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Reiter's Syndrome Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Reiter's syndrome was described by H. Reiter in 1916. It consists of three manifestations: arthritis, urethritis, and conjunctivitis. Urethritis, inflammation of the tube which drains the bladder, usually appears first. A patient who has all three of these manifestations is said to have the complete syndrome.

Reiter's later was shown to have an infectious cause, with chlamydia being the organism most frequently causing the urethritis. Patients having an initiating infectious episode and the subsequent arthritis are said to have an incomplete syndrome. Reiter's syndrome is now defined as a type of arthritis that follows urethritis, cervicitis, or dysentery.

Other possible effects are inflammatory eye lesions (e.g. conjunctivitis), sores in the mouth, inflammation of the skin covering the end of the penis, and scaling lesions of the palms, soles, penis, area around the nails, and occasionally other areas.

Reiter's syndrome is considered to be an autoimmune disorder initiated by the infecting organism. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Treatment involves the use of antibiotics to treat the underlying infections and anti-inflammatory medications to deal with the symptoms of inflammation.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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