Rheumatoid Arthritis and Pregnancy

Published: 18th August 2009
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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Pregnancy

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that occurs more in women usually of child bearing age than in men. Rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy seem to have a connection based on medical observations and studies. During pregnancy, development from the disease can be observed.

Here are some of them: during pregnancy, hormonal changes take place. An example is the level change of cortisol, estrogen and progestin; pregnancy also has an effect on the cell-mediated immunity like the predomination of helper T-cell 2 (TH2) cytokine profile; pregnancy affects humoral immunity in which a proportional decrease in the immunoglobulin G lacking terminal galactose units can be observed and there is the development of anti-HLA class II antibodies too; there is decreased neutrophil respiratory burst during pregnancy because of the altered neutrophil function; the elevated levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) and soluble tumor necrosis factor as well as the down regulation of Th1 cytokines during pregnancy.

The degree of HLA disparity between the mother and the fetus also has an effect. The common discomforts that are felt during pregnancy are somehow similar with the symptoms of rheumatoid disease like fatigue, swelling of the hands, feet or ankles, joint pain especially in the low back, shortness of breath, and numbness or pain in one or both hands. Because of the possible worsening of the disease after pregnancy and the risks of affecting the child during medication, married women with rheumatoid arthritis are advised to prepare themselves first before they decide to get pregnant so as to avoid more problems and complications.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information about arthritis and pregnancy and in no means should be taken as a medical or health advice please consult expert medical advice from your doctor.

The Risk Factors For Rheumatoid Arthritis:

The risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been found to be comparable to the risk of CVD in people with type 2 diabetes, according to the conclusions of two studies presented at EULAR in 2008, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France.

Causes and Risk Factors for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis:

It is not yet known what causes rheumatoid arthritis in children. Who is at risk of rheumatoid arthritis? A family history of rheumatoid arthritis increases a person's risk of getting this disease, but most persons with this disease are the only ones in the family with it. Girls are at higher risk than boys. Rheumatoid arthritis seems to raise the risk of having silent heart disease. The environment too is thought to cause rheumatoid arthritis, and recently, scientists reported that smoking tobacco could increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a very painful and debilitating disease for which there is no known cure.

Arthritis Patients:

Approximately 75 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients are women. Rheumatoid arthritis usually develops gradually, but some patients experience sudden onset of symptoms; one day they are perfectly healthy and the next they are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. The first recommendation indicates that all patients with more than one affected joint should see a rheumatologist within six weeks after the onset of any symptoms. It's also important for rheumatoid arthritis patients and their doctors to consider an aggressive approach to treatment rather than a conservative approach.

The Arthritis Medication Vioxx:

The arthritis medication Vioxx Increases Heart Attacks 50 Percent: FDA Studies reports that Patients who take the arthritis drug Vioxx are at a 50 percent higher risk of having a heart attack than those taking its competitor, Celebrex. Arthritis Drug Linked to Heart Failure taking the popular arthritis drug Vioxx might jeopardize your health and increase your risk of congestive heart failure.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a very common form of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is commonly known as a chronic progressive disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive autoimmune disease that can only worsen over time. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the linings of the joints become inflamed, causing pain, stiffness, redness, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a systemic disease, involving other body organs, whereas osteoarthritis is limited to the joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis is form of arthritis that usually affects women between 25-55. Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in people over 40 years of age, but can affect younger people as well with women being three times more susceptive to the disease than men. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a chronic disease, meaning that periods of remission when the disease is not active are followed by periods of relapse when symptoms reappear.

For more Information: How To Treat Arthritis

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