Over the years, studies have failed to find out the exact answer for what causes rheumatoid arthritis. Although it has long being suspected that infectious agents like fungi, viruses and bacteria are responsible for causing this disease. However, no substantial evidence has yet been found to confirm such a belief. Many even believe that rheumatoid arthritis is a disease, which is hereditary by nature and is often genetically inherited by various individuals. Others believe that particular factors or infections present in the surrounding environment may make individuals’ immune system more susceptible to the disease.
Though worldwide researches are not yet sure what causes rheumatoid arthritis but various factors have been suspected for triggering this disease. No matter what the exact reason may be, which might be responsible for triggering the disease, the consequence is a susceptible immune system, which leads to swelling and pain in various tissues and joints of the body.
Environmental aspects also appear to play a part in causing the Rheumatoid arthritis disease. For instance, researchers have found that tobacco smoking is capable of boosting the chances of being affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Even though what causes rheumatoid arthritis is yet to be revealed, many scientists believe that factors like synovium, autoimmune condition, hormones and genetic susceptibility are widely responsible for activating this disease.
Autoimmune condition- Most scientists consider Rheumatoid arthritis to be an autoimmune condition, which means that this kind of disease is caused when the immune system of an individual tends to attack itself. Generally, the main function of the immune system is to produce antibodies, which in turn fight against harmful viruses and bacteria, thus helping in protecting the human body from various infections. In case of people, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, the antibodies produced by the immune system have a propensity for attacking the tissue encasing the joint rather than fighting against the destructive bacteria.
Synovium- Synovium signifies a thin cell membrane, which encases all the joints. When antibodies produced by the immune system strike this delicate membrane, they result in causing inflammation and soreness. This inflammation leads to the release of chemicals, which in turn causes the thickening of the synovium. These chemicals cause severe damage to the cartilage, tendons, ligaments and bones and in due course, they completely destroy them.
Genetic susceptibility- Researches have found a number of evidence that reveals that there is a possibility of Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by genetic susceptibility. In many patients, genes are found to be responsible for triggering the disease. However, this does not mean that all individuals, who have family members suffering from this disease, will directly inherit the condition.
Hormones- It has been noticed that women are three times more vulnerable to this disease that men. As a result, it is believed that the presence of estrogen in women is responsible for causing Rheumatoid arthritis.