Reiter’s syndrome, also known as seronegative spondyloarthropathy or reactive arthritis, is a combination of symptoms involving the joints, eyes and the urinary tract. This condition is believed to be caused by a bacterial infection and is commonly associated with a genetic factor known as HLA-B27. This condition most often affects young men between the age of 20 and 40. Common symptoms include frequency of urination; burning urine; fever; chills; swelling and pain in joints and tendon insertions; conjunctivitis and uveitis; and rarely, ulcers on the penis, feet and hands, mouth ulcers, and heart disease.
The Ayurvedic treatment of Reiter’s syndrome is aimed at treating the basic infection, controlling the symptoms, and improving the immune status of the body. Medicines like Sukshma-Triphala, Triphala-Guggulu and Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu can be used to treat the basic infection. Symptoms related to the genito-urinary tract can be treated using medicines like Chandraprabha-Vati, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Gomutra-Haritaki, Ashokarishta and Chandrakala-Ras. Herbal medicines which can be used for genito-urinary problems include Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Shilajit (Purified bitumen), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Varun (Crataeva nurvala), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Ashoka (Saraca indica), Udumbar (Ficus glomerata) and Shalmali (Bombax malabaricum).
Joint pain and swelling can be treated using medicines like Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Maha-Rasnadi-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Dashmoolarishta, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Tagar (Valeriana wallichii) and Khurasani ova (Hyoscyamus niger). Conjunctivitis and uveitis can be treated using Tapyadi-Loh, Saptamrut-Loh, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Triphala-Ghrut and eye drops containing Haridra, Daruharidra, Chandan (Santalum album), Karpur (Purified camphor), rose water and honey. Nodules on the hands, feet and penis can be treated using medicines like Triphala-Guggulu, Arogya-Vardhini and Gandhak-Rasayan. Mouth ulcers can be treated using Kamdudha-Ras, Shankh-Bhasma and Jeerak (Cuminum cyminum).
Most people affected with Reiter’s syndrome recover within a few months, though symptoms of arthritis may last longer. Ayurvedic medicines help to improve the therapeutic response, speed up the recovery process and prevent recurrence of symptoms.