Post Streptococcal Reactive Arthritis - Frequent Attacks
Mar 24, 2010
I'm a 35 year old woman and last year I was diagnosed with Post Streptococcal Reactive Arthritis. I also have ME/CFS which was diagnosed when I was 15 years old.
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In July I had sore throat that lasted for 3 weeks and wasn't getting any better so I visited my GP. She thought it was a virus but did a swab anyway. Over the next few days I noticed weakness, pain and swelling in my hands and knees, worse on the right side of my body. The pain got so severe I could not stand or use my hands. I went back to the GP and was told my swab tested positive for strep. I was given a course of penicillin and told to take ibuprofen and co-codamol for the pain. I was also given omeprazole to protect my stomach as I had gastritis a few years ago.
The pain continued for 2 weeks, I had another course of antibiotics but it wasn't helping so I was admitted to hospital where I was diagnosed with Post Streptococcal Reactive Arthritis. I was given stronger antibiotics and painkillers and a steroid injection (kenalog) and discharged. I gradually improved over the next few weeks but then in October I got a chest infection and another throat infection. 3 weeks later the Reactive Arthritis flared up again.
I was referred to a rheumatologist who examined me and said there was nothing wrong with my joints. He did lots of blood tests but they all came back negative except for a borderline strep count. I was discharged back to my GP as the rheumatologist couldn't help me because my arthritis was caused by infections. He said I needed investigations to find out why I was getting so many strep infections. I went to see my GP but she said there is nothing they can do. She said there is nothing wrong with my immune system because my blood tests are normal.
I had another throat infection in January and another in March, both of which lead to reactive arthritis flare ups. I am very fed up of being ill and in pain all the time. The doctors don't seem to be taking me seriously at all and the only treatment I've been given is codeine and paracetamol for the pain.
I would very much appreciate any help or advice. Surely the medical profession can do more than just give me painkillers?
I am a woman of 56 and have never been overweight and up to these eleven years ago enjoyed good health.
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My first symptoms started eleven years ago whilst on holiday in France. My elbow and knee joints became difficult to move and painful, particularly when carrying shopping. A fortnight later on my return to England the pain had increased, my ankles had started to swell and I felt generally very unwell, not unlike an onset of influenza. My doctor thought it may have been an insect bite and prescribed a course of antibiotics which had no effect. He then tested me for Lyme's Disease and put me on a further two courses of antibiotics, none of which made any difference. The Lyme's Disease test was negative.
By this time, six weeks from the first symptoms I was almost bed-ridden. The joint pains were almost unbearable, I felt itchy all over and isolated little bumps that were extremely painful to touch appeared under my skin, two on my hand and one on my rib bone. After a couple of days they disappeared and I was left with bruises. Some of my knuckle and finger joints were swollen and started to become slightly deformed. I found that I was passing water about every 30 minutes and had pronounced anxieties, insomnia and depression....I had never suffered from depression before. I also started to experience heart flutters and eczema in my ears.
In desperation I began searching (pre-Google days) for clues in some home medical dictionaries. I came across gout and one of the recommendations for managing this affliction was to cut out all rich and fatty food. Although I knew I did not have gout I thought my problem may have been related, particularly with my swollen ankles which by then had turned a rather nasty brown colour. I decided to experiment and immediately cut out cheese, butter, mayonnaise, oils and fatty meats to achieve a very low fat diet.
Within two days I was feeling much better and over the course of the next month I continued with my experiment and found that within about 24 hours of starting on a higher fat diet again my symptoms would begin to return. Over the next four years and after spending a lot of money on private consultations with no diagnosis being given my doctor eventually referred me to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath. The consultant diagnosed Poly-Reactive Arthritis. I told him about my very low fat diet (under 20 grams a day) which I had been trying. He said if that worked for me I should keep doing it. Subsequently I developed lactose intolerance. Symptoms from this appear two hours after eating any dairy but I have not found any known connection between this and Reactive Arthritis. I also developed problems in my lower back and X-Rays confirmed that this was caused by arthritis. I am unable to lift even fairly light weights and cannot operate a vacuum cleaner without getting severe back pains for a couple of days.
The diagnosis of Reactive Arthritis was six years ago and if I keep to my very low fat diet I am able to lead an almost normal life. However, I now find that in the past year I have had an increasing amount of urological problems such as cystitis and what were though to be bladder infections, although all the urine tests proved negative. I have also been investigated for possible kidney stones but again this has been negative although on one occasion there was blood in the sample. I have found out in the past few days through Google that symptoms like this are often associated with Reactive Arthritis and called Interstitial Cystitis.
