Reactive Arthritis

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Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6482
   Posted 11/21/2008 2:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi All

This is the first time i have posted here in the Arthritis section i spend most of my time in the Anxiety and depression forums. about two years ago i had a really bad gut infection which made me really sick. about a week after i got better my ankle swelled up and was very painful this then went onto both ankles both knees, lower back, my heals, and my fingers. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a reactive arthritis after a number of blood tests. I went from being fit to not being able to walk and was off work for six months. I have had problems ever since and take 1000mg of Naproxen every day.

I was just wanting to find out if anyone else has had this condition and if they have got better or has it turned into a long term problem?

Ides
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7077
   Posted 11/21/2008 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Reactive arthritis is associated with the family of spondylitis diseases. There is excellent information about reactive arthritis at the Spondylitis Association of America's website. When you get there, go to the about spondylitis section at the top. Then you will seen where to click for information on Reactive Arthritis. The following excerpt from their site should answer some of your questions:

"ReA usually develops 2-4 weeks after the infection. A tendency exists for more severe and long-term disease in patients who do test positive for HLA-B27 as well as those who have a family history of the disease.

Reactive Arthritis typically follows a limited course, where symptoms subsiding in 3-12 months. However, the condition has a tendency to recur. about 15-20% of people with ReA develop a chronic, and sometimes severe, arthritis or spondylitis."


Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.
 


Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6482
   Posted 11/22/2008 4:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi thanks for your post

I did test positive for the HLA-B27 gene and i have a family history with arthritis. I seem to get flare ups every couple off months which has a negative effect on my Depression. I was wondering if other people who have arthritis also suffer with depression?

Thanks again

Ides
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7077
   Posted 11/22/2008 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Many people with chronic illnesses deal with depression. I know that many of the Crohn's members are on antidepressants because of the long term effects dealing with their chronic illness. I have not been on antidepressants myself.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.
 


sadgirl1984
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 12/8/2008 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
unhappy32 said...
Hi All

This is the first time i have posted here in the Arthritis section i spend most of my time in the Anxiety and depression forums. about two years ago i had a really bad gut infection which made me really sick. about a week after i got better my ankle swelled up and was very painful this then went onto both ankles both knees, lower back, my heals, and my fingers. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a reactive arthritis after a number of blood tests. I went from being fit to not being able to walk and was off work for six months. I have had problems ever since and take 1000mg of Naproxen every day.

I was just wanting to find out if anyone else has had this condition and if they have got better or has it turned into a long term problem?
hi..i just wanted to know wat blood tests hav u done foe ur doctor to diagnose u with reactive arthritis..
 
me too am fearing i hav that

Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6482
   Posted 12/9/2008 12:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi

I had a blood test to see if i had the HLA-B27 gene which is common in people with reactive arthritis and i had all my blood levels checked.

If you need more info let me know

ella_z84
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/14/2010 6:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes I think it's normal to feel a bit depressed after being diagnosed with something as debilitating as Reactive Arthritis can be. Especially because you can get it at any age (I was 23). Being unable to exercise and dance sometimes certainly gets me right down. I was diagnosed with RA after a nasty bout of Salmonella food poisioning in Thailand. I came back to Australia and two weeks later my foot swelled up, and it bounced around my joints for six months. At one point I was so debilitated I could hardly even get dressed!

The rheumatologist of course put me on immuno suppressants which caused even more problems leading to a nasty staph infection in my skin and other issues. So now I manage this condition instead of leaving it in the hands of Doctors who don't understand what it is like to be on cortisone or immuno suppressants long term. Feeling mistrust in my doctors in that they were treating symptoms instead of causes.

I went to see a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner who put me on a high potency pro biotic, and amazingly my arthritis cleared up. His theory was that the Salmonella caused imbalance in the bacteria in my stomach and general havoc on my digestive system, so thought if he gets my digestive system working again then it might help the arthritis too. And it did. I still had a slight twinge in my knee but generally the arthritis was totally gone.


I went more than a year and half without a serious flare up. But then recently I was hospitalised with a UTI/kidney infection which of course caused a flare up. And I can relate to that familiar feeling of despair.

I find things that help are super healthy eating (absolutely NO wheat, dairy, caffeine and esepcially alcohol) which is not too hard for me since Im a pretty healthy person anyway. Especially making sure to avoid processed foods and getting in some exercise. In some ways I feel grateful for this problem because it forced me to wake up and become alot healthier than I was, which incidently helps with depression as well.

My rheumatologist couldn't believe the difference the stuf my chinese doctor gave me made. I will be going back to see one soon. I believe I can kick this disease permanently and have never stopped believing that. How you think and feel about your body makes a huge difference, huuuge. It's easy to get on a downer from these forums because there seem to be alot of painful and sad stories out there.

Also I take turmeric, one tablespoon in water twice a day, (you can get tablets also). Turmeric (the spice) is one of Natures most powerful healers, it has natural anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties! Reishi Mushrooms (or extract) is also next on my list to try.

Also for the depression/anxiety stuf I often do something called 'th work' by Byron Katie, which seems to kick over any tablets, psychologists any day!

Keep your chin up mate, your not alone.

