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Reactive Arthritis

What is reactive arthritis?

Reactive arthritis - is inflammation of the joints that occurs in response to an infectious disease such as genital mutilation, in the urinary tract, or gastrointestinal tract. Typically, arthritis develops 2-4 weeks after the onset of infection.

The causes of reactive arthritis

Reactive arthritis may be caused by various bacterial infections, most infections of the genitourinary system or gastrointestinal tract.

In reactive arthritis caused by infection of the genitourinary system, the trigger factor is infectious processes in the sex organs, bladder, or urethra.

If the infectious process associated with food poisoning, then this condition is called enteroartrit. In 1 to 2% of people with food poisoning can be for several weeks to develop an inflammation of the joints.

Genetic predisposition also plays a role in the development of the disease (the majority of people with reactive arthritis have a gene HLA-B27).

Who gets reactive arthritis?

Reactive arthritis occurs most often between the ages of 20 to 40 years. Men are much more likely than women to fall ill reactive arthritis associated with infections, sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia or gonorrhea). Reactive arthritis with food poisoning is equally common in men and women.

The symptoms of reactive arthritis

Pain and swelling is most often the knee, elbow and finger joints on the legs are usually the first signs of reactive arthritis. Other joints (wrist, elbow, joints, spine and fingers) may also be inflamed.
Reactive arthritis is infection of the urogenital system are often accompanied by signs of inflammation of the prostate and urethra in men, bladder, uterus or vagina in women. This may be a frequent urge to urinate (feeling the urgent need to urinate), and a burning sensation during urination. Pain, irritation and redness of the eyes, blurred vision associated with the occurrence of conjunctivitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane covering the eyeball and the eyelid), which may occur before the onset of arthritis, or simultaneously with the defeat of the joints.


Since reactive arthritis there are no specific symptoms, most often a diagnosis is made by excluding other causes of inflammation of the joints. For proper diagnosis, the doctor is important detail to ask the patient, carefully examine it and analyze data from laboratory tests (including blood and urine analysis).


Your doctor may prescribe various medications. It should be treated as a failure of the joints and very contagious disease. The choice of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections caused by reactive arthritis is determined by pathogen infection. Need to drink a full course prescribed by your doctor. NSAIDs are used to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. To achieve a good effect, they should be taken regularly. In severe injuries of the joints is carried out directly in the injection of corticosteroids inflamed joint. In some cases, very severe arthritis, not responding to NSAIDs and corticosteroids, prescribed drugs affecting the immune system.

Side effects of drug therapy

Any drug can have side effects. It is important to discuss with your doctor, what effects might be, how likely their appearance and how seriously they might affect your condition.

How long is reactive arthritis?

The symptoms of reactive arthritis usually last 3 to 12 months, but only a small percentage of patients, symptoms may return or the state may be delayed.