Rheumatoid arthritis causes

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, occurring when the immune system attacks joint tissue, releasing antibodies and other chemicals that cause pain, swelling and damage. The cause of the disease is unknown but genetic factors may play a role. However, not all patients with a high genetic susceptibility to the disease actually develop it.

Researchers believe that even in patients who are genetically predisposed to rheumatoid arthritis, the disease must be initiated by an environmental agent. Possible triggers include viral infections, smoking, obesity, blood transfusions, food allergies and intolerances, and diets high in refined foods.

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