Did you know that there are over 100 types of arthritis? And even till today doctors don’t know precisely what causes RA.

Some experts believe that the immune system becomes “confused” after a bacterial or viral infection and starts to attack your joints. This battle can spread to many areas of the body. Rick factors that increase the chances of one developing RA include genetics (inherited genes) and hormones (explaining why the disease is more common in women than men). Scientists have shown that altered levels of gut bacteria that typically inhabit the bowels, exist in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

New research shows that the microbiome has a great influence on our overall health, our immune system, and many diseases, even those thought previously not to be directly linked to the gastrointestinal tract. Research has even shown different kinds of bacteria in the intestines of people with rheumatoid arthritis than in those of healthy people. What this means and how the information can help is something we do not know just yet.

Often Osteoarthritis is mistaken for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions around the world. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. (RA) on the otherhand is an autoimmune disease that also affects millions of people around the world.

Not only does RA affect joints and cause swelling, but four out of ten of sufferers have also have related problems in other body parts.

RA often starts in small joints of the hands and feet but can progress to other body parts. Pain is usually worse in the morning, and sometimes you can have it in both hands and feet. Some medications can help, and these are aimed at tempering the immune system. Such as chemotherapy and anti-inflammatory medications and even steroids.

Sufferers with RA have an increased risk of having heart problems. RA causes the pericardium to become inflamed, thus leading to sharp chest pain and fever, and if left untreated, can lead to thickening and scarring of the pericardium. Thus leading heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and heart failure.

Up to 10% of sufferers also develop serious lung problems. Inflammation in the lung lining causes pain while breathing, scarring of the tissue in the lungs and increases the chance of emphysema, making things worse if one also smokes.

As blood vessels become inflamed, they become narrowed and reduce blood flow throughout the body. This condition is known as vasculitis and can sometimes lead to coronary artery disease.

Another complication of RA is inflammation in the eyes, that can lead to blindness.

Before getting worried try changing your diet as some have found it made them feel better.

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