Psoriatic Arthritis – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Psoriatic Arthritis Perfect Health Magazine

Psoriatic Arthritis - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

Psoriatic arthritis is chronic arthritis that causes pain and stiffness in your joints. It also causes red patches in the skin.

  • Sometimes psoriatic arthritis can occur before the occurrence of psoriasis. Moreover, it can also permanently damage toes.
  • It is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune cells fight their healthy cells. As a result, there is inflammation in the joints and tremendous pain.
  • Psoriatic arthritis can affect the lower extremities, fingers, and toes joints. In addition, it can also affect the spine and pelvis. Furthermore, sometimes it can also affect the eyes, gastrointestinal system, tendons, and nails.

Once you get hints from your body that you have psoriatic arthritis, you should quickly see a doctor.

Psoriatic Arthritis - Meaning & Introduction

Psoriasis is a disease where the skin gets red patches and is topped with silvery scales. Psoriatic arthritis affects some individuals who already have psoriasis. 

Moreover, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. Therefore it causes inflammation in the joints. As a result, there is joint pain along with stiffness and swelling. 

The affected joints and fingers are referred to as dactylitis. At the same time, the same condition in the spine is also known as spondylitis. Furthermore, psoriatic arthritis may also lead to enthesitis, which results in pain in the heels and soles. Also, it can lead to joint damage, so it must be diagnosed early. 

To understand arthritis better please read our extensive blogThe 2022 Arthritis Guide – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

There are many symptoms of Psoriatic arthritis. Here are a few of them outlined specifically:

  • Pain in joints
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Swelling of joints
  • Swollen fingers and toes
  • Morning stiffness
  • Painful muscles and tendons
  • Flaky scalp
  • Scaly skin patches
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in eyes and redness
  • Separation of your nail from the nail bed 

Moreover, spondylitis psoriatic arthritis can cause another set of symptoms. These include:

  • Stiffness of the spine along with pain
  • Pain and swelling in the hips, ankles, knees and feet. It can also accompany weakness and pain in the wrists, elbow, shoulder, hand, and other joints. 

When you see these symptoms and you have been previously diagnosed with psoriasis then you must visit a doctor immediately.

Causes of psoriatic arthritis

The main causes of this disease are not known, but they can be inherited from certain family members.

Moreover, it is an autoimmune disease. Here, your body’s immune cells cannot distinguish between a foreign cell and a normal body cell. As a result, the immune cells start attacking the healthy cell. This is called the autoimmune response and results in inflammation and pain in joints. 

Furthermore, genetics also have a role to play. If there is a family member with this disease, then the chances of getting it are high. Apart from this, bacteria or viral infections can also cause psoriasis. Moreover, physical trauma and other environmental factors can also lead to this disease.

Factors that increase the risk of arthritis

  • Age is another factor. Adults from 25-50 most often tend to have this disease.
  • If there is someone in your family with this disease. Chances are there that you may carry it and pass it on to the next generation. It is also possible for you to contact it.

Complications that arise due to psoriatic arthritis

It can lead to arthritis mutilans. Moreover, it slowly damages the bones in your hand, resulting in disability. Also, it increases the risks of hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, it can lead to cardiovascular disease. 

Psoriatic arthritis also causes uveitis. It is the inflammation of the eyes. Your vision may go blurry also you will become sensitive to light. If not treated in proper time, it may cost your eyes. It can also cause heart disease. You can reduce your risk by eating healthily and quitting smoking and drinking. Also, exercising regularly and maintaining your weight. 

In addition, psoriatic arthritis can also cause Crohn’s disease. It is the inflammation of the digestive system. Furthermore, it can also cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Diagnosis of this disease

It can be diagnosed by examining the joints, fingernails, heels, and soles of your feet. Moreover, the advanced test includes imaging. 

X-rays can help identify whether the joints have psoriatic arthritis. But it will not be able to say if you have rheumatoid arthritis. Magnetic resonance imaging uses radio waves to produce images. It can detect the disorder in both hard and soft tissues. This can also help detect changes caused in your body by psoriatic arthritis. 

Also, there are a few laboratory tests that are helpful and are required for diagnosis: 

Rheumatoid factor is an antibody that is present in the body of people having rheumatoid arthritis. This test can help the doctor distinguish between the two as bodies with psoriatic arthritis do not have the rheumatoid factor. Moreover, there is a joint fluid test. The doctor takes a small amount of fluid from the affected area in this test. It is examined later to see whether you have a uric acid crystal.

Treatments of psoriatic arthritis

Treatment of psoriatic arthritis follows the method of treating the target. There is a specific drug that can treat the disease. These are as follows: 

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

These drugs decrease inflammation. It also prevents joint damage. It is taken orally, or it can also be injected. Moreover, it slows down the progression of Psoriatic arthritis. These include:

  • Arava
  • Trexall
  • Azulfidine

Side effects of these drugs include lung infection, bone marrow damage, and damage to the liver. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

These medicines control and reduce pain. These include:

Side effects of these drugs include stomach irritation, stroke, heart attack, and damage to the liver and kidneys.

Immunosuppressants: Should only be taken under a doctor's supervision.

  • Cyclosporine
  • Azathioprine
  • Ayurvedic treatments include:
  • Oral administration of medicated ghee
  • Dribbling medicated buttermilk on head
  • Purging and vomiting
  • Performing medicated procedure called enemas
  • Applying leypam or a paste of medicines and mud

Psoriatic arthritis - Concluding Remarks

There is nothing to worry about if you get this disease. All you need to do is be aware of your body's symptoms. Suppose you visit the doctor at the right time. The symptoms will get under your control. Many advanced treatments can reduce the symptoms and help relax your body.