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Signs and Symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome

Reiter’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition which causes arthritis-like symptoms in the joints, the skeleton and the spine.  Other symptoms include a rash, genitourinary tract inflammation, and conjunctivitis of the eyes.  The condition is usually short-term, lasting from a few weeks to a few months.  We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome are as follows:

  • Inflammation of the urethra
  • Discharge from the penis in men and the vagina in women
  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Pain in the spine
  • Back pain
  • Red, light-sensitive eyes
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Pain in the heels, tendons in the feet, knees and ankles

It is estimated that about three or four people out of every 100,000 have this condition.  It occurs more frequently in men, and the typical age of onset is between twenty and forty.

Diagnosis of Reiter’s Syndrome

It is difficult to make a diagnosis of Reiter’s Syndrome.  Symptoms are usually observed for a few days or weeks before a diagnosis is given.  For a diagnosis of Reiter’s syndrome, two of these conditions must be observed, and one of them must affect the musculoskeletal system:

  • Joint stiffness, especially in the knees, ankles and feet
  • Toe or heel pain
  • Sore fingers
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Genitourinary tract symptoms
  • Mouth sores
  • Diarrhea
  • Nodules on the skin

Books for People With Signs and Symptoms of Reiter’s Syndrome

Reiter’s Syndrome – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References
ICON Health Publications
Living Well with Autoimmune Disease: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You…That You Need to Know
Mary J. Shomon

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine: Reiter’s syndrome
Rebecca J. Frey PhD
Reiter’s Syndrome: An entry from Gale’s Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.
Rebecca, PhD Frey

Reiter’s Syndrome Resources

General Patient Resource


Information on the cause, diagnosis and treatment of reactive arthritis, which is also known as Reiter’s syndrome.

  • WD

Symptoms of Reiter’s syndrome including 105 medical symptoms and signs … Videos related to Reiter’s syndrome; Online Forums for Reiter’s syndrome.

  • Health Scout

Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention of Reiter’s Syndrome … Definition of Reiter’s Syndrome; Description of Reiter’s Syndrome; Causes and Risk Factors of Reiter’s Syndrome.

  • Experience Project

Do You Have Reiter’s Syndrome? Join friendly people sharing true stories in the I Have Reiter’s Syndrome group. Find support forums, advice and chat with groups who share

Stories and expereinces with Reiter’s Syndrome.

Medical Resources

  • Web MD

Arthritis Health Center article.

  • UW Medicine

Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine