A case of food poisoning can affect your health long past your initial symptoms. One such lingering malady is reactive arthritis, a form of joint pain that can occur after your body has recovered from a bacterial infection. Reactive arthritis is uncommon – not everyone who contracts the same strain of bacterial infection will develop it – but can be very painful and last for several months, if not longer. If you can trace your reactive arthritis back to your food poisoning case, you may be able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your illness.
How Do People Get Reactive Arthritis?
Reactive arthritis is a form of rheumatoid arthritis that gets its name from researchers believing that it is an autoimmune disorder that reacts to a bacterial infection. For some people, their immune system continues to respond to the initial bacterial infection, causing inflammation in their joints. Reactive arthritis can occur after contracting a food-borne illness or a sexually transmitted infection. Food poisoning cases associated with reactive arthritis include:
Studies show that reactive arthritis most commonly occurs in people age 20 to 40 and that some people are genetically more prone to developing the condition.
What Are the Symptoms?
The main symptom of reactive arthritis is joint pain, most commonly in the lower body. The pain can be asymmetrical, meaning that you may feel more pain in one knee than there other. There are several other symptoms that can develop, depending on the severity of your reaction, including:
- Eye inflammation and pain
- Painful urination
- Pain in your lower back, Achilles tendon, or heel
- Skin lesions
- Swelling in your joints, fingers, or toes
- Ulcers in your mouth
A doctor can diagnose reactive arthritis through a blood test, which checks to see whether there is an increase in white blood cells and signs of a previous bacterial infection. Doctors treat the symptoms, but there is no cure for the underlying condition. A majority of patients recover on their own and do not have chronic pain.
Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Attorney
If you are suffering from joint pain in the days or weeks following your recovery from food poisoning, it is possible that your condition is related to that initial food poisoning case. An Illinois food poisoning lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, can connect your reactive arthritis diagnosis with your previous food poisoning case in order to recover compensation for your pain and suffering. To schedule a consultation, call 312 981-0409.