I have a urinary tract infection (UTI). However, I have something that has decided to tag along with it. Has anyone ever heard of reactive arthritis? It can be caused by several different infections, one being a UTI. One night I went to bed pain free and woke up the next morning and could barely walk. My feet hurt so bad that it felt like I was walking on bruises. And the inside (where the creases are) of my albows hurt when I bend them.
Now after about a month, it has decided to go to my knees, wrist and a few fingers. Right now I can hardly walk. My feet and legs stay swollen most of the time and I run a low grade fever every evening. I am being treated with c-pro for the infection now. They had already treated me for the UTI about 3 weeks ago, but the antibotic they gave me before didn't get rid of it. One Doctor tried to tell me my other condition was a seperate condition, which is just arthritis. He obviously doesn't know about reactive arthritis or he would have put the 2 together. I am being treated by another Doctor now who knows about the condition. I now have to get a ct on my kidneys just to check them and make sure they are okay. If anyone has ever experienced this, please write me. Does it come back once it clears up and how much time passes before it returns? Any info would be much appreciated. I just need to talk to someone that is going through this or knows someone who has. The Docs don't know everything, so I feel better talking to other people. Thank you in advance for your help.
Last edited by tinab631; 11-20-2004 at 04:54 PM.
Reason: Title change
i am going through the exact same thing right now. it's freaking horrible...........i started on some anti-biotics and then i got the reactive arthritis. currently i am taking cipro and god do i hope it works. please write me back. this is soooooooooo painful and nothing has worked so far at all....
I'm so glad to meet someone who is experiencing this too. Although, I'm not glad you have it, so don't take me the wrong way. Two weeks ago I went to Vegas and this whole thing got really bad while I was there. My feet swelled (really big). My legs were swollen and it hurt when I bent my arms. Eventually, my wrist and fingers began to hurt. I took 1000mg of C-pro for 10 days and all the swelling went down and I am now only sore from when I had the swelling. I think I am recovering now. You may not have the re-active arthritis. I had a CT scan done. Haven't received the results yet.
I think the antibotics will work for you. How many mg's? I think they will. Please let me know how you are doing. We should keep in touch since we are going through the same thing.
Also, did you have the normal symptoms of a UTI? I didn't have any symptoms, so who knows how long I have had it. I never knew a UTI could wreck havoc like this. But, I guess if any infection gets out of control it can bring you down. Write me back please. Hang in there. I feel your pain.
Ladies, sorry to butt in on your conversation. With all due respect, are either of your sexually active? And if you are, have you had any unprotected sex in the recent past? Helpmeithurts is VERY right about reactive arthritis, but the thing is, reactive arthritis doesn't just go along with any UTI. It is almost always from either infection with Neisseria gonorrhea (gonorrhea) or Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia). Both of you should be screened for those two bugs.
Reiter's syndrome is a specific syndrome which consists of the triad UAC:
Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the fleshy part of the inside of the lower eyelid and bottom portion of the eye below the iris).
If you have joint pain but only one of urethritis or conjunctivitis, THEN it is called reactive arthritis.
It was interesting you made the comment that "Doctors don't know everything". I totally agree with you on that; HOWEVER, Reiter's syndrome is something that is taught in all medical schools during the rheumatology rotation talking about seronegative spondyloarthropathies. It is a classic case. It's not that your doctor didn't know about it...s/he just forgot.
If you have never had joint pain before, and then you all of a sudden get it after getting what you thought was a urinary tract infection, I would get screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
whats going on with me is lots of pain in lower back, burning urination, pain in urethra, pain in groin....................i'm taking cipro and it's just not doing it i don't think. did you know that people with gonnorhea get arthritis sometimes? make sure you get an analysis to find out if it's gonnorhea. also reiter's syndrome from chlamydia causes aching joints. reactive is just a response to anti-biotics and infection from weakened immune system, it'll go away. get some arthritis meds called Bextra and trust me, you will feel bextra! keep me updated withwhat's going on with you and if you find a cure. this sux! pray for me and i'll pray for you.
sorry butterfly, i didn't see that before i typed the last bit. i've beentested for gonorrhea and chlamydia with a pelvic swab. Nothing came up! My pain is mostly gone, i know mine was reactive because it just came and went. any idea wahts' wrong with me?
No, I never did have pain in my lower back, but it does sound like your kidneys. You need to have a CT scan done on your kidneys. I wish we could e-mail each other, but I guess we can't give out our e-mail address. Don't wait to have this test done. Your kidneys are nothing to mess around with. The test is not bad at all. You have to drink this yucky stuff and they inject you with dye during the test.