Recently I found the web site for the Arthritis Research Campaign which has a very good information booklet on Reactive Arthritis and in an answer to my questions advised me that cutting down on fat can make a difference in most types of arthritis including inflammatory arthritis, particularly saturated fats which can increase pain and inflammation in the body.
They directed me to their information booklet Diet and Arthritis on their web site at www.arc.org.uk. In this publication they recommend concentrating on oils such as olive oil, walnut oil and oil from fatty fish. I thought I would again experiment and only eat the fats they recommended even though I felt sure that too many olives and olive oil dressing would cause a reaction. Twenty four hours after crossing my 20 gram threshold my symptoms reappeared then slowly subsided after I returned to my strict diet.
In all of my research I have not come across any suggestion for treatment of Reactive Arthritis by a low fat diet. I only know that it has worked for me so far.
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I've been taking Sulfasalazine for a couple of months now, my hair thinning, I've put on weight (about 8 lbs) I feel really down a lot of the time and my moods can swing, I'm normally such a cheery person
Anyone else had/got reactive arthritis and taken Sulf to treat it? i had most pain/swelling in my knee's.
How my joints are left after having reactive arthritis
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Like others here, I've had periodic reactive arthritis since the age of 10. I'm now 33. If you're not into swimming then cycling is in my opinion the best alternative exercise for joints, probably because you're not jarring the joint, or causing undue stress, the same as with swimming. I cycle to work every day, ten mins each way, and it really helps the early morning pain in my knee. The docs say to me 'if it's not causing more pain or swelling then do it.'
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My left knee has always been the problem joint and the swelling always impresses even the most experienced orthopaedic specialists. In the past I regularly defied doctors advice and played football once the swelling had subsided enough to make movement comfortable, though the knee is always huge again the next day and has taken a week or so to reduce in size.
I'm now in the middle of another bout of Reactive Arthritis (from food poisoning abroad, which is nearly always the trigger for mine). I was on crutches for 2 weeks, though not hospitalised this time and am not going to risk a set back in recovery so am resisting the urge to play football this season. This arthritis started in April and from experience I'm hoping to see the swelling settle down in the Spring. Takes around a year for me each time. For me the key to getting through is to keep as active as I can with a gradual increase in sports until the swelling reduces completely, while not pushing too hard too soon.
I notice lot of people talk about treating arthritis but does anyone here have prostatitis due to reactive arthritis or arthritis caused by prostatitis?
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My sister in law, a very good doctor who has always given me sensible advice when I have asked, suggested I get my CRP checked. CRP is apparently a marker for inflammation in the body, although lupus and rheumatoid arthritis do not always trigger it.
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I know I sound like a broken record, but I really think a lot of post-interferon syndrome can be explained by body-wide inflammation - chronic fatigue arises from an inflamed brain; psoriasis is inflamed skin; arthritis is inflamed joints; fibromyalgia is inflamed muscle tissue; vasculitis is inflamed blood vessels, etc.
Our immune systems were amped up by the drugs, and they never settled down again quite right. The drugs induce autoimmune disorders that can effect every system of our body.
If I eat bagels and cream cheese (I love bagels and cream cheese) for two or three days in a row, and throw in a pizza, all my inflammatory symptoms get worse, including depression and fatigue. My ankles swell. My psoriasis gets worse. My joints start aching worse. My fingers start trembling and twitching spastically. I had nothing like this before treatment.
So anyway, if anyone cares to follow this theory, it means eating a non-inflammatory diet - no pizza, no fast food, skip the sugar, read In Defense of Food. The more you want to live, the better you will eat. If anyone cares to follow this theory and is having their blood drawn anyway, be sure and get CRP checked. My sis-in-law says it's very inexpensive test. I'd love to hear of any correlation or thoughts on this subject.
I've been on fluoxetine for 8 weeks. I had experienced frequent panic attacks and my doctor put me on 20mg a day. Initially I had all the usual side effects (although some of these could be the depression) - I lost my appetite and lost a lot of weight, I developed insomnia and had to take sleeping pills, and I just generally felt worse for the first month. Now I'm able to sleep at night without pills, I've stopped losing weight, I don't have panic attacks anymore and I usually feel ok. The only problem is that I've got an issue with grinding my teeth all day. It's starting to become very uncomfortable and annoying. It feels like my jaw is always clicking and popping, and often I have earache or a feeling of fullness in my ears. Is this a side effect that will go away after a while? It's been 8 weeks and I'm starting to think I might want to come off fluoxetine if this jaw pain doesn't go away.
