetrate the wall of the gut causing leaky gut syndrome. Once through the wall candidiasis can pass through the bloodstream releasing toxins which can attack any of the body’s organs.
Candidiasis is also known to decrease the body’s nutrient uptake, leading to vitamin and mineral deficiency.
9. HEAVY METAL POISONING / METAL TOXICITIES
Heavy metal poisoning has become a major health problem in recent history and will inevitably become much worse, as more countries become industrialised nations.
Metals and industrial bi products seep into the water and enter the food chain.
Heavy metals have a density of over five times that of water, the human body is unable to successfully break down the foreign bodies and is forced to retain them.
The accumulation of heavy metals trapped in the body causes toxicity to poison the bloodstream, leading to damaged kidneys, lungs, nervous system and other organs.