More Information on Reactive Arthritis

What Causes It?

Scientists and doctors do not know the exact cause or causes of reactive arthritis. They do know that it can occur following an infection in the digestive tract or urogenital tract. Also, it is likely that genetics plays a role. However, researchers still do not understand why one person can develop reactive arthritis while another does not.
 
Certain types of bacteria related to reactive arthritis include:
 
(Click Causes of Reactive Arthritis for more information on these infections and how they are thought to increase the risk for reactive arthritis.)
 

Symptoms of Reactive Arthritis

Inflammation is a characteristic reaction of tissues to injury or disease, and is marked by swelling, redness, heat, and pain. Besides this joint inflammation, reactive arthritis is associated with two other symptoms: redness and inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) and inflammation of the urinary tract (urethritis). These symptoms may occur alone, together, or not at all.
 
The symptoms of reactive arthritis usually last 3 to 12 months, although symptoms can return or develop into a long-term disease in a small percentage of people.
 
(Click Reactive Arthritis Symptoms for more information on possible symptoms in the joints, eyes, and the urogenital tract.)
 

Is It Contagious?

Many people wonder whether reactive arthritis -- since it can be the result of an infection with bacteria -- is contagious. Reactive arthritis is not contagious; that is, a person with the disorder cannot pass the arthritis on to someone else. However, the bacteria that can trigger reactive arthritis can be passed from person to person.
 
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Reactive Arthritis Information

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