What Else To Expect When Living With Psoriatic Arthritis
With high levels of inflammation in your body, you may also experience fatigue and anemia, mood changes or depression , or develop chronic widespread pain . Other potential conditions that you may be slightly more likely to develop:6
- high blood pressure
Your doctor will likely monitor these measures regularly.
What Are Foods That Trigger Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
Now that you know what you should be eating, lets talk about what you should be avoiding if you are living with psoriatic arthritis. While the above list of foods are noted for their anti-inflammatory properties, there are foods that are known for just the opposite. That is, they are known to cause inflammation. Naturally, these are just the types of foods you should avoid if you are living with psoriatic arthritis.
Saturated fats, sugar, alcohol, and simple carbohydrates are all triggers for psoriatic arthritis symptoms to flare up. Theyre also key factors in weight gain and obesity. As your weight increases, the stress on your joints also increases, so it goes hand in hand that keeping your weight down is beneficial for managing psoriatic arthritis.
Whats on the bad food list for individuals living with psoriatic arthritis?
- Processed meats
- Fried foods
Similarly, the foods on this list are ones that you would find on many lists for foods to avoid. It is only natural that our bodies do well with more nutrient-dense foods than ones that are processed, enriched, and full of sugar.
What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis Flare
A psoriatic arthritis flare-up can be triggered by a variety of factors. Your immune system may be activated by stress, infections such as HIV or strep throat, a physical injury, or smoking, to name just a few potential causes, says Petros Efthimiou, MD, a professor of clinical medicine and rheumatology at NYU Langone Health in New York City.
When that happens, your joints might start to feel swollen, tender, and stiff, and you might develop areas of tendonitis or swelling of an entire finger or toe, says Theodore Fields, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. But its also possible that you wont have swelling during a flare-up. Your main symptom might be fatigue, Dr. Fields adds.
Its important to be in tune with how you feel every day so you can recognize the signs of a flare-up and alert your doctor right away. We have many medications that can help stop the progress of psoriatic arthritis and dramatically ease symptoms, Fields explains. The sooner you address symptoms, the faster you can get relief and prevent potential joint damage.
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Occurrence In The United States
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriatic arthritis affects about 1 million people in the United States, or about 30% of all persons with psoriasis. However, prevalence rates vary widely among studies. In one population-based study, less than 10% of patients with psoriasis developed clinically recognized psoriatic arthritis during a 30-year period. A random telephone survey of 27,220 US residents found a 0.25% prevalence rate for psoriatic arthritis in the general population and an 11% prevalence rate in patients with psoriasis. However, the exact frequency of the disorder in patients with psoriasis remains uncertain, with the estimated rate ranging from 5-30%.
Moreover, since the late 20th century, the incidence of psoriatic arthritis appears to have been rising in both men and women. Reasons for the increase are unknown it may be related to a true change in incidence or to a greater overall awareness of the diagnosis by physicians.
Who Is At Risk For Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriasis affects 2-3 percent of the population or approximately 7 million people in the U.S. and up to 30% of these people can develop psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis occurs most commonly in adults between the ages of 35 and 55 however, it can develop at any age. Psoriatic arthritis affects men and women equally.
It is possible to develop psoriatic arthritis with only a family history of psoriasis and while less common, psoriatic arthritis can occur before psoriasis appears. Children of parents with psoriasis are three times more likely to have psoriasis and are at greater risk for developing psoriatic arthritis. The most typical age of juvenile onset is 9-11 years of age.
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Work And Psoriatic Arthritis
Having psoriatic arthritis may make some aspects of working life more challenging. But, if youre on the right treatment, its certainly possible to continue working.
Help and support is available, and you have rights and options.
The Government scheme Access to Work is a grant that can pay for equipment to help you with activities such as answering the phone, going to meetings, and getting to and from work.
The 2010 Equality Act, and the Disability Discrimination Act in Northern Ireland makes it unlawful for employers to treat anyone with a disability less favourably than anyone else. Psoriatic arthritis can be classed as a disability if its making every-day tasks difficult.
Your employer may need to make adjustments to your working environment, so you can do your job comfortably and safely.
You might be able to change some aspects of your job or working arrangements, or train for a different role.
In order to get the support youre entitled to, youll need to tell your employer about your condition. Your manager or HR department might be a good place to start.
Other available support might include:
- your workplace occupational health department, if there is one
- an occupational therapist. You could be referred to one by your GP or you could see one privately
- disability employment advisors, or other staff, at your local JobCentre Plus
- a Citizens Advice bureau particularly if you feel youre not getting the support youre entitled to.
Spondylitis With Or Without Sacroiliitis
This occurs in approximately 5% of patients with psoriatic arthritis and has a male predominance.
Clinical evidence of spondylitis and/or sacroiliitis can occur in conjunction with other subgroups of psoriatic arthritis.
Spondylitis may occur without radiologic evidence of sacroiliitis, which frequently tends to be asymmetrical, or sacroiliitis may appear radiologically without the classic symptoms of morning stiffness in the lower back. Thus, the correlation between the symptoms and radiologic signs of sacroiliitis can be poor.