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 11/14/2010 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hibee, you're definately not aone. Although I don't have ReA but sero negative RA. I can't relate to the depression. I saw a couple of different psychologists, the first helped me with relaxation exercises and meditation techniqus and the second helped me over the grief I was suffering from the loss of my old very active body. Now I use everything when I can't sleep from pain, I do my relaxation techniques, When I feel stressed I use some mind body tecghniques.
I find the more you do to adjust to the new you, the easier it is to cope, it is extremily hard to adjust to having a chronic condition. Lets hope in your case it doesn't last long.
I've also tried accupuncture it relieved some symptoms, but didn't really help me as much as I wanted it too.
Hydrotherapy has helped me the most, both mentally and physically. Exercising under water is so supportive and yet you can build your core muscles without your body flaring. I feel stronger and mentally tougher because of it. I go to a weekly session at a local hospital, its brilliant.
Hang in there, golitho

ReactiveConstellationNE
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 11/24/2010 1:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I think that ReA is often under-diagnosed; many people who end up getting diagnoses like Fibromyalgia or other arthritises and auto-immune diseases -- even Multiple Sclerosis (MS), because a common misperception among doctors is that ReA/Reiter's doesn't cause neuropathy and it's very clear that it most certainly does in many cases -- actually have ReA.

Fundamentally, ReA is an imbalance between the T1 and T2 branches of the immune system. These control external versus internal (auto-) immunity. It's another misperception that classical inflammatory/rheumatic blood markers (Sedimentation Rate, C-Reactive Protein, Rheumatoid Factor, TNF, etc) must be present for ReA to be the diagnosis and that the vast majority of sufferers are genetically HLA-B27 positive (the official numbers are something like 60-75% but I think the un/misdiagnosed cases throw this figure off and it's more like 50% or less).

Don't assume that because your blood tests are "normal" that you can't be having a ReA flare -- even a quite severe one. Keep an eye on your white blood cell count -- that can be a better indicator, even if it isn't extremely high....even slight elevation can be indicative of reactive immune activity.

ReA doesn't necessarily just make your immune system over-active, which is why immune suppressants are often a poor treatment for ReA that can backfire (after all, an infection caused your condition.....exposure to pathogens, even if you fight them off, can trigger flares....and immune suppressants come with a risk of.....infections!).....it makes it unbalanced, and it can actually make it weaker in terms of fighting off infections effectively.I know that after 10 years of ReA, I now tend to come down with almost everything I am exposed to even slightly. I've had to take to wearing a surgical mask and sometimes even latex gloves when entering high-exposure environments; I may look a bit ridiculous and attract unwanted attention, but the alternative is extremely painful to say the least.

There are numerous things you can do to fight the inflammation and shore up your immune system. Here are some things to look into:

*Tumeric -- works better than any other anti-inflammatory substance of any kind that I've tried.
*Bromelain
*Ginger
*Piperine (brand name Bioperine, black pepper extract; it boosts absorption of almost anything in the digestive tract)
*GABA
*L-Tyrosine/N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, preferably the latter
*Lots of Vitamin D of course....preferably upwards of 5,000 IU per day
*Low Dose Naltrexone (incompatible with opiate pain medication, but has huge potential for reversing damage to the immune system and can be an effective pain reliever on its own by increasing your body's own endorphin production -- this is something I think that every one with a disease with LDN can treat should look into!)
*Ultra Low Dose Naltrexone (taken with opiate pain meds to prevent or even reverse tolerance/dependence and improve the effectiveness of the pain medication, make it last longer, etc)
*Cesamet (non-dependency-causing pain medication that I personally have found very effective, also works well against nausea)
*High potency probiotic with as many different strains of digestive flora as possible. I personally suggest MegaFlora brand.
*Magnesium. This sounds obvious, but really most people don't get nearly enough. You can take Epsom Salt baths, apply magnesium oil topically in large amounts directly to your most sore muscles, and take a high potency magnesium supplement yet your body may still be begging for more. Among its other benefits, magnesium can prevent the formation of tolerance to/dependence on opiate pain medications.

I'd watch it with that naproxen. Turmeric will work better and is actually good for your digestion, has essentially no side effects. The more you take of it, the better. It's good for your heart, fights cancer, and has many other beneficial properties. Add Piperine (Bioperine) to boost absorption of the turmeric and also take Bromelain which has its own amazing anti-inflammatory/healing properties. Together with ginger and some of the other things I've suggested, you will find that you can have much more of an effect than any pharmaceutical I've tried -- which is practically all of them, at least the relevant ones to ReA.

Swimming in water for exercise is definitely great....and the endorphins from exercise can help balance your immune system. However, many pools are high-exposure environments for pathogens! So it's a Catch-22. I struggle with that debate every day because we have a wonder YMCA branch nearby that we love to visit, and I am often very conflicted about whether it's wiser to push myself to go or to avoid going for those reasons.
Conditions: Reactive Arthritis (AKA Reiter Syndrome), Crohn's Disease, Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Syndrome, Sacroiliitis, Costochondritis, As Yet Unknown MS-Like Relapsing/Remitting Neuropathy, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Medications: Currently not that many are taken daily, but there are many at my disposal for part-time use. Low dose pain medication, after years at high doses. Working on innovative ways of taking lesser-known pharmaceuticals and non-prescription supplements to maximum benefit.
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