Those Strange PsA Symptoms…

Those Strange PsA Symptoms…

We know that psoriatic arthritis is so much more than just chronic inflammation and joint pain. While swollen, painful joints are the primary symptoms of PsA, there are a number of other symptoms of PsA that people don’t often talk about. And sometimes it’s helpful to know you’re not the only one experiencing those “strange” symptoms that may not necessarily be on your doctor’s radar!

Here are a few of the less common symptoms discussed within our community. How does your psoriatic arthritis experience compare to that of others? Vote in the polls to see how others responded:

Fatigue

– Do you experience extreme tiredness, difficulty keeping your eyes open, or even flu-like symptoms that you can’t explain? Sometimes plans get canceled because it’s hard to keep up with life – Cynthia C understands this all too well.

Poll

Eye problems

– The most common eye issue for people with PsA is uveitis, which is inflammation of the eye that causes redness, pain, and can lead to vision loss. If you’ve experienced blurry vision, floating spots in your vision (floaters), unexplained eye pain, or redness, your psoriatic arthritis may be the culprit. Learn more about uveitis and other eye issues.

Poll

Hearing loss

– It can be challenging to get a proper diagnosis when you think your hearing loss is due to a routine ear infection, like Leanne did. In fact, ear damage can and does happen in people with PsA – read more about hearing loss in this post!

Poll

Nail dystrophy

– Also called nail psoriasis, nail dystrophy affects the appearance of your nails. Those changes might not look nice, but more than that – they can hurt! Read more about this symptom and what can be done to treat it.

Poll

Changes in mood

– There is no doubt that having PsA can alter your mood – many people here at Psoriatic-Arthritis.com report suffering from depression and/or anxiety. The impact that PsA has on every single aspect of your daily life can take a toll on you emotionally – as it did with Leanne. Read her story here.

Poll

What other symptoms would you like to see more discussion about? Please share in the comments!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (61)
  • m4r14j
    1 week ago

    Hi all, OMG so many odd symptoms I never realised were PsA and when you mention it to the doctors sometimes they look at you like you’re insane.

    Can anyone tell me if they experience either of these;

    1) chest pain / breathing difficulties? The doctors were no help whatsoever, the pain was in my breastbone it meant I could only use the top of my lungs so barely breathe, I could hardly talk, struggling with gasping to finish a sentence and if I did push to speak my head went fuzzy like faininting and my fingers and toes tingled. Prednisolone 40mg did not help neither did all asthma inhalers. Eventually it did go away by itself after 2months (was on apremilast and 20mg prednisolone for the PsA at that time)

    2) infertility problems? My partner and I have only used protection for short periods (when the medication I was on prohibited pregnancy) for a decade now and only managed a single pregnancy which I miscarried.

    3) extreme periods! I get anaemia anyway but I get the most god awful heavy, excessive bleeding doubled over in pain cramps most months, needless to say my anaemia worsens afterwards!

    I also get acid reflux, gastro problems, dry eyes, tinitis hearing problems, extreme fatigue, tired all day but insomnia at night, cant sleep more than 4-5hrs before pain and stiffness wakes me, tendon problems – going on tip toes snaps my achilles and this brain fog – I feel half my IQ got flushed down the loo not sure if its the MANY drugs I tried or the constant fatigue but I cant make decisions and I get muddled up if changes are made to anything.

    Sorry long post! Thanks, maria

  • karenm
    2 weeks ago

    Does anyone have problems with anemia? I have seen it listed in some places as a PsA symptom. I have been anemic for most of the 15 years since my diagnosis. The only thing that helps is iron infusions. But, the anemia returns, and diagnostic procedures have been exhausted.

  • Eileen B moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Yes @karenm, I’ve read many comments in our community about having low iron, often in relation to fatigue. A few people even had a hematologist to treat it. In fact, anemia (low iron) is common enough around here that “The Lucky Iron Fish” won a spot on our list of PsA Community’s Favorite Things. I’m not a medical professional and can’t offer medical advice over the internet, but if low iron concerns you, I hope you can have a productive conversation with a doctor about this soon. Do you have a trusty rheumatologist? Keep us in the loop, we’re here to support you. -Eileen, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team

  • karenm
    2 weeks ago

    Yes. I have significant acid reflux. Not sure whether it is medication/ side effect related, or disease driven, or other. (I take biologics, currently cosentyx, methotrexate, injectable to avoid stomach absorption, hydrocodone, and an antidepressant. ) To treat GERD I take omeprazole twice a day, and have tried to modify my diet ( I had one doctor recommend a food information/cookbook called “Dropping Acid.” Helpful, but hard for me to stick to with family meals.)
    Good luck!