Vertebral involvement differs from that observed in ankylosing spondylitis. Vertebrae are affected asymmetrically, and the atlantoaxial joint may be involved with erosion of the odontoid and subluxation . Therapy may limit subluxation-associated disability.
Unusual radiologic features may be present, such as nonmarginal asymmetrical syndesmophytes , paravertebral ossification, and, less commonly, vertebral fusion with disk calcification.
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But Wait Psa Gets More Complicated: Symptoms And Causes
Psoriatic arthritis can progress over time. In some people, it only causes mild disease punctuated by severe symptoms during periods of more disease activity . In others, disease activity is more persistent. No matter which camp youre in, early treatment is critical to relieve pain from affected joints, prevent joint damage, and to maintain your ability to walk and be active.5
Treatment will also help to reduce or prevent other health-related problems from developing, such as fatigue and depression .
The good news is that if diagnosed and treated early , many of these problems can be avoided or reduced. Learning to recognize the symptoms of PsA will help you and your doctor intervene to lessen the impact of the disease on your life and prevent potentially irreversible changes to your joints and bones.
Fatigue And Mental Problems
The 2015 study on PsA flares in the journal Rheumatology also found invisible symptoms such as fatigue and depression. Some people say in addition to the joint and skin symptoms, you can also feel more tired or it might be more difficult to concentrate, but its unlikely that a flare occurs without the skin and the joint symptoms, Dr. Husni says. So if youre all of a sudden feeling really depressed and there are no changes in your joints or your skin, it may be hard to blame it directly on a flare, although it still could be part of the disease process.
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Managing Symptoms Of Autoimmune Arthritis
Several medications work for both psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications reduce pain and swelling.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs protect joints and slow the disease, and less of the joint is destroyed, meaning theres less swelling, pain and less loss of joint function.
- Biologics target the specific parts of the immune system that drive inflammation.
As researchers learn more about the causes of inflammatory arthritis, theyre developing new medications to manage these diseases. Some of these new drugs are designed to specifically target one disease or the other.
Both psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are chronic diseases. They cant be cured, but they can be managed, Dr. Rosian says. By working with your doctor to get the correct diagnosis, you can manage symptoms to feel your best.
What Organs Does Psoriatic Arthritis Affect
Due to widespread inflammation, psoriatic arthritis can affect your internal organs but this occurs only in very rare cases and should not be a major concern. More common symptoms to watch out for beyond joint pain and inflammation are fatigue and anemia, mood changes or depression, high blood pressure/cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
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Not Taking Meds On Time
Even if you feel fine, its still important to take your medication as prescribed to prevent psoriatic arthritis from flaring up again. Sometimes people miss some medication doses and they flare, Dr. Husni says. Then we look back with the patient to figure out why and they say, Oh, I was a little late taking it.
Employ Some Life Hacks
Crow also advises taking shortcuts that can make living with PsA flares easier. These life hacks can help minimize fatigue or joint pain, she says. If your joints hurt, you can change the stuff you are using in your daily life for example, if your hands hurt, you can use a wide-grip fork while eating. You can also change how you interact with stuff, such as choosing to have grocery delivery rather than exerting the energy required to go to the store and bag all the items yourself.
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When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you have persistent pain, swelling or stiffness in your joints even if you have not been diagnosed with psoriasis.
If you’ve been diagnosed with psoriasis, you should have check-ups at least once a year to monitor your condition. Make sure you let the doctor know if you’re experiencing any problems with your joints.
Medication Options For Psa
For moderate to severe disease, treatments that target joint disease in PsA can reduce symptoms and prevent disease progression. Recommended treatments include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs . The first step for treatments is usually DMARDs such as methotrexate, leflunomide, or sulfasalazine.
Other treatments include medicines that target tumor necrosis factor , a chemical that produces a wide range of inflammation in PsA. Examples of TNF blockers include etanercept , adalimumab , infliximab , golimumab , and certolizumab pegol .
Other DMARDs that have proven effective in clinical trials include ustekinumab , brodalumab , and secukinumab .6 The FDA has also recently approved Inflectra , a biosimilar to infliximab, for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis.8
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Pain On The Soles Of The Feet
Enthesitis can also cause pain on the soles of your feet. The plantar fascia is a sheet of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that attaches your heel to the front of your foot. It runs along the bottom of your feet.
If you have pain and tenderness at the bottom of your heel, especially after waking, this may be the cause.
Inflammation of this connective tissue is also known as plantar fasciitis. Its a common condition that regularly affects people with and without PsA.
Asymmetrical Joint Swelling And Pain
If you are experiencing asymmetrical joint pain and swelling, it means you have stiffness, pain, and throbbing in a joint or multiple joints on one side of the body only. For example, you may experience knee and hip pain on the left side and wrist and elbow pain on the right side.
