Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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RA Underlying Cause

Rheumatoid arthritis results from an abnormal immune system, which normally fights infection. The immune system mistakenly attacks normal joint tissue, causing inflammation and breakdown of the joints. The cause of the abnormal immune system in rheumatoid arthritis is unknown.

This process can also damage other parts of the body, including the lungs, blood vessels (vasculitis), and nerves.

Continue to RA Anatomy

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed RA References
  1. Cooper NJ. Economic burden of rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000 Jan;39(1):28-33. [10662870]
  2. Pedersen M, Stripp C, Klarlund M, Olsen SF, Tjonneland AM, Frisch M. Diet and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in a prospective cohort. J Rheumatol. 2005 Jul;32(7):1249-52. [15996059]
  3. Rennie KL, Hughes J, Lang R, Jebb SA. Nutritional management of rheumatoid arthritis: a review of the evidence. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2003 Apr;16(2):97-109. [12662368]
  4. Rindfleisch JA, Muller D. Diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Sep 15;72(6):1037-47. [16190501]
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