  • ebby
    1 month ago

    Does anybody suffer from heartburn, acid reflux, etc.? I have had a bit over the years but this past while I am really suffering. I think I read somewhere that heartburn and PsA go together often. If you do have this problem, how do you deal with it? Thank you anyone who can give me some help!!!

  • karenm
    2 weeks ago

    Yes. I have significant acid reflux. Not sure whether it is medication/ side effect related, or disease driven, or other. (I take biologics, currently cosentyx, methotrexate, injectable to avoid stomach absorption, hydrocodone, and an antidepressant. ) To treat GERD I take omeprazole twice a day, and have tried to modify my diet ( I had one doctor recommend a food information/cookbook called “Dropping Acid.” Helpful, but hard for me to stick to with family meals.)
    Good luck!

  • MarlonC
    1 month ago

    Painful lower spine. Pain from standing too long. Limits mobility and is debilitating. Prednisone pulses help but you can’t stay on it. Insurance is a huge jump through the hoops game. I’m wanting to try Otezla but insurance requires step therapies first. Frustrating, and the pain continues. Did I mention PAIN?

  • eebrown51
    2 months ago

    Stomach issues: reflux…heartburn…bloating..food not digesting and throwing up

  • Salbe428
    2 months ago

    Does anyone else with Psa go through having their hands and feet swelling, and feeling like they are on fire? Then they start swelling like a bad sunburn for days or weeks before they heal. It is extremely painful and my house is a mess because I cannot
    clean because of the pain.

  • hubba1sm
    1 month ago

    Yes! I’ve been experiencing that exact thing from the very start, even before I had any idea what was wrong with me. Now, with regular biologic treatments of Remicade every 8 weeks for the past 5-6 years, those episodes are less frequent and less severe. But I totally understand not being able to clean due to pain! People have to learn to get the “F” over it. And you have to realize pushing just to clean your house is not worth how you will feel the next day. Nothing wrong with doing a little at a time, a lesson I STILL continue to struggle with at times. Good luck Hun!

  • melissagallo
    2 months ago

    Oops! Forgot to include this….also posted as a reply at bottom of this thread….hope that’s ok.
    The brain fog is horrible! I have so many things I have started to do and can’t seem to get back to….. I lose focus and forget what I’m doing so easily! No one believes me when I talk about this! How can I help them understand this is a real thing?

  • melissagallo
    2 months ago

    Symptoms so numerous! Extreme fatigue, pain in my hands, disfigurement of my hands really really gets to me not only due to how they look but the inability of normal use!!! Never-ending low back pain no matter what. The oddest one is leg cramping especially when driving….not in my calves but starts on top of my thighs and wraps around my leg to back of thigh, skips my calf completely and can cause havoc to my foot if I can’t stop it before getting that far. Painful!!!!!

  • beckyjo
    2 months ago

    Tendinitis(I have tennis elbow which is very painful),shortness of breath,dry eye

  • melissaculbertson
    2 months ago

    Feels like tendons are being ripped away from my knee joints? Severe stabbing and shooting pain that wakes me up at night. Insomnia more often waking to pain or just at 3 or 4 am and unable to return to sleep. The joint pain was subtle and started in my ankles and spread to the knees and hips over a period of 3 to four months before that was 2 years of severe gasterointestinal colitis and am worried that this may be more than just PSA. Mother had lupus. The pain has become severe in my lower back and is up to my elbows and hands with one slightly swollen but very painful index finger. I am concerned at the pace of joint pain and how fast it went from periodic and limited to most of my joints and pain lasting all day and debilitating. The fatigue is unlike anything I’ve experienced. Is there ever time to be alarmed and treat this as an emergency situation?? From what I read it sounds like my symptoms are super aggressive and I had zero joint pain 6 months ago…worried 🙁

  • melissaculbertson
    2 months ago

    Gasterointestinal pain, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, loss of appetite and severe nausea

  • emmag3139
    2 months ago

    More detail on enthesitis and tendonitis as this is my pain issue on my whole body at present. Hurt everywhere from my eyes to my toes…. feel totally done in with it (Am never a negative person usually)

  • CathyD moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi @emmag3139, I’m sorry to read that you’re suffering with tendonitis. That is one of my issues too. It can be incredibly tough to cope with the pain every day. Have you had a chance to check out this article yet? https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/psa-symptoms/tendons-ligaments/ Let us know what you think! -Catherine, Community Moderator

  • rbhcountry
    3 months ago

    Starting out with Humira while on Methotrexate. How bad can I expect issues before seeing improvement?

