Subject: Re: Hi everyone..childhood meningitis link to rheumatoid arthritis?
Hi Nicky, congratulations on your DLA appeal and I hope the ESA tribunal goes well!
My rheumy is ace and always tries explaining things to me in a way that I can understand - he draws me pictures and all sorts lol.
As I understand it, you can have a genetic predisposition to RA and PA (which is what I have), which means you have a chance of becoming arthritic if an environmental factor, such as infection, triggers it.
These types of arthritis are auto-immune diseases which means the body's own immune system attacks the affected area. This is because, if you are predisposed and then get an infection it effectively short circuits the immune system and it goes a bit wrong!
So you can inherit the genes that could mean you get arthritis but unless your immune system gets a big old challenge when you are younger, you may not develop the condition.
My rheumatologist believes it was a series of ear infections that may have triggered my PA.
I hope I've explained that clearly enough
All the best