Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Hereditary?
One of the most common autoimmune disorders in the world is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an ongoing condition that can make it painful to move and cause a number of other symptoms.
Many people wonder what caused their rheumatoid arthritis, and recent research suggests that there may be a genetic link. Find out whether rheumatoid arthritis can be hereditary here.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and progressive autoimmune condition that affects the fluid-filled linings of the joints. When you have rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the linings of your joints, causing ongoing inflammation.
While rheumatoid arthritis can occur anywhere in the body, it most often impacts the joints in your hands, wrists, and knees.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis presents with a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including the following:
- Dry eyes
- Joint pain
- Dry mouth
- Joint redness
- Swollen joints
- Eye sensitivity
- Morning stiffness
- Nodules on the skin
- Inflammation in the lungs
- Fluid accumulation in the ankles
These symptoms can be attributed to other common conditions. However, frequent re-occurrences of any combination of these symptoms may be indicative of rheumatoid arthritis. To confirm that your symptoms are the result of rheumatoid arthritis, you must seek an evaluation with a physician.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes
There are several risk factors linked to rheumatoid arthritis development. These include older age, a history of smoking, and being overweight.
In recent years, research has suggested that rheumatoid arthritis could also be linked to genetics. The condition may in fact be hereditary, with certain genetic markers making someone more likely to have the condition.
The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes may be associated with rheumatoid arthritis, specifically the HLA-DRB1 gene. Other genes may be linked to rheumatoid arthritis as well, including the following:
- PTPN22: May play a role in rheumatoid arthritis development and progression
- STAT4: Regulates and activates the immune system
- TRAF1: Causes chronic inflammation
- C5: Causes chronic inflammation
Research has not concluded how a person acquires these exact genes. It is possible that a biological parent passed down an altered gene to the child. In addition, external factors may influence these genes. It’s also worth noting that not every person who has these RA-associated genes will develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Preventing Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you have the genes linked to rheumatoid arthritis, you may not be able to prevent developing the condition. With that said, you can reduce your risk by leading a healthier lifestyle. Quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight can decrease your risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Some patients are discovering the potential option of regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, for helping to manage inflammation, and damaged joint tissues, and preventing further attacks associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for back pain, also known as Stem Cell Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.