Understanding the Role of Genetics in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Some health conditions cause damages to the body and its systems - they are called autoimmune diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis is one of them Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease where the body’s immune system confusedly attacks its bone joints’ membranes causing inflammation and pain in the eyes, heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
What is the reason behind autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis?
Although the exact reason why the immune system responds faultily is unknown, many studies believe that certain genes may play a role in increasing your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
However, rheumatoid arthritis is not an inherited disorder that is why it is not necessary that you will inherit it if someone in your family tree had it.
Factors that trigger rheumatoid arthritis:
- germs, like viruses and bacteria
- Stress levels
- Physical trauma or injury
- Hormonal imbalances
- Smoking tobacco
Genetics and rheumatoid arthritis
Your immune system is responsible for protecting your body from foreign substances by attacking and destroying them. In the case of autoimmune dysfunctions like rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system is conned into attacking the healthy parts of your own body. Some gene variants that control your immune response trigger such kinds of malfunctioning responses. Having such genes can increase your genetic risk for rheumatoid arthritis. Examples of such genes are mentioned below:
- HLA genes differentiate between the proteins of your body and the proteins of foreign substances. Variations in this gene is the most significant genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis
- The gene that regulates and activates the immune system
- Other genes that are responsible for rheumatoid arthritis are also involved in the development of diabetes (type 1) and multiple sclerosis
Knowing and understanding your genetic predisposition for rheumatoid arthritis can help in preventing or managing the disease
A genetic test can help you uncover a lot of information about yourself including your susceptibility for rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. Knowing about them can empower you to work on modifying your lifestyle, food, and exercise habits, and completely prevent the development of such diseases. In case you have already developed them, you can still change your food and physical activities to lead a better quality of life.
Find out what other crucial insights your genetic test report can provide to you.