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Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and it can involve multiple body organs. When kidneys are involved, it may lead to renal disease. Knowing how renal disease occur in rheumatoid arthritis can help the patients prevent the disease effectively.
Immune dysfunction plays a major role in the occurrence of renal disease in rheumatoid arthritis. In right condition, the immune system can help you fight against the foreign harmful stuffs. However, in some cases, the immune system can not work normally. As a result, the foreign antigens and antibodies to form immune complexes and then deposit in the tiny blood vessels in kidneys. To remove them, the body initiate an inflammatory response, thus leading to inflammation in kidneys. This is a major cause of kidney damage in rheumatoid arthritis.
On the other hand, the drugs used to treat arthritis may cause toxic effect on the kidneys. Gold and penicillamine may lead to inflammation of glomeruli. This condition may occur in 10~30% cases of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory drugs that are used for pain relief are also related to the development of kidney disease and inflammation of tiny blood vessels in kidneys.
Another major renal disease in rheumatoid arthritis is amyloidosis. It can cause the proliferative glomerulonephritis.
As renal disease in rheumatoid arthritis is mainly due to immune dysfunction, the therapy should primarily focus on correcting immune system and suppressing the immune inflammatory response in kidneys. In this way, it can stop further damage to kidneys. Meanwhile, the relative therapy should be adopted to remove the immune complexes in the kidneys which are direct trigging factors of inflammation in kidneys. Finally, they should adjust their medicines and avoid those which can be toxic to kidneys.
If the early and effective treatment is adopted, the patients with rheumatoid arthritis can prevent further kidney damage and stop its progression completely.
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