I am married and faithful to my husband. Is there anyway I can still have the reactive arthritis without having reiter's syndrome? You sound like you work in the medical field. Also, I don't even want to think this, but if my husband has been unfaithful, can he be a carrier and then pass it on to me? Thanks.
Last edited by tinab631; 12-07-2004 at 04:42 PM.
I don't even want to SUGGEST that your husband has been unfaithful. If it is actually reactive arthritis that you had, it is USUALLY from gonorrhea or chlamydia infection. But the condition you had may not have even been reactive arthritis...see what I'm saying?
I don't have time to read all the responses right now, but did you have a swab done for chlamydia or gonorrhea?
By the way, the best first line exam to see if there's something wrong with the kidneys is an ultrasound....not a CT. A CT of the kidneys is really only needed for conditions like kidney cancer, or weird cysts, or abscesses and stuff like that. For every day things that can go wrong with the kidney (especially in pyelonephritis to rule out an obstruction) an U/S is fine. Half the time you don't even NEED imaging unless the antibiotics don't work and you want to figure out why.
I know what you are saying. It is possible to get reactive arthritis if someone passed it on to me through gonnorea or chlydiama. Got it. I haven't been tested for it since I am a lot better now because I took an antibotic...c-pro, 1000mg's.
Can you get gonnorea from anything else or is it only sexually transmitted?
I know you don't have a lot of time. Just answer me whenever you get a chance. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Cipro eh? Well, I guess if you DID have some type of bacteria, cipro would probably cover it. Who gave you the cipro? THe thing with reactive arthritis, though, is that it in itself is not an infectious process. It starts OUT with an infection, but in your body's attempt to clear the infection, the immune system goes a little wild and starts playing havoc with other parts of your body--including your joints. So in many people the infection may have actually cleared, but the reactive arthritis continues.
In N. America, gonorrhea is usually sexually transmitted. Gonorrhea is the common name for the bug Neisseria gonorrhea. This bug has a cousin called Neisseria meningitidis (aka meningococcus) which is the big infamous for causing meningitis. This second bug, however, doesn't cause reactive arthritis.
The thing with reactive arthritis is that it, by definition, comes as a sequelae of an infection. If you don't have an infection of some sort, then it's not really "reactive", and you could have a primary joint problem.
Just to clear things up: who gave you the original diagnosis of reactive arthritis? Were you sick at the time?
No, I have just been doing a lot of reading on it and I have all the symptoms except the the eye problems. I just don't know what else it could be. I went back to the Doctor yesterday and she said that I still have the Urinary tract infection. She is giving me more antibotics, but this time is sending my urine off so they can find out exactly what kind of infection it is. So, if this antibotic doesn't work then they can give me the one that is recommended for the particular infection that I have. I just wish they would have done this in the beginning. I know it can't be good to have an on going infection. So, I really don't know if I have reactive arthritis. Like you said, the Doctor's forgot about learning about it in school. I mentioned it to the Doctor, but she acts like that is not it. However, she also doesn't know why I have those symptoms either. I just know that I have never had any of the normal symptoms a person is suppose to have with a UTI. The only symptom was a slight fever every evening. That was it. Anyway, I do appreciate your help. You have been so thoughtful to write me with all this information. I am truly grateful. If they find out what it is, I will let you know for sure. Thanks so much. I don't want to keep bothering you. I know it's time consuming.
In terms of a UTI....you have a UTI if you have culturable organisms in your urine. Be careful about doing searches on the internet. I didn't realize that's where you got the suspicion of reactive arthritis from. The internet can be very misleading, not because the information on there is necessarily wrong, but because you can read about a condition where the symptoms match yours exactly, but is totally different than what you have. I'll give you an example. You can have two people who BOTH have nausea and vomiting that have both been going on for one week. One person may end up having a simple gastrointestinal virus (like Norwalk), but the other person could have pancreatic cancer. They both present with similar symptoms. The two are distinguished by being examined by someone who is familiar with medicine. I understand that you are having joint problems and what not, but that doesn't mean you have either Reiter's syndrome OR a reactive arthritis. Those two things are very specific syndromes, and other conditions with similar symptoms aren't necessarily the same thing.
Anyway, one reason that your UTI may not be clearing up is that the bug that you are infected with is not being covered by the drug you're on (for a number of reasons), or you may not actually have a UTI and you actually have something else. Cipro is a very good medication for urinary tract infections because the drug is highly concentrated in the urine and it kills most of the bugs that commonly cause infection in that site.
Just for your own information, you should ask which organism you actually have in your urine if your doctor gets a culture of it.