Maintain A Healthy Weight
The ankle is a weight-bearing joint, and being overweight places even more pressure on it, making symptoms worse, says Dr. Domingues. Excess body weight also increases inflammation, which fuels the painful symptoms of PsA. It can also make medical treatments less effective.
Unfortunately, joint pain and in particular, foot and ankle pain from psoriatic arthritis can make it difficult to exercise, which is an effective way to manage your weight, as well as PsA symptoms. Despite the common belief that exercise will aggravate joint pain and stiffness, the opposite is actually true, reports the Mayo Clinic: Lack of exercise can actually exacerbate symptoms.
Gentle low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, and chair yoga are good options for people with ankle-related arthritis. The calorie burn can quickly add up: A 155-pound person can burn almost 250 calories slowly swimming freestyle for half an hour. Just be sure to start slowly and increase activity gradually.
Psoriasis And Eye Inflammation
Psoriasis is due to an overactive immune system resulting in an accelerated growth rate of skin cells. It is characterized by patches of red, scaly, and itchy skin on the elbows, knees, and scalp, though it can involve any part of the body. It is estimated that more than 3% of Americans are diagnosed with psoriasis. The disease affects both genders equally, and the average age of onset is between 15 and 35 years. There are multiple types of psoriasis depending on the clinical appearance and lesion distribution: plaque , pustular, inverse, guttate, and erythrodermic . Patients with psoriasis complain of red and irritated skin with silvery scales , and some patients can have arthritis frequently involving the hand, foot, knee, and tendon insertion site. Psoriatic arthritis is different from osteoarthritis in that it is worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity tends to involve the whole fingers and toes and not just the knuckles and often asymmetric between the right and left sides of the body. In addition, patients with psoriatic arthritis may have characteristic changes on their finger and toe nails, such as nail separation from nail bed, pitting, and change in color that may be confused with a fungal infection . The treatment of psoriasis typically consists of topical medications, but when the disease is severe, phototherapy and systemic immunomodulatory therapies such as methotrexate, cyclosporine, and various biologics may be needed.
Move More For A Better Mood
Working up a sweat is well known to have positive effects on stress, depression, and anxiety, says Dr. Singh, but it can be difficult to exercise when youre experiencing chronic pain. Still, you dont need to join a kickboxing class or run a marathon to improve your mental health and well-being along with your overall physical condition. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes a day of low- and no-impact workouts like swimming, walking, and bicycling, as well as gentle stretching and flexibility exercises, like yoga.
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When To See An Ophthalmologist
Anyone with PsA should consider undergoing annual eye examinations and regular doctor visits to discuss any new or existing eye-related symptoms.
Some eye conditions do not have any signs in the beginning stages. Due to this, it is vital to get regular eye checkups to detect any problems as soon as possible.
Controlling Inflammation Is Key
The first step, then, in managing the mental health and cognitive symptoms of PsA is to work on disease control. Disease-modifying drugs that tame inflammatory symptoms can also improve depression, anxiety, and other mental health effects, says Dr. Chandran, whether these issues are caused by the inflammation itself, the daily pressures of living with PsA, or both. Early treatment is very important because long-term chronic pain can become ingrained in the neural circuits and then are more difficult to manage, he adds. Beyond medications, there are other things you can do to beat PsAs psychological challenges, too. Keep reading.
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Can Psoriatic Arthritis Affect Children Too
As many as 12,000 children in the UK are affected by arthritis. It is known as juvenile chronic arthritis , of which there are three main types, stills disease, polyarticular juvenile chronic arthritis and polyarticular onset juvenile chronic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a minor subset of JCA and is uncommon.
Doc Says You Might Have Heart Disease
People with psoriatic arthritis are about 40% more likely to have or develop cardiovascular disease compared with people without PsA, according to a large study published in Arthritis Care and Research. One thought is that the systemic inflammation that drives your psoriatic disease can also be the reason for heart disease, similarly to eye problems. Inflammation can cause your blood vessels to become inflamed which can cause the buildup of plaque inside your artery walls. Plaque can slow blood flow and lead to heart disease. On the bright side, treating your psoriatic arthritis with medication can reduce your chances for cardiovascular disease.
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Six Ways Arthritis Can Affect Your Eyes
The same inflammation that affects your joints can also affect your eyes. Heres how to protect your vision.
While most people think of arthritis as inflammation of the joints, research shows that inflammation can cause damage other parts of the body including the eyes.
The eye is like a microcosm of the entire body within a small little ball, says Sunir J. Garg, MD, retina physician and surgeon at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. Any inflammatory condition that affects collagen the main component of connective tissue such as rheumatoid arthritis , can affect the sclera and the cornea , which are basically entirely collagen, says Dr. Garg.
