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Arthritis with a Cure

Home Remedies for Wrist Pain

Each year, millions of Americans are diagnosed with a life debilitating condition known as reactive arthritis. With similar characteristics of traditional arthritic conditions, reactive arthritis poses a greater risk, especially to young adults, who are suddenly stricken with the arthritic condition without warning. Understanding the cause, origin and symptoms associated with reactive arthritis, in addition to the diagnosis and treatment options may provide for a quicker recovery when afflicted with the underlying condition which results in reactive arthritis complications.

As an arthritic condition believed to be associated with a bacterial infection, reactive arthritis can lead to impaired activities of daily living in the patient who suffers from this debilitation pain when treatment is delayed. As a natural immune response to a bacterial infection, reactive arthritis is treatable once the bacterial infection is placed under control with the use of antibiotics. Additionally, when suffering from bacterial based reactive arthritis, a physician may be able to provide treatment options to alleviate the symptoms of reactive arthritis while the bacterial infection is controlled. So, how does one know if the painful symptoms are associated with reactive arthritis?

Symptoms of reactive arthritis, as the body responds to a bacterial infection, include a sense of flu like symptoms involving pain in and around the joints, most notably the knees, wrists and ankles, coupled with inflammation in the urinary tract system and even the gastrointestinal system. Without treatment, complications associated with the bacterial infection, and development of reactive arthritis, may include complications of the heart and lungs. For this reason, individuals experiencing pain during urination with associated stomach or abdominal pain, should seek medical attention immediately to determine what, if any, bacterial infections may be involved.

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Diagnosing reactive arthritis is made, generally, through the diagnosis associated with the bacterial infection coupled with a visual examination of symptoms commonly associated with reactive arthritis. This is to say, there is not one single laboratory test which can be used to diagnose reactive arthritis. However, in patients with arthritic symptoms, a healthcare professional may choose to rule out other arthritic diagnoses through a variety of blood panel tests. Once rule out as other arthritic based symptoms, and confirmed as associated to a bacterial infection, treatment is rather simple if the bacterial infection is caught early.

Treating reactive arthritis involves, first, attacking the complicating bacterial infection. Use of antibiotics, both orally and by injection, is quite common. Beyond the use of antibiotics, the patient experiencing reactive arthritis symptoms may also be provided treatment specific to the area of the body most affected by the reactive arthritic condition. For example, if the patient’s most notable complaint, associated with reactive arthritis, involves the pain in and around the joints, the healthcare professional may recommend the use of over-the-counter NSAIDs or may prescribe medications such as Indocin which alleviate the inflammation while the bacterial infection is resolved. However, for some patients, the use of prescription medications, to treat reactive arthritis, may lead to a further exacerbation of other reactive arthritis complications such as stomach pain and nausea. For this reason, many patients, experiencing reactive arthritis pain, will opt to use over-the-counter medications during the period in which antibiotics are being utilized.

Of important note, and commonly misunderstood, is the degree to which reactive arthritis is contagious. While the arthritic symptoms, themselves, are not contagious, the bacterial infection associated with reactive arthritis may be. For this reason, when suffering from symptoms associated with reactive arthritis, seeking medical attention to treat the underlying bacterial infection, while taking measures to prevent spread of the infection, is crucial in preventing other individuals from developing reactive arthritis as well. Washing hands frequently, avoiding bodily contact with other individuals and washing dishes and clothes regularly may all provide for improved health and prevention in spread of disease.