  • rbhcountry
    3 months ago

    Howdy Ma’am, I had my primary doctor assist with prescribing a sleep aid(zolpidem) to assist me. The pain levels were so bad at times that sleep was Not an Option. Mite give it a try. Have a Blessed Day!

  • susana
    3 months ago

    Difficulty achieving restful and invigorating sleep. I’m always extremely tired during the day too, because of this: During sleep, I am always waking up in pain because of the position in which I am sleeping, I change my position and fall asleep again.

  • SBehe1304
    3 months ago

    Has anyone dealt with sores on the sides of your tongue? Is this too related to PsA?

  • VickiN moderator
    3 months ago

    Hi @sbehe1304, I’ve heard a few people here talk about canker sores, but usually it’s in the context of medication side effects. Are you taking any oral medications? Feel free to post here as well: psoriatic-arthritis.com/q-and-a
    Warm wishes,
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

  • Paulob
    3 months ago

    I have undergone 2 hip replacements at age 31 and 33. I am noe 36 and Even though the joints needed to be replaced the tendon sheaths around the hip replacements are inflamed. Has anyone else had joint replacements with PsA? Thank you

  • Joanna
    3 months ago

    Always being HOT and sweaty during a flair and the ITCHING! Looking “normal” when you feel like cra & people not believing you are ill.

  • RONAVRET
    4 months ago

    Shoulder and neck pain.

  • CelesteIsMe
    4 months ago

    I suffer miserably with Plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinitis – both tendons fully inflamed because of my PSA. So the miserable inflammation causes an existing (usually non-pained) bone spur to wreak havoc on BOTH tendons…. so bad that now they’re both torn. Only way to “fix” this excruciating pain is surgery…. and I’ve exhausted every possibility— believe me.

  • kitkat6
    4 months ago

    Does vertigo, dizziness happen to anyone?

  • PKnickmeyer
    3 months ago

    I do have dizziness, but am unsure if it is due to PsA or medication. I am on Diclofenac and Methotrexate.

  • RONAVRET
    4 months ago

    Yes, not frequent but yes. Still walking with aid.

  • VickiN moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi @kitkat6, sometimes when PsA affects the inner ear it can lead to dizziness and vertigo:
    https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/psa-symptoms/
    If this is a new symptom, definitely worth a check in with your Rheumatologist/Doctor to make sure there isn’t another underlying cause/that it isn’t a side effect of any medications.
    Sending a hug, dizziness and vertigo are really tough symptoms to ignore.
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

  • Pudge
    4 months ago

    embarrassing topic for females…. vaginal dryness?

  • Rebecca moderator
    4 months ago

    Someone else had some questions about symptoms in the vagina and the relationship to PsA – https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/q-and-a/women-psoriatic-lesions-inside/ I’m not sure if any of this is helpful, let me know any specific questions and I’m happy to try to find an answer!

  • Ladybug
    4 months ago

    Rebecca… answering about KT tape, There are videos on you tube put out by the company.

  • Rebecca moderator
    4 months ago

    Thanks! Off to check them out….

  • Ferget56
    6 months ago

    The bottom & sides of my feet have been getting really sore making it extremely painful to walk. I have bought several kinds of shoes to try to find the most comfortable pair. I need them to adapt to swelling feet & ankles. Sketchers slip-on sneakers seem to work well. I have all the symptoms listed in this article, but fatigue has been the worst to manage for me.

  • EJRB
    6 months ago
  • EJRB
    6 months ago

    My feet swell, ankles, and toe joints are tender and swollen often – I relate. I found the most amazing pair of shoes for me – maybe you can try them. They cost about 30$ usually – they are called Champions. They are a soft side shoe, with a thick cushioning for your soles. I have never had such comfort. SO even when I go for a walk and my feet start to rebel, I can endure it much longer with these. I got them at Payless. They only come in gray they told me. But its a jersey gray, no shoelaces but look something like tennis shoes only nicer.

