54 million adults and 300,000 children suffer from some form of arthritis. The most common types of arthritis affect 1 in 4 adults with women and the elderly seeing increased risk. Are genetics playing this role in arthritis?
Surprisingly, arthritis is a very common but not an especially well-understood disease. We know that there are environmental factors that contribute to the development of arthritis.
The question of whether or not genetics plays any role in determining who is at greater risk of getting arthritis is a longstanding and very valid question. New advances in technology, now, allow us to examine more closely and accurately what role genetics and family history have to play in your risk of getting arthritis.
In this article, we take a look at the risk factors associated with your genetics and how they contribute to the common types of arthritis. Finally, we suggest simple steps and resources that you can consider if you have a family history that puts you at increased risk of getting this disease.
Common Forms of Arthritis
The most common form of arthritis is Osteoarthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. OA occurs when the protective cartilage protecting the ends of your bones wears down over time. This occurs mostly in the hands and knees.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease affecting 1.3 million Americans. An autoimmune disease is an interesting phenomenon. It occurs when the body’s own immune system mistakenly considers its own tissues to be the bad stuff in the same way it attacks bacteria and viruses. Confused, the immune system builds antibodies to seek out and destroy this tissue.
Ankylosing spondylitis, or AS, is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes inflammation in your spinal joints. It is worth mentioning here because approximately 90% of the people affected by AS carry certain genes that can be passed onto other family members.
Quite simply, the answer is yes. Your genetics can play a role in your likelihood of developing common forms of arthritis, but they’re not the sole determining factor. Your genetics do not actually cause autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
In the medical community, the term “genetic predisposition” means an increased chance that you will develop a certain disease based on your genetic makeup and your family history.
“Genetic susceptibility” is an indicator that, under the right conditions, you are at greater risk of developing arthritis. If you have a family history of the common types of arthritis, it would be prudent to take preventative measures so you’re not at such an increased risk as you get older.
Genetics and Autoimmune Disease – Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
The consensus among medical professionals is that a combination of environmental and genetic factors plays a role in the cause of RA and there is research that demonstrates that more than 100 positions in the human DNA code could be directly related to RA.
A family of genes referred to as HLA genes are thought to have a close association with RA. HLA genes stand for human leukocyte antigen. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the people that have these HLA genes in their genetic makeup are five times more likely to be affected by RA than those who do not.
Arthritis & Family History
In this section, we will go over the tie between arthritis and family history. Firstly, the research that has been done presents clear evidence that there is a connection between family history and arthritis. Secondly, family history and genetics can make you more susceptible to environmental factors that can trigger arthritis. While risk factors may seem higher when a family member has arthritis, most diseases aren’t determined by genetic makeup alone.
There is no substitute for professional medical advice when you begin to see the signs and symptoms of arthritis. However, there are preventative resources and exercises you can take advantage of.
Preventing Arthritis with Exercise and Diet Supplements
One of your best defenses against the risk of developing different types of arthritis is a regular exercise routine. Exercise helps your body to increase muscle and bone strength to reduce joint pain naturally. Online research will yield many exercises that you can do to stave off the effects of arthritis, like walking, certain hand exercises and even yoga routines can be an enjoyable form of exercise that can help prevent the onset of arthritis.
In terms of diet supplements that are available to fight the symptoms of arthritis, it can be confusing. The sheer number of products alone can cause anxiety when you want to choose the best one.
One highly reputable diet supplement with excellent reviews is JointFuel360, a dietary vitamin resource that is backed by numerous testimonials from athletes and physicians. JointFuel360 goes a long way in fighting the soreness and pain that comes from arthritis.
The primary ingredients of this health supplement are as follows:
- Black pepper extract
- Hyaluronic acid
- Boswellia serrate extract
All of these ingredients work together to relieve your joint pain. The significant benefits many users have found are as follows:
- Reduce inflammation
- Rapid muscle recovery
- Increase mobility
As always, you should consult your physician or registered dietitian before taking any dietary supplement. Do the proper research to be sure the exercises you are doing are safe. Also, ensure the vitamins and supplements that you are considering are legitimate. Always consider the product reviews and the company manufacturing the products.
Overall, the medical community continues its quest to completely understand arthritis and its causes. We need to do our part in understanding the importance of our family history. It is a key step in the management and prevention of the onset of these arthritic diseases.