Monday, December 11, 2023

Does Stress Affect Psoriatic Arthritis

Stress Is The Top Psoriatic Arthritis Trigger

Preventing Anxiety and Depression when Living with Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

The number-one thing patients tell me is that when stress levels go up, they have a flare and more pain, says Alexis Ogdie-Beatty, MD, a rheumatologist at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and an associate professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Why? Stress sets off the immune systems inflammatory response, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Inflammation, in turn, can fuel joint damage in people with psoriatic arthritis and other arthritic conditions.

The longer youre exposed to stress, the worse your psoriatic arthritis symptoms may get.

Another reason stress can create a cycle of pain, then more stress, is that when youre stressed, you tend to sleep less, says Dr. Ogdie-Beatty.

And when you get less sleep, your pain is likely to seem worse.

Stress can also prompt you to engage in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, drinking alcohol, and overeating, which may worsen symptoms.

How to avoid this trigger Stress busters such as yoga and meditation can help ease pain, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

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Increased Risk Of Uvetis And Other Eye Problems

Having psoriatic arthritis ups your risk of uveitis a condition that causes inflammation of the uvea, or the middle layer of the eye, located under the white of the eye.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 7 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis will develop uveitis. If its not treated, uveitis can lead to vision loss.

The reasons for this higher risk are uncertain, but its likely the inflammation that causes joints to flare also can affect some of the tissues in the eye.

People with the gene for the human leukocyte antigen B27 may have a higher risk for psoriatic arthritis and uveitis, according to an article published in January 2016 in the Review of Optometry.

Other eye problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts, are also more common in people with psoriatic arthritis.

Consider A Mental Health Specialist

A mental health specialist, such as a therapist, can teach you tools and techniques to manage your anxiety while providing emotional support and referring you for a medication evaluation, if necessary. Taking care of your mental health will not only improve your day-to-day life, it can also help ease your pain and other PsA symptoms.

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What Does Psoriatic Arthritis In The Feet Feel Like

When your feet are affected by psoriatic arthritis, you may have pain, tenderness, and swelling in your foot. This occurs when the membranes that line the joints, tendons, and connective tissue in the foot become inflamed. Similar to other forms of inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, joints may feel may warm to the touch, and stiffness may be worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity.

Symptoms may also flare, then go into periods of remission. Heres more information about coping with psoriatic arthritis flares.

But unlike with rheumatoid arthritis where symptoms typically occur in the same joints on both sides of your body , PsA is usually asymmetrical. You can have psoriatic arthritis in the ankle joint of one foot and the toe of another, explains Dr. Kor, who also serves as spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Specific foot problems caused by PsA include:

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How Mental Health Affects Psoriatic Arthritis Management

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When youre emotionally wiped out, you have less energy for following lifestyle habits that contribute to your overall health, like getting regular physical activity and preparing healthy meals. This, in turn, can increase your fatigue and decrease your ability to manage your psoriatic arthritis, explains rheumatologist Eric Ruderman, MD, a Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University.

In addition, theres a strong link between depression and medication non-adherence, or not following the treatment plan your doctor has prescribed.

Depression is one of the best markers of non-adherence to treatment, says Dr. Bartlett. People who are depressed are far less likely to be taking their treatment as prescribed. Part of that is due to the sense of hopelessness and helplessness thats very much a part of depression.

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Psychological Stress May Affect Disease Outcomes

Research has indicated that psychological stress is linked to poor outcomes, including diseases flares in inflammatory arthritis. For example, in one study, researchers investigated a link between post-traumatic stress disorder and autoimmune diseases among US soldiers. The study found soldiers who had PTSD and arthritis a had higher rates of self-reported pain, physical impairment and tender joint count, than those who had arthritis but no PTSD.

Leg And Knee Pain From Osteoarthritis

I was diagnosed with RA at 26, and took NSAIDS for a number of years. Currently, 62. RA seemed to disappear in early 50s. Now Ive developed psoriasis mostly on elbows and now on lower knuckle of hands and some leg lesions.Three months ago I developed knee joint problems and then tore hamstring and calf muscle without much exertion. Was given PT for the muscle tears and Supartz for the knee. Since then the pain in the legs have become severe with anti-inflammatories giving some relief. Have only seen an orthopedist and he thinks leg and knee pain just from osteoarthritis. Could it be Psoriatic Arthritis?? and whom should I see. Dermatologist took care of the psoriasis.

