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When Can Food Poisoning Cause Reactive Arthritis?

 Posted on October 07, 2021 in Food Poisoning

Illinois Foodborne Illness LawyerWhen a person contracts food poisoning after eating foods that are contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or other toxins, they may experience multiple types of health issues. In addition to suffering from the effects of a foodborne illness, a person may experience other complications that can affect their health and well-being. Reactive arthritis is one of the most serious of these complications, and it can cause significant pain and discomfort while affecting a person’s ability to work and manage their daily activities.

What Is Reactive Arthritis?

While the causes of reactive arthritis are not fully understood, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that occurs because the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues. While reactive arthritis is relatively rare, it can occur as part of the body’s response to gastrointestinal infections, including foodborne illnesses that occur because of salmonella, campylobacter, shigella, and yersinia. 

Symptoms of reactive arthritis will usually occur within one to six weeks after a person contracts a gastrointestinal infection, and they may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. In serious cases, a person may experience chronic, ongoing symptoms that affect their quality of life and their overall well-being. Symptoms may include:

  • Joint pain and swelling in the knees, ankles, and feet

  • Pain in the lower back, buttocks, or heels

  • Severe swelling in the fingers or toes to the point where they become large and difficult to move

  • Inflammation of soft tissue connected to the bones, including tendons and ligaments

  • Inflammation of the urinary tract and genitals, leading to fluid discharge and pain while urinating

  • Inflammation of the eyes, including conjunctivitis, which can lead to pain, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light

  • Skin conditions, including lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet

  • Severe fatigue and unintended weight loss

Multiple forms of treatment may be used to address these issues. Antibiotics may be administered to fight infection. To reduce inflammation, a person may take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or they may receive cortisone injections. Those who have chronic reactive arthritis may take disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), or immunosuppressants may be used to help control the body’s immune system response. A person may also need ongoing physical therapy to improve the function in the joints that have been affected and increase muscle strength.

Contact Our Illinois Food Poisoning Injury Attorneys

Reactive arthritis can have long-term effects on a person’s health and well-being, and extensive treatment may be needed to address their symptoms. A party that was responsible for food poisoning that led to reactive arthritis may be held liable for a victim’s medical expenses, the income they lost while they were unable to work due to their illness, and the pain and suffering they have experienced. To learn how Newland & Newland, LLP can help you pursue compensation for these types of injuries, contact our Illinois foodborne illness lawyers at 312-981-0409 and schedule a free consultation.


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