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Is It Really Psoriatic Arthritis?

Is It Really Psoriatic Arthritis?

I have had psoriatic arthritis for 25 years, but didn’t get the proper diagnosis until 10 or 12 years ago. I have thought over the past years why did it take so long? How do I know now that it’s not plain arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis? I told my doctors for years that I had this disease, but they never put two and two together that there was a connection between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Educating doctors about PsA

Over the years I have wonder if some of these doctors needed as much education about this as I did. I remember over 20 years ago having to tell a dermatologist that you don’t have to have psoriasis to have psoriasis arthritis. He’d ask me was I sure? There have been times in the past 50 years were I have had to educate my doctor. Sometimes they just don’t get it. My primary care physician asked me to write her a paper on this disease. This was about 30 years ago. I remember writing that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis were both autoimmune diseases. The only difference I could see at that time was that psoriatic arthritis involves the skin as well as the joints.

I have learned over the years from years of researching that there are different types of arthritis. I believe that psoriatic arthritis comes with joint damage and that the cells are always being attacked. Psoriasis has a rapid skin cell build-up where the cells grow at a rapid rate.

Educating yourself about PsA

Everyone’s symptoms are totally different for each person. My psoriatic arthritis gets bad as the years go on. There are some days that I am totally drained and just don’t want to get out of bed; scrambling an egg can take away so much of your energy; get as much rest as you can.

I feel like every joint in my body is in pain, along with the stiffness and swelling. Walking up and down my stairs has become a challenge. I have started having foot and ankle pain. My finger have started swelling more than usual, but I keep moving forward.

We know there is no cure, but with the proper treatment we can manage the pain. Biologics have made my way of life so much better. I have tried to make changes to help me manage better. I have made lifestyle changes to help with my joints. I do some light exercise such as walking when I’m able.

Educate yourself about psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, you never know who you might have to explain this to. I know that this a serious disease that can one day cripple me. Over the years the treatments have been getting better and better. Work with your rheumatologist to find the best treatment for you.

Yes, there are other diseases, they can almost seem like they are psoriatic arthritis which can cause you to be misdiagnosed. If you think you have psoriatic arthritis and can’t get the proper diagnosis, get a second opinion. Don’t ignore your pain and think it’s going to go away. There is a reason you are having this pain. Don’t give up, keep going to the doctor. You don’t have to wait 25 years like I did. I eventually got the necessary test and was diagnosed correctly.

Over the years I have been an active advocate for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, speaking up and out about this disease.

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