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Talk With Others Who Understand

MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 105,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Are you living with stress and psoriatic arthritis? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

Psoriatic Arthritis And Stress

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Life comes with stress and living with a chronic condition brings on more. You have pain and other symptoms to deal with, medication to organize, medical bills to pay, and worries your condition will get worse. Psoriatic arthritis can force you to miss social activities that make your life fuller, which can feel isolating and overwhelming. Your stress levels can rise without you even realizing it, until you develop a PsA flare-up as a result. Its a lot to take on without also adding some stress-busting strategies to help you break the cycle. Consider working some of these techniques into your day to reduce stress:

It also helps to be aware of specific recurring events in your life that tend to cause psoriatic arthritis flare-ups, usually characterized by fatigue, increased joint swelling and achiness, and if you also have plaque psoriasis, new patches on your skin. Examples of stressful events for you might be holidays, back to school season, school breaks, or especially busy months or quarters at work. Plan ahead to make sure youre getting the you time you need before, during, and after these events.

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Avoid Unhealthy Coping Behaviors

Living with anxiety and chronic pain can be incredibly hard, but unhealthy coping behaviors will ultimately make things worse. These include isolating yourself, avoiding check-ups or not adhering to your treatment plan, abusing drugs or alcohol, and other risky behaviors. If youre having a hard time coping, reach out to your healthcare provider or a trusted loved one for help. You dont have to do this alone.

What Are The Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may be gradual and subtle in some patients in others, they may be sudden and dramatic. It may be mild, affecting only one joint or can be severe, affecting multiple joints. Not all patients experience all symptoms.

The most common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are:

Joint symptoms
  • Pain or aching, tenderness, and/or swelling in one or more joints – most commonly hands, feet, wrists, ankles, knees.
  • Joint stiffness most notable in the morning or with prolonged inactivity such as sitting for a long time.
  • Reduced range of motion in affected joints.
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back.
  • Tenderness, pain, or swelling where tendons and ligaments attach to the bone , such as the Achilles tendon of the heel.
  • Swelling of an entire finger or toe with a sausage-like appearance .
Skin symptoms
  • Silver or gray scaly spots on the scalp, elbows, knees, and/or the lower spine.
  • Small, round spots called papules that are raised and sometimes scaly on the arms, legs and torso.
  • Pitting of the nails.
  • Detachment or lifting of fingernails or toenails.
Other symptoms

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Catch Your Inner Dialogue

Its normal for people with inflammatory arthritis, or any type of chronic illness, to catastrophize their pain, which can exacerbate feelings of helplessness, says Dr. Bartlett.

Catastrophizing is dwelling on how much your body hurts or how helpless you feel against the pain, which often leads to worst-case scenario-type thinking. This type of mindset can keep you stuck in depression.

Here are some examples of catastrophizing, according to Dr. Bartlett:

  • What if I never feel better how am I going to be a good father or mother to my kids?
  • What If I never feel good how will I feel in five or 10 years?
  • What if I lose my job what if Im never able to work again?

Although learning to stop this response wont stop the pain, it can help you to better cope with your emotions and manage your condition. Seeing a mental health professional can help you recognize catastrophizing or other kinds of toxic inner dialogue and develop strategies to reframe your thoughts.

How Do I Manage Psoriasis During Cold Weather Months

Psoriatic Arthritis

The best way to combat psoriasis symptoms in the winter months is to get a head start. By increasing your symptom management plan in the late summer and fall, youll set your skin up for a healthier winter. Review the four top tips below to learn how you can prepare for your skin to handle winter weather.

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Fake It Until You Make It

Even if youre not in the mood, try pushing yourself to do things that once brought you pleasure, says Dr. Bartlett, paraphrasing the well-known quote: Its a lot easier to behave yourself into a new way of thinking than to think yourself into a new way of behaving. Get up and go for that walk or get yourself dressed and meet a loved one in the park.

Managing anxiety, depression, fatigue, and other mental health issues on top of an already challenging conditions like psoriatic arthritis is not easy but it is essential and acknowledging that its necessary is a great first step. The mind-body connection is so important, says Ashley K. Many people dont realize how much emotions can affect the body.

There are no quick fixes or easy answers, but you can take comfort knowing that your health care providers and the greater chronic illness community are there to help along the way.

Inflammation May Be At The Root Of Psa Mental Health Issues

Increased stress, more depression and anxiety, plus brain fog and perhaps dementia, toois a rogue inflammatory response to blame? Inflammation such as we see in psoriatic arthritis is not good for the central nervous system. The brain does not like inflammation, says Jasvinder Singh, M.D., professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and co-author of the 2018 American College of Rheumatology/National Psoriasis Foundation Guideline for the Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis. Its possible the inflammatory process of PsA is contributing to these mental health issuesand thats something researchers are still studying.