  • Findmygroove
    7 months ago

    I get alot of tendonitis in my achilles and on the bottom of my buttock bones that you sit on, and muscle cramps if I overuse it by trying to excercise. I know it’s important to exercise as I also have rheumatoid and osteo..very depressing..

  • Ladybug
    4 months ago

    I have the exact same symptoms. Especially the buttocks. I also have herniated discs in the lower back.
    I find tonic water really helps the muscle cramps.

  • EJRB
    6 months ago

    Nobody talks about the Tendonitis. I have it all over. Up and down my spine, in my shoulders, wrists, ankles, fingers, neck. The only cure for tendonitis that I know of is rest – so for the past several months my exercises have been kaput because I have been flared up. I stop walking and I gain weight…. then the problem of weight on my knees and ankles …. OMG it is a constant vicious circle.. But I keep trying to find ways to do stuff without aggrivating it. I refuse to give up.

  • Ladybug
    4 months ago

    Have you tried KT tape? It really helps my tendonitis. Especially the Achilles and the knees.

  • Rebecca moderator
    4 months ago

    I’ve heard great things about KT tape – how do you know where to put it though?

  • Eileen B moderator
    6 months ago

    It’s a Catch 22 for sure, @ejrb. If you don’t exercise to protect/heal your tendons, it contributes to weight gain that impacts your knees and ankles. I’m sorry it’s such a struggle, but I’m impressed with your perseverance! Have you ever worked with a physical or occupational therapist? Perhaps they can assist you in walking that fine line between inactive and aggravating your tendonitis? We have an article on the subject at https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/psa-symptoms/tendons-ligaments/. I hope you find some relief very soon. -Eileen, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team

  • rickrackfingers
    7 months ago

    If dizziness is a symptom, I would like to hear what can be done to minimize it. It really interferes with my quality of life.

  • jesbri27
    6 months ago

    I have it as well.

  • Eurotrekker
    1 year ago

    Oh my gosh! The fatigue, mood and nail issues I knew about. I haven’t had the ear problems. However, I’ve been telling my rheumatologist/immunologist, my PCP, my Opthalmologist, and even my sleep Dr about my eyes becoming blurry and sometimes feeling like someone is pushing their thumbs through my eyes sockets. The PCP told me to go to my rheumatologist. The rheumatologist told me to see my opthalmologist. Though he found a rupture behind one eye, he said that should not have been causing this pain. He said that my C-PAP machine may not be fitting properly and may be front out my eye. The sleep Dr said that according to my machine’s readout, the mask is secure and shouldn’t be causing the problem.
    Thank you so much for this article.

  • Penstemon
    1 year ago

    Constant cold feet, tingling and burning, having to have a blanket over them even in the summer. But my biggest issues are my eye pain and floaters coupled with multiple back and knee surgeries. My joints are under attack and disintegrating. The severe bursitis in my hips is causing pressure on nerves to my legs. The pain wakes me 1-5 times a night. Nothing seems to help all the pain for very long. Lack of sleep causes my exhaustion and “brain fog”.

  • CathyD moderator
    1 year ago

    Penstemon, I am so sorry you are experiencing all of these symptoms, I really feel for you. Are you treating your psoriatic arthritis with anything currently? Please know you are not going through this alone – we are here for you to lean on anytime you need us.

  • Dedra Davis
    2 years ago

    I was diagnosed with PsA in November. I’m on Humira. It seems to work ok. My question is-do y’all get mouth sores? I have one and it seems my Dr said it’s a symptom. For almost a week I’ve felt like I’m getting sick- flu-like symptoms, extreme fatigue, body aches, headaches and I’ve had a slight sore throat, here and there. And I have a mouth sore. It seems it has something to do with that. Also, it comes in waves. I’ll be so tired and achy and then a bit later I am better. It’s confusing. Like I’m getting sick, and then not, getting sick…and so on. Is this a flare up??