Here are six eye conditions with connections to different forms of arthritis, and what you can do to protect your vision:
What it is: Inflammation of the sclera, or white part of the eye. conditions like RA can cause the eye wall , or the cornea, to become thin, says Dr. Garg. Minor trauma could cause that part of the eyeball to split open, he says.What you may notice: Redness that doesnt go away with the use of over-the-counter eye drops , severe pain , light sensitivity and perhaps reduced vision
Retinal Vascular Occlusion
Reducing The Risk Of Uveitis
Early and aggressive treatment of PsA reduces the risk of long-term complications, such as uveitis. In addition, treatment for PsA can slow or prevent potential joint damage, deformity, and loss of function. Early treatment of uveitis is also critical to eliminate inflammation, alleviate pain, prevent further tissue damage, and potentially restore any loss of vision. While systemic treatments for PsA that reduce inflammation will help in reducing the inflammation of uveitis, specific treatment for the eyes is usually required. Treatment for uveitis includes steroidal anti-inflammatory medication that may be taken as eye drops, pills, injections around or into the eye, intravenous administration or a capsule that is surgically implanted inside the eye.2,3,5
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Making The Most Of Your Eyesight
Did you know that from the age of 40 our eyes change rapidly? And by the age of 65, we will need three times more light to see than we did at 20?
As we grow older, our eyes take longer to adjust to sudden changes in light and dark. They are more sensitive to glare and are less able to judge distance and depth. This, in turn, can affect your ability to see the edges of steps, stairs, footpaths and kerbs.
Your eyes not only allow you to see obstacles and judge steps, they also play an important role in helping you to keep your balance. Gradual changes in eyesight, which we may not actually notice, can increase a persons risk of having a fall.
Bifocal, trifocal or multifocal glasses can also increase a persons chance of falling, as the changes in the lens can make it more difficult to judge distances and see objects on the ground. Other eye conditions, such as macular degenerationor glaucoma, can also impair a persons vision.
So, what can you do to maximise your eyesight and reduce the risk of fall?
Have your eyesight and glasses checked by an optometrist at least once every two years and yearly by a doctor.
If you notice changes in your eyesight, make an appointment with your doctor or optometrist. Early detection of eye problems can stop them from becoming worse.
Keep your glasses clean and always wear the correct glasses reading glasses for reading and distance glasses for driving or walking around.
If You Have These Symptoms Heres Where To Get Professional Help
Just because you have one of these symptoms doesnt necessarily mean you have psoriatic arthritis. Tons of other things can cause fatigue, for example, like stress, anxiety disorders, and sleep apnea, which makes it difficult to use a list of symptoms alone to figure out if you have psoriatic arthritis. The only way to know for sure is to talk to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis as soon as possible if you need one. Remember: Psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage without treatment, not to mention make a big impact on your daily life.
If someone has persistent joint pain or stiffness, especially if accompanied by joint swelling or tenderness, and even more so if its affecting more than one joint simultaneously, this should be brought to the attention of a physician. Most internists or family practitioners can do the preliminary evaluation to determine what condition may be responsible, says Dr. Rosenstein.
Your doctor may need to refer you to a rheumatologist, a dermatologist, or potentially both for diagnosis and treatment. If you realize in your search for care that you have access to a combined rheumatology-dermatology clinic, that can be a really excellent way to land on a treatment plan that collaborates between the two types of care, says Mikulik. The National Psoriasis Foundation can help you find specialist providers and prepare for your first appointment.
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Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms You Should Know
Psoriatic arthritis is basically a double whammy of autoimmune disorders. Not only do psoriatic arthritis symptoms mimic those of psoriasis, like patches of red, scaly skin, but they can also cause the painful swollen joints that are common with rheumatoid arthritis. Whats more, the symptoms can change from day to day and person to person, making psoriatic arthritis a particularly tricky disease to diagnose and manage.
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis alone will probably be enough of a motivator for you to seek a proper diagnosis and care. But in case you needed another push, untreated psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage, the Mayo Clinic notes. If some of the below symptoms sound familiar to you, its essential that you try to work with a doctor to manage this disease. Keep reading to learn about the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and how to find a doctor who can help you get some relief.
Can Psoriasis Affect Your Eyes
Have you ever faced any effects on your eyes, if you have psoriasis? Have you ever felt this itchiness in your eyes and have psoriasis? Can psoriasis affect your eyes? Well, this article will answer all these questions.
Due to some issues with your immune system patches develop and cause inflammation. Usually, skin cells develop every 10 to 30 days. However, in this condition, they build up every 3 to 4 days. This results in scaly patches to develop. Sometimes this results in patches around the eye.
Psoriasis around the eyes can be treated. However, they require very delicate treatment, eyes being a sensitive area. The treatment must be monitored by a doctor regularly.
Some people develop psoriasis arthritis. This happens when the immune system starts attacking healthy cells around joints.
Psoriasis arthritis causes uveitis psoriasis sometimes. This means your uvea, which provides blood to the retina, inflames.
Lets discuss the symptoms of uveitis psoriasis or ocular psoriasis.
