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I’m in the Process of Being Diagnosed. Can Somebody Help Please?

Hi all, I hope someone can help me, I will try to keep a long story short, but I've been suffering with joint pain due to psoriatic arthritis for about 6 years. I was working full time and nobody looked into the cause of my pain.

Symptom share

Every time I managed to get time off work to see a doctor, I would receive painkillers and that was that. Each doctor seemed to address my pain as wear and tear even though I’m only 30. I recently had to quit my job as it was getting too hard for me to live and deal with the pain and exhaustion.

I've recently seen a rheumatologist and he says there is a 99.9% chance I have psoriatic arthritis. That this diagnosis would explain how I've been feeling for the last couple-few years. I'm just wondering if some people can share their symptoms with me?

Can movement help?

My fingers and certain joints swell up and hurt after using them, also my hips after walking and using them are really painful and I struggle to walk. I also seem to have these same body parts but hurt after inactivity or at random times.

Is this normal? As I’m struggling to find the right balance, I understand exercise is good but after walking my hips are really painful. I thought PsA pain was worse with inactivity?

  1. Hey there. New to the forums here and also new to a diagnosis of PSA. My issues started, as far as I can tell, back in March/April of last year. I'm 41 and never had any symptoms whatsoever before that -- had a pretty healthy, active lifestyle. Progressively started getting swelling, joint pain and tendinopathy in various areas (started shoulders and neck, moved to chest, then wrist and knees). Lower back, no issues, nothing on an x-ray.

    I can tell you that, before getting some treatment and before a proper diagnosis, certain activities would definitely result in pain and swelling. For example, after a long walk one day, I developed plantar fasciitis. After running on the treadmill, my knees both swelled the following day. I lifted some weights and a joint in my chest got inflamed. I played some table tennis and my wrist was sore the next day.

    Like you, I'm still trying to find the balance of what's an acceptable amount of joint impact/activity, but I can't stress enough that getting on some proper treatment is really critical. What did your rheumatologist suggest for treatment?

    I definitely have modified the amount of high-impact activities while trying get things to a more stable state. My wife and I bought a nice recumbent bike now to reduce the knee impacts, and as far as lifting weights is concerned, I dropped way down from what I was doing. Mostly just very light dumbbells now to get some resistance training.

    I also want to point out the other systemic impacts PSA will have on you. You mentioned fatigue, and I absolutely had that in spades. I was exhausted by mid-day before I got treatment and also had bouts of nausea and depression. I knew something was wrong because I normally had boundless energy, felt great, and overall am an extremely positive individual.

    The good news is that I have a great rheumatologist now. I've been on Methotrexate for over 3 months and while I'm not back to 100 percent, I'm about 80 percent there. You'll read a lot of horror stories about DMARD treatments, Biologics etc., but these are very effective for most people, and the sooner you get onto those, the better for putting your disease into a low activity state.

    Now, I also made some lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation in the body. No more alcohol (couldn't even if I wanted to because of Methotrexate), reducing sugary foods, carbs, taking turmeric, glucosamine, Vitamin D, MSM, fish oil and other supplements. I can't tell you just how effective any of those supplements are on their own, but they're not overly expensive and when it comes to my health and well-being, I'd rather spend 100 bucks a month on those than a couple of dinners out somewhere.

    Stay positive, this is a very treatable condition and most people have positive outcomes to where they can keep the disease state to a minimum.

    1. I have had PsA for over 10 years now. Getting a good diagnosis is the first step in the process of learning the new normal of PsA. For me, the first 4-5 years were rough as I was on methotrexate and on and off of prednisone. I learned to read my body's cues: what caused an increase or decrease in symptoms, how stress, diet, and exercise positively or negatively affected me. Fortunately I was only working part-time when I got sick and managed to keep working. Everything else got sacrificed for a while. I found the "new normal" for me and made it work. I wasn't really able to exercise, but followed a plan of stretches and very simple isometric exercise. Getting plenty of rest (sometimes sleeping 12 hours) was a must. Some days I would wake up to pain and swelling with no apparent cause and other times I did more than I thought I should and got away with it. I tried all kinds of supplements and dietary changes with marginal success. I was chronically anemic although I took iron supplements.

      In 2015 I started taking Humira. It was really difficult at first because I had horrid "Humira" days after the shot and the good days didn't last until the next shot. But slowly and surely the Humira put me as close to remission as I had ever experienced. My fatigue lifted for the first time since 2007 and I was able to do more than the basics. I began riding a recumbent bike at a gym. There continue to be ups and downs, like tendonitis in my gluts or bursitis in my shoulder. I have corticosteroid induced bone loss for which I have been treated and continue to take mega calcium/mineral supplements. I have had some flares, but nothing like the early years.

      I hope that you find what works for you. Don't despair, keep searching for answers, things can and will get better. Even though we share a diagnosis, how it affects each patient is unique and a good rheumatologist is worth their weight in gold to guide you through your experience.

      1. Hi thanks for the advise and the replies really grateful and nice to see some people know how this condition can impact somebody , some people don’t seem to understand how much I hurt sometimes or how much simple daily tasks can take a toll of me , iv been told to just get on with it or just deal with the pain ,lol , I wish it was as easy as that sometimes , and ostinato I can definitely relate to the pains in the feet after waking a considerable amount or attempting to jog , I have seen a second rheumatologist recently who diagnosed me and wanted to start me on sulphasalazine, I went to see nurse yesterday to get started but she said as the steroid injection didn’t work the sulphasalazine won’t work so they won’t start treatment yet , told me to wait until my next appointment in 6 months , I was a little confused ,so for the time being I’m back to square on , I have definitely changed my lifestyle too trying to eat as healthy as possible but high helps with the energy I think , how are things with you now? Is your treatment working ? How is everybody here going with treatment etc?

        1. Hello,

          For the past 10 years I've been suffering periodically with the worst joint pain. The last 3 years it's been pretty constant.

          A couple of months ago I began researching the phytonutrients and polyphenols that reduce inflammation.

          From my research I began taking a combination of resveratrol, curcumin and ubiquinol and after about 2 weeks my joints were pain free. It's been about 2 months and not a single episode of pain.


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