Various factors cause different types of arthritis. For example, learning about the risks and causes of these debilitating conditions can help you navigate away from them or manage them more effectively.
Some can be avoided, and the onset of others can be delayed well into the golden years. Moreover, some types of arthritis can be slowed to a halt. But the question is, where does it start? Why do you have this terrible condition?
What will cause your joints to weaken and be prone to functional decline? There are many reasons you can develop arthritis, ranging from inflammation to genetics.
Moreover, autoimmune complications can worsen the existing conditions, making your life even harder. The main risk factors have surfaced from a collection of research and experimentation.
Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) are abnormal genes present in your sixth chromosome if you have a family history of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and juvenile arthritis.
HLA genes play a crucial role in the immune system as they produce proteins that stimulate cells' receptiveness in the body. For example, cells need to be able to receive nutrients and vitamins and repair themselves.
These genes can have a functional abnormality or be harmed by an over-responsive immune system that stays alert for too long. The proteins released by these genes act to assist the immune system in distinguishing between normal bodily proteins and invaders, such as viruses and bacteria.
The bottom line is that your risk for developing arthritis increases if you have a family history of this specific genome deformity.
Most often found in osteoarthritis is the inherent weakness of cartilage, which is the soft tissue between the bones. Genetic factors can cause this, but wear and tear are most often caused when you overuse the joints.
Repetitive movements have been the main instigator of joint weakness. Activities such as typing, stair climbing, and jogging can cause this problem.
Perhaps your job requires repetitive, hard labor for years, which places you at risk for osteoarthritis.
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The American College of Rheumatology confirms that poor nutrition is a significant cause of rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Many foods promote inflammation, whereas others increase your levels of uric acid, resulting in painful crystallization.
Certain foods like red meat, refined sugars, processed foods, and high-fat dairy are some of the bad actors, increasing the risk of gouty arthritis. Unfortunately, your stomach and the immune system are far more fragile than you may believe.
What you eat will ultimately increase your risk for many unwanted health disorders. For example, the stomach has trillions of bacteria that make up the microbiome. These bacteria help the immune system function correctly.
Any imbalance in stomach bacteria leads to a dysfunctional microbiome, and diseases are a typical result.
Some injuries put you at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life, even if they appear to be healed, particularly for knee injuries, because the past always haunts people in their golden years.
Sometimes, injuries aren't as straightforward as the twisted ankle or torn ligament you had as a child. Overworking or misusing joints can often cause unrecognized injuries, which predispose you to the development of arthritic disease, and you don't even know that you have a problem.
Sedentary behavior promotes inflammation, increasing your risk for chronic autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Being inactive can lead to visceral fat accumulation, leading to chronic inflammation.
This lifestyle can also increase chronic fatigue and lay waste to muscles and soft tissues.
However, the most significant concern for arthritis is autoimmune malfunctions, where the immune system attacks and depletes healthy cells. Therefore, your immune system is supposed to protect and preserve you, but it can also become an enemy.
What early symptoms can you look out for to avoid further progression?
- Unexplained fatigue (activities, sex drive, and productivity)
- A persistently mild fever that accompanies fatigue
- Unintentional weight loss
- Unusual stiffness in any joint
- Joint pain
- Swelling around the joints
- Redness that accompanies the inflammation
- Joints that feel warm to the touch
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Any of the above symptoms on both sides of your body
Tally your risks, and make notes of the symptoms you experience before visiting your physician for an evaluation.
You might not be able to avoid all the risks, especially genetic factors. Still, you can avoid the lifestyle risks, which allows you to target your management on cellular or natural level, possibly allowing you to decrease or even stop some medications for your arthritis.