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Food Poisoning and Reactive Arthritis

Posted on in Foodborne illness

IL injury lawyerWhen an individual contracts a foodborne illness after eating contaminated food, he or she may suffer a wide variety of symptoms and health concerns. In addition to the direct effects of food poisoning, the person in question might also experience other issues that could negatively affect his or her overall well-being. One of these secondary issues or complications is called reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis can cause severe pain that affects the individual’s ability to work and perform their daily tasks.

A Look at Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is not fully understood by the medical community, and it is a relatively uncommon condition. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, as it seems to be a condition in which the body’s immune system goes after healthy tissue. In some cases, reactive arthritis occurs as part of the physiological response to a gastrointestinal infection, including an infection caused by food poisoning.

It is difficult to describe an “average” case of reactive arthritis, but symptoms generally start to appear between one and six weeks after the original infection. Depending on the person, symptoms can last from a couple of weeks to several months, and in some cases, symptoms can become chronic and life-altering.

  • Some of the most common symptoms associated with reactive arthritis include:
  • Swelling and joint pain, especially in the feet, ankles, and knees
  • Lower back pain
  • Severe swelling of fingers and/or toes
  • Tendon and ligament inflammation
  • Urinary tract and genital inflammation, with possible pain or discharge while urinating
  • Conjunctivitis and other inflammation of the eyes, causing light sensitivity, blurred vision, and pain
  • Skin lesions on the hands and feet
  • Severe fatigue, malaise, and unintentional weight loss

Treating Reactive Arthritis

Depending on the circumstances, medical professionals might offer several forms of treatment to address the symptoms of reactive arthritis. Inflammation and swelling may be treated with cortisone injections or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. Antibiotics may be used to treat any infections that develop, and immunosuppressants may be suggested to help control the body’s immune response. Physical therapy may also be appropriate to increase muscle strength and restore function to affected joints.

Speak With a Chicago Foodborne Illness Attorney

As a secondary effect of food poisoning, reactive arthritis can cause a whole host of problems for a person’s overall health and well-being. In some cases, extreme treatment is necessary to address all of an individual’s symptoms. If you or a loved one is suffering from reactive arthritis after a bout of foodborne illness, an experienced Chicago food poisoning lawyer can help you seek financial relief. Call 312-981-0409 for a free consultation at Newland & Newland, LLP today. We will work hard to get you the justice you deserve.


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