Other types of inflammatory arthritis may cause symmetrical joint pain or pain that affects the joints on both sides . Each person with PsA will have different joints affected by a PsA flare.
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How Does It Help With Psoriatic Arthritis
PsA is an autoimmune condition in which the bodys immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, causing inflammation. In PsA, this inflammation triggers joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, and it may also cause a skin rash. Over time, this systemic inflammation can lead to permanent joint and tissue damage.
A doctor may prescribe prednisone to help suppress the overactivity of the immune system and reduce the production of chemicals that trigger inflammation. In these ways, the drug helps alleviate joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
An older suggested that early PsA treatment combining corticosteroids and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs could improve outcomes for people with PsA. Specifically, it may have the following benefits:
- controlling joint inflammation in its early stages
- preventing joint damage
Pain On The Sole Of Your Foot
The plantar fascia is a thick tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. It connects the toes to the heel bone, and often becomes inflamed when you have psoriatic arthritis. Its common for people to assume they have only plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar fascia, when they actually have psoriatic arthritis.
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What Are The Types Of Psoriatic Arthritis
The most common are: axial spondyloarthritis which mainly affects your back and sacroiliac joints distal, small joint polyarthritis, which affects your fingers and toes symmetric, small joint polyarthritis, affects several joints on both sides of the body and is very similar to rheumatoid arthritis a doctor can help to differentiate and asymmetric oligoarthritis meaning a few joints are affected on one side of your body, usually your lower body.
Our Approach To Psoriatic Arthritis
UCSF provides comprehensive evaluations and advanced, personalized care for all forms of arthritis. Because arthritis often involves different systems in the body, our team includes several types of doctors, such as rheumatologists, plastic surgeons who specialize in correcting hand deformities, and orthopedic surgeons who specialize in joint deformities and joint replacement.
When treating arthritis linked to psoriasis, we first try common pain relief medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If joint inflammation progresses, we may prescribe stronger medications known as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Regular exercise is also a critical part of the treatment plan, helping to strengthen the joints and maintain their range of motion. We may recommend physical therapy.
In addition to caring for patients, our providers conduct clinical trials to evaluate potential new treatments for arthritis. Interested patients may have the option to receive investigational treatments through a clinical trial.
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Treatment For Psoriatic Arthritis
Treatment for psoriatic arthritis aims to:
- relieve symptoms
- slow the condition’s progression
- improve quality of life
This usually involves trying a number of different medicines, some of which can also treat the psoriasis. If possible, you should take 1 medicine to treat both your psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
The main medicines used to treat psoriatic arthritis are:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- biological therapies
What Medications Are Available For Treating Inflammatory Arthritis
Medicines for inflammatory arthritis are used to relieve pain, reduce swelling and slow or stop joint damage. Each person responds differently to arthritis medicines. This means you need to work with your rheumatologist to identify the treatment that works best for you.Your GP will probably monitor your treatment and refer you back to a rheumatologist if necessary.Common medicines for rheumatoid arthritis include:
- disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
- corticosteroids .
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Psoriatic Arthritis Commonly Causes Sore Joints
Arthritis is a painful condition that causes swelling and stiffness in your joints. The condition can be caused by several factors, depending on your type of arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, is caused by your immune system attacking healthy cells.
Psoriatic arthritis occurs simultaneously with a common skin condition called psoriasis. You may notice the symptoms of psoriasis before or after you start to have psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
Psoriatic arthritis can show itself in a couple of different ways, including:
- Pain and swelling in your fingers or toes
- Joint swelling in just one hand or foot on one side of your body
- Deformities in your joints
- Pain and swelling in your lower back
Psoriatic arthritis might look like other types of arthritis, but requires different treatments. Your doctor will need to do a thorough exam, including a blood test, to determine the cause of your arthritis.
Hand And Foot Care Tips
Whether it is your hands, your feet, or both psoriatic arthritis can cause painful symptoms that flare-up and affect your ability to engage in everyday activities, affecting your quality of life. Its important to seek your doctors advice on medications and other treatment options that will help alleviate the pain and inflammation. The tips provided below are useful as a supplement to treatments prescribed by your doctor.
- Cold compresses can work wonders to alleviate painful joint swelling. You can use an ice pack or a pack of frozen vegetables. If the cold is too much for you, place a towel in between the cold and your skin. Alternating between 10 minutes of cold and 10 minutes off is the generally prescribed activity for optimal benefit.
- Use a foam roller or frozen water bottle especially to massage the arch of your foot, your heel, or your wrist. The cool of the frozen water bottle is an added benefit to reduce swelling as you roll.
- Maintain your nails because nail psoriasis occurs in over 80% of cases of psoriatic arthritis, keep your nails healthy. Trim them regularly, file them to decrease snags, and moisturize to reduce dead skin.
- Soak your hands and feet engaging in a hand or foot soak can alleviate pain and swelling. However, dont soak for too long as it can dry your skin out, making your psoriasis worse. Always make sure to moisturize your skin after soaking.
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