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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Cause

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not fully understood. Genes play a role, but experts don't know exactly what that role is. For most people with RA, the disease doesn't run in their families and they don't pass it along to their children. One or more genes may make it more likely that the body's immune system will attack the tissues of the joints. This immune response may also be triggered by bacteria, a virus, or some other foreign substance.

Other causes of joint pain include osteoarthritis, lupus, and gout.

Recommended Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Can I cut back on RA medications if I feel OK?

Feeling OK means your medications are working -- and you should keep taking them. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic medical condition. Treatment can keep your symptoms under control, giving you more good days. But the drugs don't cure RA; they can't make it go away forever. Your medications are your key to keeping your RA under control. However, you may be able to reduce the dosage if you stay symptom free. When did you last have an RA flare? Studies show that people who stop their disease-modifying...

Read the Can I cut back on RA medications if I feel OK? article > >

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 08, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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