Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Is rheumatoid arthritis an autoimmune disease?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common of several autoimmune diseases affecting mainly the joints. It is characterized by abnormal inflammatory responses that damage the synovial membrane of joints and other tissues. Components of the immune system mistakenly identify the normal body tissues as potentially harmful organisms and attack cause considerable collateral damage.

This results in joint pain, permanent damage to the swelling and articular cartilage and bone underlying. Other body parts such as blood, nerve and heart may also be affected in severe cases.

In addition, drugs conventionally used in the treatment of RA are often the cause of many health problems as the disease itself. Bone marrow and immune suppression, toxicity to the liver, osteoporosis and stomach ulcers are some common side effects produced by these drugs.

Well, that antibiotic also has potential side effects, they are generally fewer and less severe than those associated with conventional drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.


Most scientists agree that infections initiate abnormal inflammatory response observed in RA patients. The theory is that the immune system reacts to an infection of some sort and then becomes confused between the antigens of the pathogen and similar antigens on normal tissues of the body. The classical view is that the infection only triggers a transient autoimmune response and not a persistent factor underlying its chronic course.

However, countless Studies have shown that there are actually a number of chronic, “hidden” infections underlying RA. Some pathogens have been found in the joints of RA patients, but most of these low-grade infections occur in areas such as the camera, mouth genito-urinary or intestines. They are employed indirectly in these areas by maintaining the aberrant inflammatory response characteristic of RA.

Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Escherichia coli, Proteus and are all bacteria which can cause low grade, asymptomatic urinary tract infections that underlie RA. Porphyromonas gingivalis is a bacterium that cause gingivitis and periodontitis and also has a strong association with RA.

While laboratory tests often confirm the presence of a or more of these infections, these negative results do not preclude a cause of infectious disease from one individual.

Because many infections underlying RA so difficult to find, even in patients who have no positive laboratory tests should be treated with antibiotics.


For many years the cornerstone of antibiotic treatment of RA tetracycline antibiotic minocycline has been or others such as doxycycline. These antibiotics are still very useful as they also have properties anti-inflammatory and stimulate regeneration of damaged cartilage.

However, many bacteria have developed resistance tetracyclines and is now common practice to use combinations with other antibacterials such as azithromycin, clindamycin, metronidazole, levofloxacin, and others.


Patients may notice some improvements their symptoms ranging from days, weeks or months, depending on how long they have the disease. They should also expect to stay on antibiotics for several months more than a year until complete remission occurs.

Information for doctors who have used this treatment for many years shows that at least 80% of patients benefit from this treatment modality relatively simple.

WHY IS IT EFFECTIVE TREATMENT not widely available

There are two reasons for the delay in getting this “new” treatment more widely accepted:

All First, there is research “lag effect in time? the period that elapses between when a new medical discovery is made until it is accepted and implemented by most doctors. This interval can be more than 20 long years.

Second, despite ample evidence that some organisms are associated with RA and other autoimmune diseases, no agency has been a specific shown to be responsible for the group of diseases. Because autoimmune diseases represent a spectrum of overlapping conditions that can be caused by several types of microbes in different areas of the body.

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