REACTIVE ARTHRITIS

DEFINITION

Reactive arthritis, also known as infection-associated arthritis, is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints and surrounding tissues. It is triggered as an immune response to a previous infection in another part of the body, particularly in the genitourinary and gastrointestinal tracts.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of reactive arthritis include pain, swelling, redness, and inflammation in the joints, particularly in the knees, fingers, and toes. Fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss may also occur. Symptoms usually appear a few weeks after the previous infection and are usually symmetrical on both sides of the body.

CAUSE

The most common cause of reactive arthritis is a bacterial infection, particularly Chlamydia trachomatis and Salmonella. However, it can also be caused by viral and fungal infections.

TREATMENT

Treatment for reactive arthritis focuses on treating the underlying infection and relieving arthritis symptoms. Antibiotics are the treatment of choice for bacterial infections, while antiviral and antifungal drugs are used for viral and fungal infections, respectively. In addition, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids is recommended to alleviate pain and inflammation, and physical therapy to improve mobility and muscle strength.

In summary, reactive arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints and surrounding tissues, triggered as an immune response to a previous infection in another part of the body. Symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, and inflammation in the joints, and treatment focuses on treating the underlying infection and relieving arthritis symptoms. It is important for people experiencing these symptoms to consult a specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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