Includes Expert Content
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
avatar
fatherof4 posted:
Until last summer I thought my family had been spared the difficulty of any of the debilitating diseases that affect so many people in this world. Then...

My brother began running almost every night for a few months during the summer. He was feeling healthier, but then his joints started to hurt. He began limping, and it continued to get worse.

After quite a bit of research, he determined that he either had gout (hopefully) or rheumatoid arthritis. It turns out it was RA.

Having examined his options and trying to figure out the least intrusive, least expensive way to "solve" his problem. This is what he decide: we just don't know that much about what causes RA and even less about how to cure it.

My brother is certain that the onset of his condition is not coincidentally connected to his new hobby of running consistently (and aggressively I might add). The doctors tell him this is not the case, qualifying their statements by saying that they don't know what causes it. They do however, somehow "know" that there is a strong genetic influence for people who have Rheumatoid. My brother talked to my aunt soon after he was diagnosed, and she told him she had RA for a number of years, but that it had gone into remission for some unexplained reason.

What I'd be interested in knowing from someone who has more experience than I do are the latest and greatest answers to these questions:

  • What causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?


  • Is there any remedy that has in any way been consistently effective?
Reply
 
avatar
Scott Zashin, MD responded:
No known cause right now.Working hypothesis is that a patient who is genetically predisposed encounters some sort of infection or other exposure that triggers the disease. Methotrexate and the biologic drugs such as Enbrel, Humira, and others have the best chance of success and are used for patients with moderate to severe disease.Other meds are used for mild disease. I discuss many of the meds to treat RA in my book ARTHRITIS WITHOUT PAIN. THE MIRACLE OF TNF BLOCKERS.