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What area of your body is most affected by your PsA?

There are so many parts of the body that can be affected by psoriatic arthritis – including, but not limited to: hands, feet, knees, hips, joints, spine, eyes, and ears. Additionally, people with psoriatic arthritis are at higher risk for developing complications that affect the heart (ie. heart disease), the kidneys (ie. kidney disease), and the bowels (ie. IBD). Since everyone's bodies are different, I'm curious, where does psoriatic arthritis affect you the most? How do these symptoms affect your day-to-day? Has this area of the body always been the most impacted?

  1. Hi , I first started with severe pain in my hands. Couldn’t even lightly touch my thumbs without flinching. I had a lot of trouble walking with pains in my feet soon after that but didn’t feel it really much anywhere else, until recent months, when I think my Enbrel injection is becoming less effective.
    Now I have pain in my shoulders, elbows, legs, feet and also believe I may have some form of IBD. (Will be discussing with the hospital next month)
    Think I said once before, PsA is so generous, just keeps on giving doesn’t it 😊
    It is starting to limit what I can do in my daily life, I used to walk 3 miles each day or even cycle 15 miles, three or four times a week. That’s absolutely out the question for the time being but I hope that a replacement biological will give me some of my life back.
    As Monty Python once said “always look on the bright side of life”, I’ll leave you to do the whistling 😗

    1. Hi @Greg. One of my favorite sayings is that Psoriatic Disease is that gift that keeps on giving so we are pretty close in sayings. Glad you will be discussing with your doctor about the IBD. It's not fun. I hope they can give you the answer you need. What will you be taking now in place of Enbrel? Vickie W., Community Moderator

    2. Hi Vickie, I don’t know what the hospital will do as I don’t have a consultant at the moment, he left last year and I don’t think he’s been replaced yet. I’ll just be speaking with specialist nurses, who are great, so hopefully they will find a solution. Thanks, Greg.

  2. All OF THE ABOVE! Fortunately not all at one time. I feel my PsA kind of snuck in the back door. It started with IBD and progressed to heart disease then psoriasis, and finally full blown psoriatic arthritis. At the time of these apparently diverse diagnosis's I had no clue, didn't even know what PsA was, but in hind thought I can see it now. Having plenty of time to contemplate now with PsA affecting my life I can see way back the things that led to my present position. All the way back to my youth. Isn't hindsight great? My hat is off to all of us that suffer in silence. Just started on XELJANS so hope this helps. Time will tell.

    1. Hi @comguy. Hindsight is awesome. Sure wish we had a crystal ball to look at the future although that might scare us with PsA too much. Please let us know how Xeljans does for you. Hoping all the best for you. Vickie W., Community Moderator

  3. Will do. They say about 3 months and I was doing better already being on sulfasalazine and now moving onto Xeljanz with sulfasalazine, hoping to ween myself off the sulfasalazine and end up with just the Xeljanz. I also hope someone can think about the sciatic stretches' for all the back and leg pain.

    1. Hi hope it works out for you. I tried sulfasalazine years ago, before the Enbrel, and it made me feel absolutely terrible. They took me off it after about 4 weeks and as I’d failed methotrexate and sulfasalazine they could put me on the Enbrel. I’ve not heard of Xeljanz before. Time for Mr Google to step in I think. 😊
      Good luck, Greg.

  4. Hi . I found this website by accident & decided to join because I need the support of others who are suffering with PsA. I am affected by PsA from my head to my toes. Looking back through the years, I've had PsA for at least the last 25 years. I've suffered from auto-immune diseases all my life. It started mildly & when I sought medical attention for whatever was bothering me at the time, there was always a common ailment explanation. Recommended treatments, medicines, physical therapy & sometimes surgery helped, but, as the years went on my symptoms increased, but, no one ever suggested that I seek out a rheumatologist for an evaluation. 2 1/2 years ago I suffered a major heart malfunction & cardiac arrest. An emergency surgery done by a very talented & gutsy thoracic surgeon brought me back to life, but, no one knew why this particular heart malfunction happened to me. A year ago, my dermatologist recommended I see a rheumatologist because of an auto-immune skin disease that I've had since 1979 when I was 28 years old. When this disease flares I am so miserable & the dermatologist said that maybe a rheumatologist would find an answer to how she could best treat me when I went into a flare. Meanwhile I had all this body pain, inflamed achille's tendons in both feet, & so many other indicators of widespread auto-immune inflammatory diseases, but, figured it was a combination of age, osteoarthritis & genes. Imagine my surprise when on my 1st visit, after xrays of 8 body points, visual & hands on examination my new rheumatologist informed me that I had PsA & more than likely RA as well. I was sent to the lab for a blood draw (10 vials!) & when I returned to the rheumatologist 2 weeks later not only was the RA confirmed, but, I also have Systemic Lupus. Well no wonder I am in terrible pain!!! My first question to the doctor was 'You mean I'm NOT crazy???' & I started to cry when he said 'You most certainly are not crazy.' He did say that he was quite surprised when he saw the positive Systemic Lupus results & that he has had very few patients with all 3 conditions in his long medical career. We discussed all 3 conditions & all the options available to me. He helped me choose treatments I am comfortable with. I take hydroxychloroquine & methotrexate. This past February I was hospitalized with covid19 & when the hospital cardiologist came to my room & read my medical history, she said 'Well, now we know why you had that heart problem 2 years ago! Your heart became inflamed from all these inflammatory arthritis conditions you have.' I hadn't had any cardiac testing other than my regular cardio visits since being put on the anti-inflammatory meds so she ordered a few while I was in the hospital & they all came back with great results. I've learned to adjust my life to my PsA, RA & Lupus. I never miss taking my meds & I've learned to ask for help if I can't do something that years ago I could do without a second thought. I use a walker, take naps when I get tired & admit it when I am too tired to go anywhere or do anything. These conditions take a mental toll as well as a physical one & we cannot be 'too proud' to admit our weaknesses or inability to do something. My biggest mental hangup was that people would look at me & see a feeble old lady. It took me months to get over that, but, after my 3rd fall because I cared what people thought & didn't use a walking aid, I realized how foolish my thoughts were. My PCP has been encouraging me to start an exercise program. My son who teaches yoga has been begging me to start doing yoga. My daughter who walks an hour every day rain or shine, has been begging me to start a walking program, but, my achille's tendons are way to painful more often than not for me to keep to a walking program. Tonight, my oldest son who is my housemate & caretaker & I went to the fitness center where we live. We looked at the different equipment & I tried the recumbent bike & was able to use it for a full 5 minutes with minimal pain. I am setting a goal for myself to go to use the bike every day & not to force myself to do more than I am comfortable doing. If I can use it for more than 5 minutes each day, I will & if I can only use it for 3 minutes, I will only do that. I know my PCP & my children are right about doing more than sitting in a chair all day & I'm determined to start taking better care of myself.


    I'm glad I found this site & look forward to learning new things about PsA & how to take better care of myself.

    1. I am so glad you found your way here, @mema51! Welcome to teh community. What a long journey for you. Unfortunately, many people have PsA for years or even decades before they are diagnosed for reasons similar to yours -- because there is always some other "explanation" for each complaint. Thank goodness your doctor thought to look beyond PsA with the tests for Lupus and RA. It sounds like you have wonderful support from your family and medical teams. I hope you continue to see improvements now that your are on a good treatment plan. Please feel free to message me or any other moderator if there is anything you need as you explore the community. Best of all wishes! - Lori (Team Member)

    2. thank you!

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