The Effects of Psoriatic Arthritis
It took me 25 years to get the proper treatment for psoriatic arthritis. This is a form of arthritis that affects people diagnosed with the skin disorder psoriasis also. People with psoriasis experience flare-ups of red, patchy skin or skin lesions. 15% of people with psoriasis develop arthritis. There are some cases where you get the arthritis before you get the psoriasis. There is no cure yet.
My psoriatic arthritis has started affecting different parts of me. I have my good days and my bad days. As I have gotten older, I am having more bad days. I am experiencing a lot of inflammation in my joints, which causes stiffness, swelling, and joint pain. In the past few years, I have developed inflammation in the knees making it harder to walk.
I have had to have tests like a MRI, CT scans, and X-rays to see where the arthritis is in my body. My fingers and toes have been swelling for years, which sometimes can cause soreness and be very painful. I have started doing some light exercise to keep the joints flexible. Walking has help me a lot.
Psoriasis is also another effect of psoriatic arthritis. You can itch and flake like crazy. A skin biopsy can be used to confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis. I have had 6. Psoriasis can be mild, or it can be severe enough to impact quality of life. Symptoms may flare up periodically, and then go into remission.
Research has shown now that psoriasis can also lead to vision problems. Inflammatory lesions such as conjunctivitis are the most likely side effect. In very rare cases, psoriasis causes a loss of vision.
As your psoriatic arthritis gets worse the damaged cartilage causes the bones to rub against each other. This just started happening to me. My rheumatologist told me to do moderate exercise to keep muscles strong. If I feel this is not enough that I needed to join an exercise program.
As we know psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune condition. Your immune system is designed to protect you from viruses and bacteria. Sometimes, the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In the case of psoriatic arthritis, the attack can include the joints. Psoriatic arthritis is a lifelong condition, but you may experience periodic attacks followed by remission.
This disease causes us pain and discomfort, but it can cause emotional pain as well. Some people with psoriatic arthritis may be prone to moodiness. We have all felt embarrassed, have low self-esteem, and depression, especially among those who have not found a way to manage the disease effectively or newly diagnosed people. I would suggest joining a support group or get counseling.
When we have psoriatic arthritis we get very tired and fatigued. Over the years I have developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. I just want to say that I think that us with this chronic illness need to make healthy lifestyle choices that will promote overall good health and well-being. A healthy diet, regular moderate exercise, and a good night’s sleep go a long way towards helping you reach that goal. I have started doing this, but I have a long ways to go.
Over the years I have been an active advocate for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, speaking up and out about this disease.
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