Arthritis causes

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Causes for most forms of arthritis have not been identified.

While much is known about pathogenesis of disease and progression of disease… and while treatments are becoming more sophisticated, the exact cause for most types of arthritis remains a mystery… despite what many tabloids and websites that tout various cures might have you believe. The following is a summary of what we do know about some forms of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA): OA is a degenerative (wear and tear) type of arthritis process. The cartilage, which is a protective gristle at the end of long bones, begins to wear away. While OA is generally a mechanical process, it also has an inflammatory component to it. The underlying factors that are most important to the development of OA are genetic factors and a history of trauma. OA is most common in weight-bearing areas such as the neck, low back, hips, and knees. Why the cartilage wears away in OA is still not entirely known.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): RA is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory process that leads to a destructive arthritis of all joints. The underlying problem is a disorder of the immune system that leads to the production of inflammatory enzymes and cells that lead to damage of multiple organ systems, the most visible being the joints. The exact cause of RA remains unknown.

Gout and pseudogout: These two forms of arthritis are due to the excessive production of crystals of monosodium urate (gout) and calcium pyrophosphate (pseudogout). The underlying cause appears to be a genetically induced disorder of metabolism.

Infectious arthritis: This type of arthritis is caused by either a bacterium, fungus, or virus that causes an actual infection of a joint.

Lyme disease: This is a type of arthritis that is caused by spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi)- a type of bacteria. The spirochete is transmitted by the bite of a deer tick.

Lupus: Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that affects mostly women in the child-bearing years although it can affect members of both genders at any age. Its severity can range from very mild to extremely serious depending on which body organs are affected. The immune system which normally functions to protect the body against invading infections and cancers goes awry in lupus. The immune system is over-active and produces increased amounts of abnormal antibodies that attack the patient's own tissues. Lupus can affect many organ systems, including the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, nervous system, and blood vessels. The signs and symptoms of lupus differ from person to person, and the disease can range from mild to life-threatening.

Reiter’s disease: This is an autoimmune condition. The exact cause for this type of arthritis as well as for its cousins ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis remain unknown.

Arthritis as a complication includes:

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Behcet's Disease
Campylobacter food poisoning
Crohn's disease
Flat feet
Food poisoning
Invasive candidiasis
Irritable bowel syndrome
Paget's disease of bone
Primary biliary cirrhosis
Salmonella food poisoning
Scarlet fever
Sjogren's Syndrome
Streptococcal Infections
Ulcerative colitis
Whipple's Disease
and Acromegaly

Get more information about arthritis causes as well as...

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Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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