Arthritis: Three unrelated ailments that could trigger ‘extremely painful joints’

Arthritis: Doctor gives advice on best foods to help ease pain

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Considerably shorter in duration than other types of arthritis, Reiter’s syndrome can last for around three months to a year. However, for some people, “random” flare-ups can become commonplace for years to follow. Typically triggered by some sort of infection elsewhere in the body, the arthritic pain tends to be felt in the knees or ankles. One ailment that could trigger an episode of reactive arthritis is a “tummy bug”.

The original infection may have been so mild that you might not have realised you were ill.

In cases of reactive arthritis, joint pain can come on soon after the infection has cleared.

A stomach bug

The NHS listed the symptoms of a stomach bug, which can include:

  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • A high temperature (fever) of over 38C
  • Headache
  • Stomach cramps
  • Achy arms and legs.

A full recovery is usually possible within two to three days, and the illness can usually be treated at home.

If you’re experiencing a stomach bug, the national health body recommend drinking plenty of fluids, washing your hands often (so not to spread the viral infection), and to try peppermint tea to help ease wind and bloating.

Another possible culprit of reactive arthritis is a throat infection.

Throat infection can include: laryngitis, tonsillitis, strep throat, or glandular fever.


“Laryngitis is when your voice box or vocal cords in the throat become irritated or swollen,” explained the NHS.

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The main symptoms of such an infection include:

  • A hoarse (croaky) voice
  • Sometimes losing your voice
  • An irritating cough that does not go away
  • Always needing to clear your throat
  • A sore throat

Recovery includes speaking as little as possible, drinking plenty of fluids, gargling with salt water and keeping the air moist.

You can keep the air moist by putting out by bowls of water dotted around wherever you are most in the house.

It’s also best to stay away from caffeine or alcohol, and to stay away from smoky or dusty environments.


An infection of the tonsils at the back of the throat can cause an array of symptoms, including:

  • A sore throat
  • Problems swallowing
  • A high temperature of 38C or above
  • Coughing
  • A headache
  • Feeling sick
  • Earache
  • Feeling tired.

A tell-tale sign of this type of infection is having red and swollen tonsils.

Sometimes the condition can be so severe that it can lead to painful glands in the neck and white pus-filled spots on the tonsils.

Tonsillitis usually follows a cold or flu infection, and treatment might need the additional help of throat sprays.

Glandular fever

The Epstein-Barr virus causes glandular fever and while there’s no cure, it can get better by itself.

To speed up the recovery time, it’s important to rest, sleep, and to drink plenty of fluids.

It can take up to three weeks to feel better, but extreme tiredness can linger for months for some people.

Aside from a tummy bug or throat infection, reactive arthritis might also flare up after a bout of diarrhoea.

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