  • Zann
    6 months ago

    YES!!!! Mouth Sores!!!!! Painful and pop up without any notice. I used to get them all the time at the beginning of this disease, but now I’m on Methotrexate and it’s controlling them a bit. My Pharmacist gave me the best suggestion EVER!! Purchase COLGATE PEROXYL mouthsore rinse!!!!! Best investment ever!! I use it all the time when the buggars pop up, and it only takes a couple of days to get them gone! Please get yourself some!! (In the toothpaste aisle!) Good luck!!!

  • Casey moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Ddavis!

    Thank you for your question! I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling this way!! While others in the community may be able to chime in on their experiences with mouth sores, we do recommend talking to your provider about any new or worsening symptoms. It sounds like you have a few other potentially debilitating symptoms going on. It may be a good time to talk to your provider about all of these issues combined. If you do get a chance to talk to your provider, let us know what they say! We’re here for you and wishing you some relief soon!

    Best, Casey (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team)

  • jennyb
    2 years ago

    I have MS as well as PsA, and sometimes I can’t tell one from the other, the symptoms are so similar. Brain fog (cog-fog) fatigue, issues with heat and cold, depression,(I take an antidepressant every day. What I go through just to remember to take my pills!

  • CathyD moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi jennyb,

    I’m sorry to read that you’re dealing with both MS and PsA. That must be very challenging. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. If you are interested, we have a site for MS: https://multiplesclerosis.net/ Please feel welcome at either site anytime. We are all here for you.

    Best,
    CathyD (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team)

  • Koffegurl
    2 years ago

    Never being able to get/stay warm. I use an electric blanket year round. Also, having to do most things 2 handed, such as turning doorknobs, opening and closing things like bottles and jars, lifting a cup or glass to your mouth. Not to mention trying to b unook a bra, buttoning or unbtutoring anything. Tying shoelaces is pretty much impossible. Waking up with clawed, painful, swollen hands and fingers is a daily reality. Typos are a nightmare. teality

  • Rebecca moderator
    2 years ago

    Ahhhh electric blankets….I have one at my desk! I keep seeing weighted blanket ads on facebook – have you seen them? I’m intrigued!

  • CathyD moderator
    2 years ago

    Bless you, Koffegurl, the hands are so difficult to deal with. I’m sorry you are suffering with this. Please know that we are here for you.

    – CathyD (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team)

    P.s. my electric blanket is my best friend!!

  • PattyJ
    2 years ago

    Brain fog. Being an accounting clerk, I found myself unable to do simple math in my head sometimes. It sure makes mutl-tasking much more difficult. I kept a notepad by the phone to jot down info until I could make a permanent record or a note about what I was doing as I got interrupted to keep it all straight. Sometimes I felt like I was spaced out on Benadryl or something stronger.

    If I get chilled, especially after shoveling snow, I may have to go get in my heated waterbed for at least half an hour to get warm. I don’t notice it until I get back inside and my outer thighs will be cold to the touch. Nothing else seems to work.

    Life gets tough when you can'[t touch your fingers to your thumb for 4 months at a time and it takes two hands to turn the key in the ignition or shift gears. Simple things like opening and closing ziplock bags, beverages, and jars are a major feat. With the wrong combo of joints inflamed even wiping your own rear end or getting dressed is a challenge. Just picking up a large glass of tea is a two handed operation. Thank God, I am much improved from those days.

    I do wonder how much of my significant hair loss is due to the psoriasis which began before I was taking any medications that could have caused it.

    Thanks for asking. I have learned a lot since I joined this site and I’ve had it for 38 years.

  • melissagallo
    2 months ago

    The brain fog is horrible! I have so many things I have started to do and can’t seem to get back to….. I lose focus and forget what I’m doing so easily! No one believes me when I talk about this! How can I help them understand this is a real thing?

  • CathyD moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi PattyJ!

    Oh my goodness, the brain fog struggle is so real. Before I knew it was called brain fog I used to say that it felt like my head was full of cotton wool… Actually, I still say that sometimes!

    I found this article from our sister site, https://plaquepsoriasis.com/, on hair loss and psoriasis: https://plaquepsoriasis.com/symptoms-affect-body/hair-loss-scalp-flaking/ I hope this is helpful.

    Thank you so much for being here and sharing with us 🙂

    – CathyD (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team)

  • AprilAnn
    2 years ago

    Loss of coordination.

  • Casey moderator
    2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing with us, AprilAnn! How strange! Please continue to keep us updated, we’re here for you! Best, Casey (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team)

  • Poll