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I know that I have severe Arthritis in my spine. That was clarified back in 2013 from an MRI. However, I have not been able to get further testing. As time has went on, I have gotten some other symptoms that quite frankly scare me. Approximately six months ago, I noticed electrical vibrations coming off my spine...mainly between my shoulder blades. The feeling is somewhat like electrical impulses shooting out from my spine. It's not that it hurts so awful bad, but is a bizarre sensation that is very uncomfortable. Now, after six months they are coming quite frequently and are so prevalent, that it is maddening to say the least. It is now very much in my neck area. I'm having bad headaches. The whole right side of my body has a numb feeling 24/7...especially my right foot. Another symptom is (embarrassed to say), I can no longer control my bladder. I've lost complete control and have to where something in order to not be humiliated in public. I have horrible bowel issues also. If the bladder thing could not be bad enough! Last week I had several bowel issues that I won't even go into. Seriously?? I told my husband that I'm losing complete control of my body, or at least it appears it's going haywire! I just won my social security disability case after a couple of years of not working...which will allow me to get proper testing. I had to quit work because I was going into such horrible spasms at night, that I was screaming through the night and not getting any sleep. I'm still uncertain as to why it was the nighttime that all my horrible symptoms came on. When I stopped working, after a few months, many of those spasms resided. But if I do anything that puts too much pressure on my back, it returns. What kind of pressure? Let's just say that picking up a gallon of milk will do it...not good! Right now, it's the electrical vibrations that are freaking me out, along with losing control of extremities. This has taken on a whole new level of something I just don't want to deal with. I was just wondering who else out there might be experiencing these kind of symptoms and give me some clues as to what it might be?
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I had my third baby 2/15/11 and my bilateral tubal ligation 2/16/11. No complications after the laparoscopic surgery. Breastfed and formula fed together from the beginning, pumping from about 4 weeks to 6 weeks until I went back to work and supply diminished. Bled after birth until 5 weeks, when I had my post natal appointment. Started first period after that around 3 weeks later (baby was 8 weeks). It was 'normal' for me - lasted about 6 days, had cramps before and the first 2 days. All normal for me. I know my normal cycle because I had not been on BC for about 8-9 months before becoming pregnant and was very regular until the month before I got pregnant. So anyway, had my second period beginning may 6 and lasting til may 11. Again, all very normal for me. My husband and I had regular intercourse probably about every other day during the time I was not bleeding, with only the tubal ligation as birth control. 17 days after I stopped my second period, on may 23, I began spotting. It was very light, and I thought it was sex-related. It varied from brownish to light red to slight pinkish. The next day the same. The third day I needed a tampon, but only a light one. After that for a few days I bled more heavily, but not as heavy as the start of a normal period -- about how I normally would towards the second 1/2 of my regular periods. On most days during this I would go several hours with no bleeding and think it was all over. I went all last night with only a pantyliner which was ahem,not needed by the time I woke up this morning. However, I got to work and around 9am it started, very very light again. This is day 11.
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Any ideas? Please no hijacking here, I am looking for some help.
I've called my GYN and left a msg for the MA or nurse to call me about it but that was yesterday morning and I've not yet heard back. . .
To mention, this long 11 days has had NO cramping whatsoever.
After MRI my diagnosis was "Lots of mileage left, another 10 years, at least!" (I am 75)! Good to hear but still have to be careful going DOWN stairs! Not too bad going up! Some pain now and again. BUT I sometimes get a strange feeling on upper left thigh, (the worst knee), as if it is wet but when I touch the skin it is totally dry! Happens after I have been standing for a couple of hours.Also, sometimes the skin feels sore, but there is no evidence to show. Has anyone had similar feelings?.
