Tags: Arthritis | arthritis | STDs | link | gonococcal arthritis

Arthritis and STDs: A Hidden Link?

By    |   Thursday, 05 May 2016 07:50 PM

While most people don't associate arthritis with sexually-transmitted disease (STDs), there is sometimes a link between the two. Understanding the symptoms and seeking treatment quickly are the keys to quick recovery.

HealthDay tells the story of a young man who noticed a painless lump on his ankle followed by pain in his feet, pins and needles sensations, and constant joint pain. Despite seeing a variety of medical specialists over the course of two years, he could not get a clear diagnosis or resolution of the near-debilitating physical symptoms. It wasn't until he sought the advice of a rheumatologist that he discovered he had a rare form of arthritis caused by an STD.

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The same bacteria that causes gonorrhea, a very common STD among young adults, can also cause joint pain, especially in the wrists, feet, fingers, and toes, says UpToDate. This bacterial infection is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse. The condition, called gonococcal arthritis, is rare, but can occur when people do not seek treatment for STDs or are unaware they have been infected. Other symptoms of gonococcal arthritis include fever, skin rash, and chills.

Diagnosis of gonococcal arthritis, also called venereal arthritis, can be tricky. “Most doctors don't think of arthritis in young people,” Dr. Ralph Schumacher, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, says in a Yampa Valley Medical Center article.

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Because STDs like gonorrhea can produce no symptoms, many young people do not know they have been infected. In addition, some young people are simply too embarrassed to discuss the possibility of STDs with medical professionals, explains Healthline.

Diagnosis of gonorrhea is confirmed using a combination of tests that could include a throat culture, a urine or blood test, or by testing a tissue sample taken from a woman's cervix, says Healthline. In order to get relief from arthritis symptoms, the underlying STD must first be treated. Usually, treatment for gonorrhea involves a course of antibiotics. Some strains of the bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, so you may receive a few different antibiotics to treat the infection.

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While most people don't associate arthritis with sexually-transmitted disease (STDs), there is sometimes a link between the two. Understanding the symptoms and seeking treatment quickly are the keys to quick recovery.
arthritis, STDs, link, gonococcal arthritis
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2016-50-05
Thursday, 05 May 2016 07:50 PM
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