Psoriatic Arthritis develops among people who have previously suffered from Psoriasis. In a limited number of cases, it can develop without the skin abnormality affecting children and adults of all ages. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the skin, joints, tendons, and vital ligaments in the body. There is no cure for the condition, and at best, its symptoms can be managed to improve the quality of life.
Causes and risk factors
Psoriatic Arthritis causes the body’s own defense to attack the skin and joints. There are no known causes for this yet. Doctors often attribute the triggers to changes in genetic structure and the surrounding environment. Below are a number of risk factors that can trigger its symptoms.
- It is common among older adults between the ages of 30 and 50
- Risk is high with a family history of the condition
- Having a strep throat infection increases the risk
- Suffering from Psoriasis can trigger Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic Arthritis is easy to identify as there are several visual indicators of this condition.
- Swelling: Swollen joints, fingers, and toes are among the first signs. Swelling results in tenderness among the joints. As the discomfort worsens, one also experiences muscle and tendon pain due to inflammation.
- Fatigue: As the immune system attacks healthy cells and triggers flare-ups, the body undergoes a lot of stress. One can feel zapped out of energy and experience stiffness in the body.
- Changes in physical appearance: Nail pitting and even the nail coming from the finger bed indicates compromised immunity. These changes are also visible on the scalp as the skin becomes dry and flaky. Redness in the eyes and persistent pain due to this symptom is another clear indicator.
- Problems with mobility: Swelling, pain, tenderness, and inflammation around vital joints in the body affect one’s range of motion and mobility.
There is no cure for the condition. Psoriatic Arthritis symptoms can only be managed using a combination of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), immunosuppressants, biologics, enzyme inhibitors, and steroids as prescribed by a specialist. For severe symptoms, surgery and light therapy are suggested. Light therapy is done to get rid of psoriatic skin plaques that form a crust over the skin.
Changes in diet
Healthy eating helps manage the symptoms and reduces the risk of flare-ups. Popular food choices include a combination of fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, foods cooked in healthy olive oils instead of refined oils, and an assortment of walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds. It is also necessary to reduce the consumption of processed products rich in saturated and trans fats, refined sugars, red meats, and refined sugar.