Reactive Arthritis: a reaction to certain illnesses

There are medical illnesses that may be dependent on another type of infection or disease to trigger its occurrence in the body. One of these diseases is reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis, which is also known as Reiter’s Syndrome, is somehow similar to rheumatism and arthritis, but what makes it different is that it is “reactive” — meaning, it is caused by another disease or it is dependent on another condition. Reactive arthritis will only strike after a patient undergoes or gets affected by another sickness.

In reactive arthritis, there’s a combination of three symptoms, although all three are unrelated or unlinked. These are the inflammatory arthritis of large joints, inflammation of the eyes, and urethritis or arthritis urethritica. This usually affects young men between 20-40 years old. Also, white men are more susceptible to reactive arthritis than black men because of their tissue type.

Reactive arthritis, being a “reactive” disease precedes certain illnesses or conditions, like a a genital infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. gastrointestinal infection, food poisoning, bacterial infection, and more. Some of the symptoms of reactive arthritis that generally appear for at least three weeks, and in some severe instances, it may reach up to more than a month are: urinary symptoms – the patient feels a buring pain on urination or increased need to urinate, rash – the patient shows a rach on the bottom of his feet, which is known as keratoderma blennorrhagica, arthritis – the patient feels pain in the large joints like the knees, causing the pain and swelling of the smaller joints, eye involvement – the patient experiences certain redness of the eyes, eye pain and irritation, blurred vision.

clinical and laboratory tests will be conducted to target the specific illness, and for a much better or effective way to diagnose such illness, the MRI would be the best way to check. Some attempts to further check and confirm the diagnosis by taking some sample cultures Also, a blood test can be done to check in detail the tissues and cells of the patient. Treating reactive arthritis must be carefully handled, the best way to identify and kill the infected areas is by eradicating the infectious agents in the area — antibiotics for the bacteria causing the infection, steroids and analgesics for the joint inflammation, immunosuppressants for the more severe cases.

Like some of the diseases, reactive arthritis may recur or develop continually — there may be repeated attacks of this disease after some time. However, patients with reactive arthritis can still maintain and keep his lifestyle but there will just be modest adaptations and careful adjustments.