Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that develops in response to an infection elsewhere in the body. Most often, this infection has occurred in the digestive tract or urogenital tract. This form of arthritis can cause inflammation of the urinary tract, the joints, and the eyes. For patients who have been diagnosed with it, treatment options include several different kinds of medication, including antibiotics and corticosteroids, among others.
What Is Reactive Arthritis?Reactive arthritis is a form of arthritis, or joint inflammation, that occurs as a reaction to an infection elsewhere in the body. It is also known as Reiter's syndrome, and your doctor may refer to it by yet another term: seronegative spondyloarthropathy.
What Are Spondyloarthropathies?The spondyloarthropathies are a group of arthritic diseases that can cause inflammation throughout the body, especially in the spine. They are characterized by a positive HLA-B27 and negative rheumatoid factor.
Besides reactive arthritis, this group of conditions include:
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Enteropathic arthritis -- this is a kind of arthritis that can occur in people with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis).
Overall, men between the ages of 20 and 40 are most likely to develop this form of arthritis. However, evidence shows that although men are nine times more likely than women to develop it due to a sexually transmitted disease (STD), women and men are equally likely to develop reactive arthritis as a result of foodborne infections. Women with reactive arthritis often have milder symptoms than men.