Reiter’s Syndrome

(Reactive Arthritis)

Definition

Reiter’s syndrome is an inflammatory reaction to an infection somewhere in the body. It usually follows an infection of the urinary, genital, or digestive tract. It is treated with rest and medication.

Causes

Reiter's syndrome is triggered by certain infections. It is usually caused by the bacterium that causes chlamydia . Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with an infected partner. The infection can also begin in the digestive system. In these cases, the infection occurs after eating food tainted with bacteria.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of getting Reiter's syndrome include:
  • Family members with Reiter's syndrome
  • Inheriting the genetic trait associated with Reiter’s syndrome (HLA-B27)
  • Having a chlamydia infection or an infection in the digestive system

Symptoms

Symptoms occur in the joints, the eyes, the urinary tract, and genitals. Men and women may experience different symptoms. In rare cases, heart problems may develop later in the disease.

Joints

  • Swelling, pain, and redness, especially in the knees, ankles, and feet
  • Heel pain
  • Back pain and stiffness

Eyes

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Tearing
  • Discharge

Urinary Tract and Reproductive System

In men:
  • Burning sensation when passing urine
  • Penile discharge
Male Urinary System
Male Genito-urinary System
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In women:
  • Burning sensation when passing urine
  • Inflamed vagina and cervix

Other Symptoms

  • Rash, especially on the palms or soles
  • Ulcers in the mouth or on the tongue
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

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