Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system is attacking itself. The pattern of joints affected is usually symmetrical involving hands and other joints.The main target of inflammation is the synovium, the thin membrane that lines the joints. As rheumatoid arthritis develops, some of the body’s immune cells are mistaking one’s own protein as a foreign intruder. The exact protein is unknown and may be one of many potential candidates such as responses to pathogenic infection, be it viral, bacterial or fungal. The other possible proteins may have a genetic connection.
Whatever the sources this breakdown in our immune system, cells called lymphocytes react to this protein and stimulate release of cytokines, the chemical messengers that trigger inflammation, chronic pain, fatigue, joint damage and loss of function.
Before we embark on any treatment protocol to get well from RA, we must first understand the many causes of rheumatic disease or rheumatoid arthritis and remove each stressor from our body to allow the immune system to regain its proper function again.
Here, we explore each of the possible rheumatoid arthritis causes:
Doctors often suspect that RA has a genetic link, and the disease run in families. An individual with specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes is said to highly probable of contracting RA than others who do not have these HLA genes. However, not everyone with these genes end up with RA.
Recent studies have begun to phase out the genetic connection of RA, as being passed down from generations. It is interestingly proven that the inherited trait alone does not cause the illness.
Advanced immunological technology has revealed immunological abnormalities not only in some chronic and autoimmune tissue disorders but also in conditions like inflammatory arthritis where infection apparently seems to play the only role. The route of infection and penetration can probably determine the aggressiveness of the disease and the chance for full recovery.
There are currently two popular hypotheses for the pathogenic or infectious causes of rheumatoid arthritis:
(a) Amoebic infections
Amoeba, a nasty free living microorganism, is cited as the reason for onset of rheumatic disease. This was according to the findings of Professor Roger Wyburn-Mason and a world-class amoebologist, Dr. Stamm. There are about 300 different known species of these amoebas and many more are yet to be identified. Nature has made these amoebas very strong survivors and they are able to use their toxins and other mechanisms to hide from plain sight throughout our body (See “Dr Wyburn-Mason’s Anti-Amoebic Treatment for Rheumatoid Disease” at http://www.arthritistrust.org).
(b) Mycoplasmic infections
Independently, Thomas McPherson Brown, M.D. had concluded that a mycoplasm was the culprit in the creation of rheumatoid disease. His research also reported that mycoplasma and bacterial L-forms as having a precise affinity for joint tissue and are known to produce arthritis in a variety of species including rats and mice, cattle, swine, gorillas and elephants (See “Thomas McPherson Brown, M.D. Antibiotics therapy for rheumatic diseases” at http://www.roadback.org)
Some practitioners allege that approximately 50% of rheumatoid arthritis patients also suffer from Candidiasis. Many other physicians are of opinion that this percentage should be higher.
Candida, another form of invasive organisms-of-opportunity, is a yeast or fungus that are known to have at least six switching mechanisms that spreads throughout the intestinal tract, aka our gut, pushing through our protective intestinal mucosa. The switching mechanism allows the yeast to switch to a different form and function and persists it to survive in environment that is changing surrounding it.
The “holes” in our intestinal mucosa permits undigested molecularly sized proteins to go directly into our blood stream where our immune system will activates antibody to invade the foreign invader, ie the antigen. This condition is what many term as “leaky gut” and this “antibody/antigen” relationship exactly explains the increasing number of food allergies.
Leaky Gut & Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Leaky gut syndrome and resultantly, food allergies and sensitivities do not only produce their own unique health problems, but are often found in degenerative diseases, in particular, rheumatoid arthritis.
I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of gut:
(a) Gut is responsible for up to 80% of our immune system.
(b) Gut is responsible for protection against pathogens including parasites, bacteria, yeast, viruses and fungi.
(c) Gut is responsible for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients
(d) A poor gut is also responsible for up to 90% of chronic diseases.
If you are suffering from chronic fatigue, constipation and joint pain, the likelihood of having leaky gut is high. The most common culprits that cause leaky gut are:
(a) Drugs – antibiotics, NSAIDs, birth control pills, steroids, antacids and chemotherapeutic agents.
(b) Diet high in refined sugar, processed foods high in chemical food additives as well as excessive consumption of grains, which contain anti-nutrients and lectins that can damage intestinal lining of the gut.
(c) Dysbiosis – a condition with microbial imbalances on and within the body – of various parasites, bacteria, yeast, etc; as well as free radicals can create continuous inflammation from these toxic by-products.
(d) A highly stressed lifestyle is an environmentally-induced stressor that reduces blood flow to the gut and increase free radicals.
Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Food allergies and sensitivities may another most common reasons for the manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis. You have now understand how Candidiasis can promote food allergies. If systematic Candidiasis is present, most any food can be allergenic/sensitive.
Surprisingly, allergies’ biological rules are pretty much similar to those of an addiction. We are addicted or crave for certain foods because we like to eat them. And you will often find that you develop food allergies from the food that you really like and eat most often; and also foods that are most easily digested.
Foods that are most easily digested are listed in the following sequence:
(3) Simple carbohydrates eg flour
(4) Complex carbohydrates eg meat or whole vegetables
The Tooth Connections – Gum Disease, Root Canal Infections & Amalgam Toxicity
Gum (Periodontal) Disease
It is found that people with rheumatoid arthritis may be up to four times more likely to have gum (periodontal) diseases than people without autoimmune disease. However the biology of the association between these two chronic inflammatory diseases remain unclear, with differing hypothesis that suggests PD increases the risk of RA.
Gum (periodontal) diseases typically result from untreated gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria in the mouth as well as other factors such as smoking, medications, genetic susceptibility or others.