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I am a fresh graduate and I was looking for a job then found one, I was hired and before I could start they wanted to get my medical result first. They told me I won't be able to get the job anymore since my result in HBsAg was reactive. In the medical it says "3516.26 S/CO; The Cut-Off value reported for this assay cannot be correlated to an end-point titer; rechecked and verified." Is my Hep B chronic? And can I still get a job even though I am now a carrier of this disease? I am really depressed now it's like I've wasted 4 years of studying
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So to make this as short as possible. About two and a half years ago I had a really bad low blood sugar episode. I'm not a diabetic, I wouldn't say diabetes runs in my family considering only a few have it. I had a really bad diet years ago, few energy drinks a day, cigarettes, and junk food out the ying yang. Now the day it started I hadn't eaten much so it could of happened to anyone. Felt all the symptoms, and thankfully I work at a hospital so when they checked them it was a 47. Ate some food and felt better. That day after all those years of bad food I cold turkey quit all the bad foods and energy drinks. Didn't stop smoking though. I was very active, I mean skateboarding for about 10-12 hours a day. Very thin, about 125 pounds from the age of 15-21. Well since that night it happened I became a very panicked person. I started binge eating because I always felt the symptoms of it, although sometimes I couldn't tell the difference between anxiety and low blood sugar. So I would check my sugars, sometimes they would be fine, other times they would be below 70. When I panic they get worse. Well now I eat the same thing everyday, eggs, spinach, tomatoes, cheese, chicken, protein packs, low calorie gatorades. No sweets what so ever, and I've basically become agoraphobic because of my sugars all the time. I always feel dizzy, weak, shaky, faint. But like I said sometimes I can't tell the difference. These winter months seem to get worse, now lately I can't even tell when they're getting low. Earlier today they were 67 and I couldn't even feel it. I used to though. My anxiety has gotten a lot better but not fixed. I'm afraid it'll drop in my sleep and I won't wake up it's horrifying. No meds ever, no surgeries, nothing prior to this. Always healthy as could be.
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So I've been having a lot of digestion issues, and finally went and got some blood-work done. What came back was that I had high levels of C-Reactive Protein....18 to be exact.
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Now I know this indicates theres some sort of inflammation in my body, but I was also reading that birth control could increase the levels of CRP. I was just curious if it could really effect it THAT much. Normal levels are 0-4 and mine are 18...that just seems pretty high.
Im 20 years old and am currently taking ortho tri cyclen, and occasionally take vyvanse and ambien.
Have suffered from RH for 2 years very badly, it has basically taken over my life.
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Recently I read somewhere that it can be caused by vitamin D deficiency. Well that would make sense timing wise, I live in Scotland (no sun here) and I stopped sun holidays 3 years ago due to drop in income.
I was excited by this discovery but well 8 days in (5000iu) and no improvement. I know it probably takes a lot longer and I'm still going, but I hope it's not just a red herring.
I am facing HBSAG Reactive infected When Blood donated its was detected as HBSAg Reactive, , and even i didn’t face any symptoms till now.
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Last month I have taken check-up with Physician doctor suggest test of Heliogram Complete Test, and its result all are normal and fine ...
I've been diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycemia not diabetes. I've been feeling like been going crazy having weird feelings in my head like i'm about to have a seizure or have convulsions and have bad anxiety and my sugar always dropping low...
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I am carrier of this virus (HbsAg) i just want to ask about the dosage if i am going to take this alinia.. how many tablets per day and how long should i take it... is it everyday? is it for 6 months before i go for another blood screening?
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Two weeks ago i have sex with a crossdresser and after that i am scared about HIV infection. After 15 days of that exposure i opted for HIV Duo ultra test and test report showed this result- P24 Antigen:0.01; Antibody:0.03; i less than 0.25: non reactive for P24 antigen and antibody; i more than or equal to 0.25: reactive for P24 antigen and antibody.
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I got Hep B Vaccinated during birth as my mum has Hep B. It went extremely fine until recently I was required to undergo for Hep B blood test by a GP and my test results showed that HBsAg is reactive, and anti-HB is non reactive (Count < 3.1). Therefore my GP referred me to a hepatologist and he was surprised too as I did not share any needles, etc etc plus I got vaccinated during birth. He said it might be a false positive therefore he sent me for many blood tests including DNA sequencing as well as ultrasound scan and I can only find out the results 2 weeks later. I am extremely worried. Anyone encountered this before?
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I have what seems to be classic Balanitis. It seems to come and go. The glands of my penis look puffy and shiny when I am erect. This condition has been with me for about 5 years now and nobody seems to be able help me. One of the many doctors I have seen gave me a C-Reactive Protein test to test for infection in my body and nothing came up. Is this normal for Balanitis? Unfortunately I have to have an erection to show the puffiness of my penis glans and that is difficult when you're standing in front of a doctor.
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Should balanitis show up in a C-Reactive protein test and how on earth can I get rid of this problem. I've used every anti fungal cream in the world as well as a myriad of other creams and nothing will cure it. It's starting to take a psychological effect on me. Please help.