A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Reactive Arthritis
I had a question the other day about reactive arthritis.
Reactive arthritis, formerly called Reiter’s syndrome, is a form of arthritis affecting your joints, eyes, urethra (the tube carrying urine from your bladder to the outside of your body), and skin.
The disease is recognized by various symptoms in different organs of your body that may or may not appear at the same time.
It may come on quickly and severely or more slowly, with sudden remissions or recurrences.
Reactive arthritis primarily affects sexually active males between the ages of 20 and 40.
Those with HIV are at a particularly high risk.
The cause of reactive arthritis is still unknown, but research suggests it’s caused, in part, by a genetic predisposition.
Approximately 75% of those with the condition have a positive blood test for the genetic marker HLA-B27.
In sexually active males, most cases of reactive arthritis follow infection with a sexually transmitted disease.
In other cases, people develop the symptoms following an intestinal infection with a bacteria.
Besides using condoms during sexual activity, there’s no known preventative measure for reactive arthritis.
The first symptoms of reactive arthritis are painful urination and a discharge from the penis if there’s inflammation of the urethra.
Diarrhea may occur if the intestines are affected.
This is then followed by arthritis 4-28 days later usually affecting your fingers, toes, ankles, hips, and knee joints.
Typically, only one or a few of these joints may be affected at one time.
Other symptoms include:
>Inflammation of the eye
>Patches of scaly skin on your palms, soles, trunk, or scalp
>Back pain from sacroiliac joint involvement
>Pain from inflammation of your ligaments and tendons at the sites of their insertion into the bone
Diagnosis of reactive arthritis can be complicated by the symptoms often occurring several weeks apart.
Reactive arthritis may be diagnosed when your arthritis occurs together with or shortly following inflammation of your eye and your urinary tract and lasts a month or longer.
The prognosis for reactive arthritis varies.
Most people recover in 3-4 months, but about half have recurrences for several years.
To deal with reactive arthritis it’s helpful to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water every day to hydrate your cells.
*Discover and avoid triggers.
*Breathe deeply to oxygenate cells.
*Alfalfa is extremely helpful for inflammation; take throughout the day; try as a tea.
*EFAs (Omega 3, flaxseed oil, fish oil) help lubricate joints and decrease inflammation.
*Avoid nightshade vegetables, like peppers, tomato, eggplant, and potato.
*Try Epsom salt baths.
*Try hot castor oil packs (apply white cotton dipped in warmed castor oil, cover with plastic wrap, cover with heating pad if desired for up to 2 hours).
*Maintain a healthy weight.
*Test for heavy metal toxicity.
*Try Kombucha Tea.
*Ensure proper footwear.
*Fresh, raw pineapple and papaya contain bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme.
*Consider liver support and/or a liver cleanse.
*Avoid MSG and artificial sweeteners because they are neurotoxins.
*EZ-Gest between meals may be helpful to ease inflammation.
*Have chiropractic or osteopathic evaluation/treatment.