The owner of a private practice in Meriden, Connecticut, Dr. Micha Abeles possesses approximately four decades of experience in the medical field and is licensed in New York, Virginia, and Connecticut. Dr. Micha Abeles’ specialty is rheumatology, a field that includes various autoimmune conditions that affect the joints, tendons, muscles as well as multiple other organ systems. One of the many illnesses that this specialty treats is reactive arthritis.
Reactive arthritis occurs due to infections caused by certain bacteria and primarily affects a variety of musculoskeletal areas including fingers, toes, ankles, heels, knees, and lower back. Formerly known as Reiter syndrome, it manifests when bacteria enter the bloodstream through the urogenital or gastrointestinal tracts following sexual contact or the consumption of contaminated or spoiled foods, respectively. Specific factors inducing reactive arthritis vary from patient to patient. It is not clear how the bacteria trigger inflammation.
Most patients with reactive arthritis will experience painful swelling of the ankles, knees, or toes; other common symptoms may include skin rashes or sores and eye inflammation. Additionally, a urinary condition known as urethritis may develop, causing the tube that carries urine from the bladder to become inflamed. Symptoms can range in severity and may come and go for several weeks or months, making early detection difficult. Urinary symptoms tend to appear first in men; women may not experience them at all.
Because reactive arthritis has no cure, treatments target symptom and disease management. Due to the disease’s range of symptoms, patients may need to visit multiple medical professionals, including dermatologists, gynecologists, urologists, and ophthalmologists, with a rheumatologist as their primary doctor. Medications focus on treating infection, managing pain, and reducing inflammation.