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Carpal And Tarsal Tunnel Syndromes

Carpal and tarsal tunnel syndromes involve nerves in the hands or feet that run between the carpal or tarsal bones. Most of us have heard of the carpal form. Its a repetition injury mainly associated with people who spend long hours typing on a keyboard or doing other repetitious tasks. With RD, however, these syndromes are caused by inflammation and swelling.

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What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis

Like psoriasis, PsA is an autoimmune disease. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues in the body. Other examples of autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

When the immune system attacks healthy tissues, it can lead to inflammation and tissue damage. This is what causes the symptoms of PsA.

However, its currently unclear why the immune system acts in this way in PsA. A complex mix of genetic and environmental influences are believed to play a role in the development of the condition.

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Swollen Fingers And Toes

They can get so puffy, they look like sausages. Your doctor may call it dactylitis, or sausage digits. This painful swelling happens to more than a third of people with the disease. It results from joint inflammation and usually affects a few fingers and toes. You might mistake it for gout if it shows up only in your toes. Be sure you get the right diagnosis, because gout and PsA have different treatments.

Cold Feet Joint Pain Morning Joint Stiffness And Numbness Or Tingling

Reviewed on 8/5/2020

There are a few different medical conditions that are strongly associated with:

  • Cold Feet
  • Morning Joint Stiffness
  • Numbness Or Tingling

While the symptoms above can be considered a guide to help associate symptoms common among the conditions below, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms. Below are the top condition matches for your symptom combination from MedicineNet:

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Tips To Manage Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue

If you have psoriatic arthritis and need a nap to get through the day, some simple changes can boost your energy and make you feel better.

  • Watch what you eat. Your body needs the right fuel. So opt for lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid sugars or starchy items that give you a short-term lift and then leave you drained.
  • Stay active. Regular exercise like walking or swimming can ease your pain. Thatâll help you sleep better. Activity can also boost your energy during the day.
  • Skip caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bedtime. You might think smoking a cigarette, sipping hot tea, or having a cocktail will relax you. The truth is, theyâll make it harder for you to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Set a solid sleep schedule. Your body prefers a routine at bedtime. Try to hit the sack at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Alarms on your clock or phone can help you stay on track.
  • Donât eat for 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. You may not be able to drift off if you’re digesting a heavy meal. Stomach gas can also keep you awake.
  • Relax before bedtime. Take a soothing, warm bath to ease your joint pain and stiffness. Listen to soft music or read a book to take your mind off your daily stress.
  • Make your bedroom for sleep and sex only. Remove the TV, computer, cellphone, and other distractions. Keep the room dark, quiet, and cool.
  • Show Sources

    Engage In Regular Physical Activity

    Psoriatic Arthritis Comorbidities: What Patients Need to Know

    Physical activity should not be ignored. Light exercise is crucial in order to maintain good health and prevent the body from becoming stiff.

    Simple indoor exercises such as stretching, walking and yoga are enough for patients of arthritis.

    Regular massage of the affected area helps to improve the blood flow and makes the immune system stronger and better during the winter season.

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    Psoriatic Arthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Developed Trigger Thumb treated with cortisone shot, told to see rheumatologist since they feel I have PA not RA like I was told 35 yrs ago. Have in past used, Indocid, then Entrophen, then ASA as I felt need if I had a flare. this last flare lasted 3-4 months and was worse than any Ive had for many years, but unsure if this trigger thumb requires further treatment, ie surgery, since Im told this cortisone shot will wear off before long . What more help can a rheumotologist do for me? What should I ask surgeon about thumbsince one surgeon said too many risks to do surgery on me, and second surgeon said, definitely need surgery, Im 53, excellent health 9except for RA or PA, no meds, appropriate weight. Want proper use of thumb with no possible recurrences. Gladys

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    How Is Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosed

    Psoriatic arthritis is easier to confirm if you already have psoriasis. If you donthave the skin symptoms, diagnosis is more difficult. The process starts with a healthhistory and a physical exam. Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms. Youmay have blood tests to check the following:

    • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate . This test looks at how quickly red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube. When swelling and inflammation are present, the bloods proteins clump together and become heavier than normal. They fall and settle faster at the bottom of the test tube. The faster the blood cells fall, the more severe the inflammation.
    • Uric acid. High blood uric acid levels can be seen in psoriatic arthritis but are not used for diagnosis or monitoring.
    • Imaging. X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, MRI, and skin biopsies may all be used to help diagnosis.

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