Reactive arthritis is a disease classified as autoimmune, which usually manifests itself through pain or inflammation of the joints. These symptoms are the main ones with which the body responds as a reaction to an infection, which usually begins in the intestine or in the urinary or genital tract. The most common are Chlamydia. Although it is also possible to have the disease by herpes zoster or salmonella.
It is usual that people with this pathology tend to have several outbreaks throughout their lives with greater or lesser intensity, having to follow the treatments over and over again. But is reactive arthritis cured?
Does reactive arthritis have a cure?
Reactive arthritis is a disease that, in reality, has no cure . The only thing that happens is that the different treatments allow treating it and alleviating its symptoms quite effectively. In this way, you can have a first outbreak and feel totally well in the maximum period of six months. However, this recovery does not mean that you have healed. Do not forget that it is an autoimmune disease.
The possibility of new buds appearing is high, although in each person they are shown with a different periodicity. In some cases the different episodes have occurred with a difference not only of months, but of years. However, in other people, the symptoms do not end up ever disappearing, even if they are better, which leads to mild arthritis. But other situations have also been detected in which the symptomatology has become chronic. At this point, arthritis is serious and can cause joint damage. Also, when you are already in this stage, it is more difficult to deal with.
Treatment of reactive arthritis
If you have reactive arthritis, it is most likely that the doctor has prescribed a treatment that will focus on alleviating the symptoms. Probably, you will be taking antibiotics to deal with the initial infection that has caused this disease.
The treatment is usually completed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation and also reduce pain in the joints. In some cases, patients require psychological support to cope with the disease by the shock that usually causes their diagnosis.
Natural treatment for reactive arthritis
Normally, doctors also recommend following a healthy life based on exercise and following a good diet. Actually, there are no scientific studies that corroborate 100% the benefits of these guidelines, but patients indicate that they feel better.
Physical activity focuses on performing a series of exercises to keep the joints moving and muscle strength, which indicates a physiotherapist. As for food, it is recommended to take fish oils because they are considered to have a positive effect on the joints, reducing pain and inflammation.
Symptoms of reactive arthritis
In general, if reactive arthritis has been detected in time and treatment has been followed, the person will normally be ill for a couple of weeks, although most patients have to continue with their medicines for three months. In these cases, it is usual that only small discomforts remain that do not hinder the day to day.
Anyway, we must take into account that about 30% of cases develop chronic symptoms . This requires other types of treatments, which are usually applied in injectables. They are already more serious cases.
Phases and outbreaks of reactive arthritis
As we have mentioned previously, reactive arthritis is a recurrent disease. That is, its symptoms can appear several times throughout the life of the person. On the possible causes that trigger the new outbreaks, there is much ignorance.
Sometimes, they can be produced as a new reaction to another infection, although in many cases there is no direct relationship with any cause. Anyway, all people who have been diagnosed with reactive arthritis have to be careful with food to avoid poisonings in this way, as well as with sex so that new infections do not occur and cause relapses.
With these explanations, we hope in one way to have answered your question about whether reactive arthritis is cured. We recommend that you always consult a doctor and, if you have any symptoms or doubts, go quickly to a health center to carry out the necessary study and to know if you have this disease or not.
This article is merely informative, in a HOW we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to go to a doctor in case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
Reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome
The reactive arthritis, formerly known as the Reiter ‘s syndrome is a form of arthritis that affects the joints, eyes, urethra and skin.
The disease is recognized by various symptoms in different organs of the body that may or may not appear at the same time. It can manifest quickly and severely or more slowly, with sudden remissions or recurrences.
Reactive arthritis mainly affects sexually active males between the ages of 20 to 40 years. People with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) are at particularly high risk.
What causes reactive arthritis?
The cause of reactive arthritis is still unknown, but research suggests that the disease is caused, in part, by a genetic predisposition: Approximately 75% of those with the condition have a positive blood test for the genetic marker HLA- B27
- In sexually active males, most cases of reactive arthritis follow infection with Chlamydia trachomatis or Ureaplasma urealyticum, sexually transmitted diseases transmitted by both sexes.
- In other cases, people develop symptoms after an intestinal infection with bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella, Yersinia or Campylobacter.
- In addition to using condoms during sexual activity, a preventive measure for reactive arthritis is not known.
- The first symptoms of reactive arthritis are pain when urinating and a discharge from the penis if there is inflammation of the urethra. Diarrhea can occur if the intestines are affected.
- This is followed by arthritis from 4 to 28 days later that usually affects the fingers and toes, ankles, hips and knee joints. Usually, only one or some of these joints can be affected at the same time. Other symptoms include
The diagnosis of reactive arthritis can be complicated by the fact that the symptoms often occur several weeks apart. A doctor can diagnose reactive arthritis when the patient’s arthritis occurs along with or shortly after the inflammation of the eyes and the urinary tract and lasts a month or more.
There is no specific test for the diagnosis of reactive arthritis, but the doctor can check the urethral discharge for sexually transmitted diseases. Stool samples can also be examined for signs of infection.
Blood tests of patients with reactive arthritis are usually positive for the genetic marker HLA-B27, with a high white blood cell count and an increase in the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation (ESR) – both signs of inflammation. The patient may also be slightly anemic (with very few red blood cells in the blood).
Joint X-rays do not usually reveal any abnormality unless the patient has had recurrent episodes of the disease. On an x-ray examination, joints that have been repeatedly inflamed may show areas of bone loss, signs of osteoporosis , or bone spurs.
The joints in the back and pelvis can show abnormalities and damage of reactive arthritis.
How is reactive arthritis treated?
Bacterial infections, such as chlamydia, will have to be treated with antibiotics. Joint inflammation of reactive arthritis is usually treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. Skin rashes and inflammation of the eye can be treated with steroids.
People with chronic diseases can choose other medications, including methotrexate. Patients with chronic arthritis can also be referred to a physical therapist and are advised to exercise regularly.
What is the perspective for people with reactive arthritis?
The prognosis of reactive arthritis varies. Most people recover in three to four months, but about half have relapses for several years.
Some people develop complications that can include inflammation of the heart muscle, inflammation with stiffness of the spine, glaucoma, progressive blindness, anomalies in the feet, or the accumulation of fluid in the lungs.