Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Hereditary?
If you are a rheumatoid arthritis patient and are a parent, the questions, ‘Is rheumatoid arthritis hereditary?’ and ‘Will my children inherit my disease?’ certainly must be troubling you a lot and eventually, there must also be question in your mind that whether it is necessary to test your children for rheumatoid arthritis.
Well, so far, from the studies, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not definitely known. It is an autoimmune disease, and autoimmune diseases are caused when the white blood cells in our body, which normally fight the outside infectious bodies, wrongly take our own cells as foreign substances and start killing them. In rheumatoid arthritis, they mainly attack the cells of the lining of certain joints, which gives rise to pain, swelling, redness and inflammation of joints.
It is also observed that the disease is more common in women than in men, and also, smokers are more likely to get affected by it than non-smokers.
The studies have shown that a genetic factor does play a role in the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis. But you can take a sigh of relief because it is not definite that you will pass your rheumatoid arthritis to your children. There may be certain genes in our body, which increase the chances to develop this disease, but it is not sure that they will cause it. A father or a mother, possessing a gene which increases the chances of getting the disease, can pass that gene to his or her children, but it is not a sure indication that the children too will get the disease. So if you are continuously thinking about ‘Is rheumatoid arthritis hereditary?’, relax a bit!
If a child inherits a rheumatoid arthritis gene from his or her parents, it can only be said that he or she has more chances of getting the disease, than a person who is not having that gene. Therefore, if you or one or more of your forefathers have or had the disease, what you can do is, you can monitor your children to find out the disease in them in its early stages and get it cured, before it gets too late. This can be done with the help of your general healthcare provider. You and your doctor can discuss the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and you then can observe whether any of them are seen in your children. You can also learn more about the disease for its genetic involvement.
The more you learn about the disease, the more careful can you be regarding your children and if you observe any of the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms developing in them, you can get them thoroughly tested and find out if he or she is really suffering from the disease. And if they are diagnosed of the disease, the treatment can be started in the early stage, which can be beneficial in terms of the disease getting completely cured. Otherwise, the child may certainly be benefited in lessening the symptoms because of correct treatment in the initial stage of the disease.
Therefore, if you are troubled by the question ‘Is rheumatoid arthritis hereditary?’ at once consult your doctor to get more knowledge about the disease and save your child from rheumatoid arthritis well in advance!