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Which tests should I have for a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis?

I have a recent diagnosis of PsA. Systemic bloodwork is negative for inflammation.
My mother had lupus discoid. I have an inflammatory bowel disease that started around 2 years ago became disabling. I have psoriasis on elbows and scalp blisters/lesions that form scabs and are painful. My doctor has repeatedly tested me for rheumatoid factor and always negative. My joint pain started in my ankles and moved to my knees and hips. It feels like I have pain in my bones, too. I am often awakened by pain in these joints and experiencing intense lower back pain and newer pain in elbows.

What tests should I have? I am concerned as symptoms are hardly manageable and the combination of gastrointestinal and joint symptoms are becoming unbearable. From everything I am reading joints can become compromised and deformed permanently and I am worried as it seems my joints are rapidly worsening. I am especially concerned about my back and wonder what type of imaging should be done. Also, since my rheumatoid factor was negative my doctor canceled the referral to the rheumatologist that was suggested by my gastroenterologist and has me seeing a dermatologist instead. I have had issues with sleep and diagnosed with narcolepsy/idiopathic hypersomnia and the fatigue is so bad and the tiredness I can’t drive without medication.

Community Answers
  • CathyD moderator
    12 months ago

    Hi @melissaculbertson,

    Thank you for reaching out. I’m very sorry to read about everything you are having to cope with, and can completely understand your concerns.

    We have some information on the different tests that can be helpful for diagnosing PsA here: These would usually be ordered by a rheumatologist. Would it be possible to ask for another referral? Rheumatologists are really best placed to investigate potential PsA symptoms and make a diagnosis. Perhaps your dermatologist has some thoughts on this and could refer you?

    Please know that we’re here to support you on this journey, no matter the outcome. Sending lots of love your way.

    -Catherine, Community Moderator

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