Reiter's Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and
With over 100 forms of arthritis, it's no wonder that not
too many people have ever heard of Reiter's
Syndrome. Reiter's Syndrome is a form of arthritis that
affects the spine and the sacroiliac joints. This condition
causes swelling, redness, warmth, and pain in the affected
areas of the joints.
One common symptom of this condition is discharge from the
urethra. The urethra is the tube that is responsible for
disposing waste from the bladder. Reiter's Syndrome often
causes patient's to experience urinary frequency, eye
infections, weight loss, and skin infections and rashes.
Reiter's Syndrome most commonly affects young Caucasian
males between the ages of 20 and 40, although it has also been
known to afflict young children and older adults. The
statistics are much lower for females and African
What causes Reiter's Syndrome?
Like other types of arthritis, health professionals and
scientists have not been able to determine the direct cause of
this condition. However, it does appear that there are several
environmental factors that may be responsible for this
Some researchers have been able to establish a link between
Reiter's Syndrome and venereal infections and infections of the
intestinal tract. These types of infections are often the
result of the presence of amoeba, bacteria, salmonella and
other infectious organisms.
Another clue about nature of Reiter's Syndrome is that it
tends to appear in patients who have become infected with the
HIV virus. Usually, the condition appears before the onset of
What are the major symptoms of Reiter's Syndrome?
People afflicted with this condition may experience
inflammation of the urethra several days (usually 7 to 14 days)
after sexual intercourse. They may also experience urethra
They may experience frequent urgency to urinate, a low-grade
fever, red eyes, sudden weight loss, and small sores inside the
mouth, and sometimes on the genitals.
Other symptoms may include skin infections or rashes, aching
of the pelvic area, and painful, stiff, or swelling joints,
especially the back, hips, legs and toes. If this
condition is untreated, the patient will usually not
suffer from immediate loss of mobility or permanent joint
damage. However, if the condition remains untreated, a
permanent form of arthritis may set in.
Treatment for Reiter's Syndrome
Treatment for Reiter's Syndrome is not a set regimen
because there are a number of treatment options that can
provide substantial relief.
There is no one course of treatment. Rather, doctor and
patient must adopt therapies aimed at eliminating the symptoms
of the condition. Many symptoms, including eye and skin
infections, will gradually resolve on their own. Other
symptoms, such as joint stiffness and pain, must be alleviated
through specific drug therapies. NSAID class drugs are
typically used to control the pain, heat and swelling of the
joints. Cortisone injections may sometimes be used to control
swelling and pain.
In severe cases of the condition, surgical intervention may
be necessary. Lifestyle changes coupled with drug therapy can
often result in satisfactory results.
Once again we come to the see your doctor advice. You
will do well to remember that self-diagnosis in most cases is
in error. Your doctor has access to tests that can
confirm or deny most any condition you think you might
Arthritis symptoms can have so much in common with so
many other conditions. Some forms of arthritis can be
treated so easily and yet can be aggravated by improper
treatment. Don't condemn yourself to a life of pain when
a simple visit to the doctor may possibly give you a
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