Reactive arthritis is an autoimmune condition which is developed as a result of an infection in another part of the body. In short, it is a result of cross-reactivity. This disease can commence when a person comes in contact with bacteria and the infection following the bacterial contact can start the disease.
Reactive arthritis is a chronic arthritis which gets its name due to its reacting quality. It is actually a reaction of the immune system against the bacteria that the inflammation in joints and eyes occur. This kind of arthritis is seen in people who are in their 30s or 40s. Even though the bacteria are wiped out of the body, the symptoms of arthritis prevail for a long time.
In short, the trigger infection would be cured but the patients show symptoms of Reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis consists of inflammation of over five joints. This may include the sacroiliac joint or the knee. In Reactive arthritis, more joints become inflamed other than the first infected area. The infection can even be migratory, that is new joints will be infected after the area which was first infected has been cured. Given below are the symptoms of Reactive Arthritis:
Common Symptoms of Reactive Arthritis
Inflammation of Eyes, Urinary System and Genital System
Inflammation is a symptom of reactive arthritis. Inflammation usually affects the joints, the eyes, the urinary system, the genital system or the gastrointestinal system. Inflammation of the eyes or conjunctivitis is found in the affected person. The eyes become red and water flows down continuously. Swollen eye lids and eye pain can be extremely irritating to the person.
The inflammation in urethra in Reactive arthritis is yet another irritating one for the person affected. There will be pain or burning sensation while urinating, tendency to urinate often, urinating more than usual, blood in the urine and discharge of a fluid from penis or vagina are the main symptoms of the infection of the urinary system. This kind of arthritis can be found soon after a genital or bowel infection.
Inflammation of Joints
Reactive arthritis infects the joints to a very large extent. Inflammation of muscles and joints can cause excessive pain and swelling.
Usually, the joints which are known as weight bearers, like the knees, the hips and the ankles are affected by inflammation. Apart from these, pain in the lower back and pain at the heels can cause the patient undergo difficulty while walking.
Pain with swelling can occur in reactive arthritis. Pain and swelling in the ankles makes movement a fearsome one. Fingers and toes swell resulting in heaviness. Fingers are not flexible to do the daily activities at ease. Swelling at the toes makes movement a nightmare.
Other symptoms of reactive arthritis are abdominal pain, rashes on the skin, white painless rashes inside the mouth, thickening of nails, crumbling of nails, fever which is of mild nature ( a temperature between 370-380C), ulcers in the mouth, pain in the abdomen, feeling tired or having fatigue and bouts of diarrhea.