This link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis is revisited in a number of studies. Recently, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology found traces of gum bacteria in the knees of people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
In another study, researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland essentially traced the passage of bacteria in the mouth to the fluid surrounded the kneecap, called synovial fluid. By analyzing the DNA of the bacteria, the researchers could determine that the progeny of the gum bacteria entered into the bloodstream and settled in the synovial fluid, which was in a weakened state as a result of arthritis.
Numerous evidence has shown a strong relationship between the severity of periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, and this relationship is more than just a shared susceptibility. The disease processes in both are very similar as they are characterized by self-sustaining inflammation in a fluid filled compartment adjacent to bone, just as the tooth and socket comprise a joint.
Root Canal Infections
Root canals have been performed by dentists around the world for over 150 years. Small cavities are first treated by cleaning out the infection and then, the void is filled with a suitable filling material over it. Tooth decay is seemingly arrested, the tooth is saved and the pain goes away.
However, root canals are deceptive. An absence of pain does not equate to a good oral health, but merely a result of nerves being removed. Unfortunately, irregardless of the due diligence put into disinfecting the infected cavity, a root canalled tooth will always remain infected. The very nature of the tooth does not allow complete sterilization while it still resides in the mouth.
Bacteria that lives in your mouth and that has gotten locked into these cavities mutates from an oxygen-loving form (aerobic) to one that does not love oxygen (anaerobic), and build a impenetrable bacterial fortress where they live and thrive.
At the same time, the bacteria expel toxins, waste products that are detrimental to the surrounding tissues and general health. Where they can avoid the arrest of white blood cells by hiding in areas where blood supply is restricted and immune response is slow, it starts building colony in our joints! (because joints do not have blood supply like other tissues of the body). This fort makes the root canalled tooth a breeding ground because it no longer has a blood supply and hence, neither white blood cells nor antibiotics can enter.
Do not be fooled by anyone telling you that it is perfectly safe to place amalgam in your mouth. Dental amalgams, the mercury-silver dental fillings, are important source of mercury vapour that can be released from 20 to 30 yeras of chewing, biting and grinding. We do know that mercury is a deadly poison if ingested in sufficient but relatively small quantities. Strange that things can get different when these are placed in our mouths!
Here are more facts to think about:
(a) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the American Medical Association states that there is no lower safe limit to the amount of mercury a person can intake.
(b) Dentists and their employees are required to handle mercury in ways that the EPA considers safe because of mercury’s extreme health hazard.
(c) After many years of resistance, the Swedish Dental Association studied the problem, apologized to their citizens, and phased out mercury. Many European countries, notably Denmark, Norway and Germany, have also banned the use of amalgam.
Mercury is known to rapidly and readily be absorbed into a human body and has the ability to cause biochemical damage at cellular level. It inhibits sulphur and blocks normal enzyme functioning, producing extreme toxicity that the body is unable to properly detoxify. Sulphur is essential in enzymes, hormones, nerve tissue, and red blood cells. A deficiency of sulphur oxidation at the cellular level has been found in many of degenerative diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Furthermore, there are also extensive documented cases that have shown that amalgams removals have led to cure or significant improvement of rheumatoid arthritis.
Stress including Toxins Accumulation
Stress exists in many forms:
(1) Physical stress – such as lack of sleep, financial concerns, injuries from accidents, etc
(2) Emotional stress – such as death of loved one, birth of a new baby, etc
(3) Environmental stress – such as pollution, herbicides and pesticides, carcinogens, etc
When stress is present, our body will enter into a “fight or flight” state, and in this state, the body takes blood away from the internal organs and moves it to the mascular system so that either way, you are ready to take action or fight the ensuing stress. Blood removal from digestive organs also impair digestive capability of our body. That is why under stressful circumstances, our digestion is compromised.
Unaware to many, there are also many hidden sources of stress that are not known to be dangerous but are very real and our body has taken a lifetime to store up the cumulative effect of these stresses from various sources: teeth, food additives and preservatives, toxic skin and beauty products, vaccination shots, toxic home chemicals and many more environmental toxins that are all around us.
If you suffer from a Leaky Gut, the liver is already overloaded and can’t properly deal with the added environmental toxins. Therefore, it is best to limit exposure to a minimum and allow our liver to catch up with the process of toxins elimination.
What are the causes of my RA?
Having said the above, I do know the reason for my RA. It came about following a sad incident that happened to me in October 2010. I was into my 2nd pregnancy and I had a miscarriage. That was the saddest moment of my life. Saddest ever… It is difficult for one to understand how much pain and misery I was going through during that rough time. I was carrying the fetus inside my womb while knowing that it wouldn’t have the chance of coming out into this world for more than a week. I have hoped and prayed very hard for a miracle but it didn’t appear. In the end, I had a D&C performed. Right after the operation, I thought I would feel better after my emotions settled. But physical pain started to be felt on my right wrist. I was given two doses of prednisone to ease the pain but with the symptoms persisting, a blood test was ordered and it turned out that I have active RA with Rheumatoid Factor (RF) of 250.
I was convinced ever since that the miscarriage was the sole event that have caused the onset of my RA. But this is only half true. Under the care of a very experienced naturopathic practitioner of Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET), I soon also learn that my cervical cancer vaccination – 3 shots taken – was the root cause behind my RA. The miscarriage was only a trigger, one that upsets the whole immune system, which had already been compromised, (just like the tip of an iceberg) to get all haywired and start attacking my joints. Because it attacks my joints, they call it Arthritis.
My conclusions of the main causes of my RA are therefore: pathogenic infection relating to vaccination and emotional trauma.
What about yours?
Do you know what the causes of your rheumatoid disease are? Share with us if you do not mind. My opinion is that you should explore the possibilities of each of the listed causes that may be contributing factors of your rheumatoid arthritis. It’s okay if you aren’t sure but it will be great to discuss this topic with all the fellow RAers.