Reiter's Syndrome (RYE-terz SIN-drome) is arthritis that produces pain, swelling, redness and heat in the joints. Reiter's syndrome is a disorder that causes three seemingly unrelated symptoms: arthritis, redness of the eyes, and urinary tract signs. Reiter's syndrome is a group of symptoms consisting of arthritis (inflammation of the joints), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), conjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the eye), and lesions of the skin and mucous membranes. The symptoms of urethritis usually appear within days or weeks of infection followed by a low-grade fever, conjunctivitis, and arthritis developing over the next several weeks. The arthritis may be mild or severe with involvement being asymmetric and in more than one joint. The risk factors for the syndrome include infection with Chlamydia. Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacteria most often associated with Reiter's syndrome acquired through contact. Reactive arthritis is considered a systemic rheumatic disease. This means it can affect other organs than the joints, causing inflammation in tissues such as the eyes, mouth, skin, kidneys, heart, and lungs.
Women with Reiter's syndrome also develop signs in the urogenital tract, such as inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis) or inflammation of the urethra (urethritis), which can cause a burning sensation during urination. Reiter's often begins following inflammation of the intestinal or urinary tract. It sets off a disease process involving the joints, eyes, urinary tract and skin. Many people have periodic attacks that last from three to six months. Some people have repeated attacks, which are usually followed by symptom-free periods. Symptoms can affect many different parts of the body, but most typically affect the urogenital tract, the joints, and the eyes. Less common symptoms are mouth ulcers, skin rashes, and heart-valve problems. About 20 to 40 percent of men with Reiter's syndrome develop small, shallow, painless sores or lesions, called balanitis circinata. Some men with Reiter's syndrome develop prostatitis, inflammation of the prostate gland. Symptoms of prostatitis can include fever, chills, increased need to urinate, and a burning sensation when urinating.
Causes of Reiters Syndrome
Common causes of Reiters Syndrome
- Genital infection(Chlamydia trachomatis).
- Food poisoning.
- Gastrointestinal infection.
Symptoms of Reiters Syndrome
Common Symptoms of Reiters Syndrome
- Urethral discharge.
- Redness of the eye.
- Burning eye pain.
- Joint pain.
- Achilles tendon pain
- Ulcers in the mouth.
- Skin lesions.
- Weight loss.
Treatment of Reiters Syndrome
Common Treatment of Reiters Syndrome
- Bed rest are sometimes effective in reducing the pain and inflammation of arthritis.
- Exercises will maintain or improve joint function. Strengthening exercises build up the muscles around the joint to better support it.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) -This type of medicine( Hydrocortisone valerate, Indomethacin, Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment ) effectively reduces joint inflammation and is commonly used to treat patients with Reiter's syndrome.
- Corticosteroid injections are most commonly used for severe knee or ankle inflammation.
- Topical corticosteroids -This type of medicine can be put directly on the skin lesions associated with Reiter's syndrome. Topical corticosteroids reduce inflammation and promote healing.
- Antibiotics -Antibiotics may be prescribed to eliminate the bacterial infection that triggered Reiter's syndrome, an antibiotic is taken once or twice a day for 7 to 10 days or longer. Some doctors may recommend that a person with Reiter's syndrome take antibiotics for a long period of time (up to 3 months). Chlamydia triggers Reiter's syndrome, prolonged antibiotic treatment is effective in shortening the length of time that a person has symptoms.
- Immunosuppressive medicines (sulfasalazine or methotrexate)may be effective.