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Reactive Arthritis

I am a 45 y.o. male in overall good health, eat well exercise, etc.  I have several chronic symptoms that collectively have lead me to suspect reactive arthritis.  I have had heel pain (left foot) for 5 years, sacroiliac joint pain (rt side) for 10+ years, eye inflammation/dryness (left) for many years and had psoriasis on palm of right hand about 7 years ago (currently fine).  None of these is debilitating but they are painful, annoying and they  limit activities (running, hiking, biking, etc.).

About the same time my SI joint pain started, I had a prostate infection that was treated with antibiotics.  No prostate or urinary tract symptoms since then.

Background:  my father has osteoarthritis and my mother has RA - for which she takes Humira.  I am prone to fungal infections and one year ago had an undiagnosed one-inch long, narrow, purple recess on my face that left a slight scar (tests for cancer and lupus were negative).

My PCP doesn't believe that Reactive Arthritis is likely so many years after the initial infection.  And he said the symptoms generally are more acute than my nagging, chronic symptoms are.

Any ideas?  I haven't been to a rheumatologist yet since I might be way off base and I don't want to waste my money.

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1229497 tn?1267449619
My wife was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  She has slowed down considerably.  She needs help in and out of motorcars, she does not sit from time to time, when we go out, because she is afraid she will not be able to get up without help.

She tries to keep her suffering to herself and I believe she should let friends know her condition and perhaps we can form some kind of support group.  She prefers to tell them she has a "knee problem" and that is true cause R.A. affects the knee but pretty soon it will be clearer to all that its no "ordinary" knee problem.

To compound the matter she is obese.  I have been encouraging her to do water aerobics to ease pressure on the joints and get active so she can loose weight but I have stopped talking about it because she is making no effort to do anything like exercise.

I am frustrated by this, angry even.  When she was diagnosed, we were diagnosed because I now have to cope with the results too.
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1193998 tn?1265117597
With your family history, it's possible you have some sort of autoimmune issue going on. It tends to run in families though not everyone in the family will have the exact same symptoms. That's the thing about AI disorders - symptoms and treatment are unique to each person. It's only when you have a certain set of symptoms occurring together that they can pin a label on it. The rest of us? "Well, it could be this, or it could be that, or it might be this AND that..." Frustrating.

I don't think it would be a waste of time and money to consult with a rheumatologist. Take with you a full, written list of all your symptoms, when you had them, copies of test results, x-rays, etc., and any questions you want to ask.

Your symptoms may be relatively minor and aggravating, but there could be low-grade, underlying damage going on to both your joints and your eyes that won't become apparent until it's too late to do anything about it other than surgery. Especially pay attention to your eyes and get regular checkups. Low-grade inflammation can lead to other problems later like glaucoma, which can cause blindness.

The hallmark of a good rheumie is one who will listen to you, not just talk at you like you don't know anything. You know your own body better than anyone else. My first question to my rheumie was "Why did you become a rheumatologist?" She smiled and answered, "I've always liked solving puzzles." Yep, love at first visit. :)

Good luck!
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