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The Eyesight Threat Linked To Psoriatic Arthritis
Never heard of uveitis? Its time to learn about the eye condition that, without treatment, can cause permanent damage.
If you have psoriatic arthritis, youre probably familiar with the symptoms that affect your joints. But you should also be on the lookout for eye pain or blurry vision symptoms of a condition known as uveitis.
Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea, or the middle layer of the eye thats located under the white of the eye. This layer is made up of the iris, the ciliary body , and the choroid .
The reasons for this increased risk are uncertain, according to Dr. Davis. But its likely the inflammation that causes joints to flare can also affect some of the tissues in the eye, he says.
People with the gene for the human leukocyte antigen HLA-B27 may have a higher risk of certain autoimmune conditions, including psoriatic arthritis and uveitis, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The presence of HLA-B27 gene causes a gene product that promotes inflammation, says Mandi D. Conway, MD, professor and interim chair of ophthalmology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.
The Importance Of Uveitis Treatment
Waiting too long to have your eyes checked after symptoms start can delay treatment and allow damage to occur, so definitely dont drag your feet, says Dr. Ingraham.
Treatment for moderate inflammation from uveitis often involves steroid eye drops. For some people with more severe symptoms, the medication used to treat psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis may be used to treat or prevent uveitis. Your eye doctor and rheumatologist can work together to find your best course of treatment. Just as a conductor of a symphony coordinates multiple musicians, rheumatologists and ophthalmologists should achieve a similar collaboration, says Dr. Rosenbaum.
What about lifestyle factors can they prevent eye problems related to psoriatic arthritis? Boy, I wish, says Dr. Rosenbaum. If you have a way to reduce stress, to be happy, to get sleep, to eat a balanced diet, do all of those things, but dont ignore conventional medications, which we know work well.
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How Uveitis Is Treated
Your doctor may give you steroid drops to reduce inflammation. Or, if your case is severe, you may need oral steroids or steroid shots around the eye the way we would inject a painful shoulder, Rosenbaum says. If an infection is the cause of the inflammation, you may be given an antibiotic as well, the Arthritis Foundation says.
Most of the time, drops work well if the uveitis affects the iris and the ciliary body. But if it affects the back of the eye, the drops have less ability to penetrate, and treatment becomes more complicated, Rosenbaum says.
In some people, says Rosenbaum, uveitis is short-lived and responds well to drops. But because its an episodic disease, people may go through a dormant period only to have it flare again. In other patients, its more chronic, and in a few , it will last years and years, he says.
Its somewhat like arthritis in that its unpredictable how it will twist and turn.
The hope is that, after taking steroid drops and tapering off them, your uveitis will go away, Conway says. Steroids aren’t a long-term solution because they can cause glaucoma, a rise in fluid pressure in your eye, and a steroid-induced cataract. Nonsteroidal drops are an alternative in some cases, Conway says.
If uveitis comes back, your doctor may put you on a systemic drug such as a methotrexate or a biologic to modulate your immune system, she adds. Methotrexate and biologics are drugs that also can treat your psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
Treating Psoriatic Arthritis And Chronic Fatigue
Treating psoriatic arthritis can help reduce fatigue as well as pain. There are several medications doctors use to treat the disease:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications reduce pain and swelling.
- Cortisone injections and oral steroids can quickly reduce inflammation in the short term.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs protect joints by decreasing inflammation.
- Biologics target specific parts of the immune system and block the inflammation.
Still, medications may not eliminate fatigue completely, especially during a flare. Thats a tough pill to swallow when weariness is keeping you from doing what you love.
But there are ways you can maximize the time youre feeling good. While fatigue in people with psoriatic arthritis cant be cured, it can be managed, Dr. Rosian says.
These tips can help you fight fatigue.
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What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis
The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is still a mystery, but doctors believe that it may come from a combination of environmental factors and genetics, Elliot Rosenstein, M.D., director of the Institute for Rheumatic & Autoimmune Diseases at the Atlantic Health Systems Overlook Medical Center, tells SELF.
Many people with psoriatic arthritis seem to have a genetic predisposition to the disease, which doesnt just impact your likelihood of getting this illnessit may also play a role in determining the type you get, which impacts how the disease shows up in your body. Having a genetic predisposition doesnt mean youll automatically develop psoriatic arthritis, though. Often something environmental triggers psoriatic arthritis symptoms to actually manifest in people with a genetic predisposition. This trigger may be something like an infection or trauma to the skin and joints, according to the Mayo Clinic. With that said, most people with psoriatic arthritis never figure out which environmental factor contributed to their disease, says Dr. Rosenstein.
Its estimated that up to 30% of people with psoriasis will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis, according to the Cleveland Clinic. However, not having psoriasis doesnt necessarily mean you cant get psoriatic arthritisyou can have one disease without the other.
So what are the other symptoms of psoriatic arthritis you should watch out for?