Some people may suffer from psoriasis, while others may be bugged by arthritis. Then there are also those that are go through both at the same time. This health problem is referred to as psoriatic arthritis.
If you would like to know some of the most important pieces of information about it, continue reading.
The immune system, your defense against disease-causing microorganisms, can sometimes attack even those healthy and harmless cells of the body. When such happens, various problems may strike. One of those that could take place is psoriatic arthritis, which is a chronic and progressive autoimmune disease.
It means that psoriatic arthritis is something that can affect an individual for a very long time. Also, it tends to get worse and worse as the years pass, although it’s possible for the progression as well as symptoms to be controlled.
Experts say that there are 7 million individuals in the US who suffer from psoriasis, and they add that about 30 percent of them will end up suffering from psoriatic arthritis. Based on that figure alone, you can tell that the said autoimmune disease is rather very common.
Usually, symptoms show up when the affected individual is anywhere from 30 to 70 years of age. Most of the time, the symptoms of psoriasis appear first, followed by the symptoms of arthritis that may emerge a few years after. However, it is possible for the symptoms of arthritis to show up first before the symptoms of psoriasis. Because of this, it can sometimes be challenging for doctors to diagnose psoriatic arthritis.
Most of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are very much similar to the symptoms of other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. This only adds to the fact that it can be hard at times to diagnose it.
While it’s true that the symptoms experienced by someone with psoriatic arthritis may vary from those that another person with it experiences, there are those that are shared by many sufferers. Some of them include joints that are painful, stiff and swollen. It’s also possible for the affected joints to appear red and feel warm to the touch.
There are many joints in the body that may be affected like the foot, lower back and fingers.
Aside from symptoms related to the joints, someone who suffers from psoriatic arthritis may also feel fatigued and have trouble moving. The nails may also become pitted or lifted from the nail bed, which happens when the fingertips are affected by psoriatic arthritis.
To date, no expert on the planet knows exactly why psoriatic arthritis strikes. However, they do know that it is caused by the body’s very own immune system, and that is why it is known as an autoimmune disorder.
Doctors say that having psoriasis is one of the biggest risk factors for psoriatic arthritis. Just like what’s stated earlier in this article, up to 30 percent of those who suffer from psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. The risk of having psoriatic arthritis is said to be even higher in those whose psoriasis affects the nails.
Genetics is another risk factor, according to experts. If you have a relative who is diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, there is a possibility for you to have it as well.
The environment, too, can be blamed for psoriatic arthritis as it’s known to help jumpstart the appearance of the disease.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure available for psoriatic arthirits. But the good news is there are medications available for dealing with the symptoms it brings. In addition, there are some drugs that are formulated to help in slowing down the progression of psoriatic arthritis.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are commonly prescribed by doctors for reducing inflammation of the joints, as well as the associated pain and stiffness. There are disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs that may be given for delaying the disease’s progression.
Lifestyle and diet modifications can also help keep the symptoms to a minimum.