Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disease as explained in our articles on auto immune diseases. This occurs when the immune system begins attacking the cartilage and the synovial lining of the joint. As a result, an unbalanced means unhealthy inflammatory process begin significant destruction of health tissue. Not only does this inflammatory response create excessive free radicals, it also attracts cytokines, especially TNF-a.
Studies show that TNF-a is extremely high in the plasma of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies also indicate that free radical production is five times higher in rheumatoid arthritis patients when compared to patients with normal joints (Enhanced mitochondrial radical production in patients with rheumatoid arthritis correlates with elevated levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha in plasma, free radical research, 25 (1996), 161-169). Thus tremendous oxidative stress is at work, causing damage to the joints in those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.
If you know anyone who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, you are well aware of how damaging this disease is. It often causes incapacitating deformity and pain. Through people with rheumatoid arthritis have significantly greater oxidative stress than those with osteoarthritis, the destruction of the cartilage in both of these diseases arises from oxidative stress. It is important to understand the underlying causes of these diseases as you consider now the traditional treatment offered in medicine.