Prognosis. Generally psoriatic arthritis is a mild condition. With proper treatment and help from others you can relieve joint pain and stiffness and keep skin problems under control. Some people however have a more serious disease and require combinations of medications to control symptoms and prevent joint damage.
PsA does not usually affect life expectancy, but a person with PsA may have a higher risk of other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease.
Even so, the pain and discomfort associated with psoriatic arthritis can be significant. A study published in 2015 in the journal PLoS One found that the overall pain, joint pain, and fatigue reported by psoriatic arthritis patients was significantly greater than that reported by people with rheumatoid arthritis.
It typically causes affected joints to become swollen, stiff and painful. Like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is a long-term condition that can get progressively worse. If it's severe, there's a risk of the joints becoming permanently damaged or deformed, and surgery may be needed.
Foods like fatty red meats, dairy, refined sugars, processed foods, and possibly vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants (you might hear them called nightshades) may all cause inflammation. Avoid them and choose fish, like mackerel, tuna, and salmon, which have omega-3 fatty acids.
Joint pain, stiffness and swelling are the main signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. They can affect any part of the body, including your fingertips and spine, and can range from relatively mild to severe. In both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, disease flares can alternate with periods of remission.
“Worsening joint pain and swelling, or new or worsening psoriatic lesions, are the most common red flags that someone is having a PsA flare,” says Yamen Homsi, M.D., the section chief of rheumatology at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. But there may be other signs that a flare is on the way.
You'll probably think of skin issues first, but your eyes, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal (GI) tract (stomach and intestines), liver and kidneys may also be affected.
Generally psoriatic arthritis is a mild condition. With proper treatment and help from others you can relieve joint pain and stiffness and keep skin problems under control. Some people however have a more serious disease and require combinations of medications to control symptoms and prevent joint damage.
Rheumatologists often prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, to people with psoriatic arthritis. These medications can help ease pain and curb the swelling that accompanies this condition. Common NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
The most severe and least common type of psoriatic arthritis is called arthritis mutilans. Fewer than 5 percent of individuals with psoriatic arthritis have this form of the disorder.
Psoriatic arthritis has the potential to put you in a wheelchair, and just because you're walking around on your own doesn't mean it's easy.
The disease often appears between ages 30 and 50. For many people, it starts about 10 years after psoriasis develops, but some develop PsA first or without ever developing or noticing psoriasis.
Another debilitating type of PsA is arthritis mutilans (AM). While rare, it is the most severe form of PsA and it is known for destroying the small bones of the hands. 5 AM can cause permanent disability if not properly treated.
Psoriatic arthritis risk factor: Age
Psoriatic arthritis can start at any age. However, it occurs most often in adults ages 30 to 50. For the majority of patients, PsA starts five to 10 years after the development of psoriasis, says Dr. Haberman.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
These medications address the underlying systemic inflammation in psoriatic arthritis. They are critical for slowing and stopping the course of inflammatory disease and can treat both skin and joint pain at the same time.
Foods that can trigger or worsen psoriatic arthritis are foods that promote inflammation. Foods to avoid include: Foods high in sugars, such as soda, candy, chocolate bars, cookies, cakes, juices, sweetened cereals, and corn syrup.
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or ESR or sed rate, is a blood test that measures inflammation in the body, which helps determine a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, explains Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, vice chair of rheumatology and director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center at the Cleveland Clinic.
Some people find that psoriatic arthritis leads to another kind of fatigue: brain fog. People have reported problems with concentration, memory and other thinking skills. In part, this fuzzy-headed feeling may be the result of not getting enough sleep at night because of chronic pain.
PsA is often undiagnosed and can be misdiagnosed for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA), especially in a non-rheumatologic setting [7–9]. RA is a chronic inflammatory arthritis typified by pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints, particularly symmetric small-joint synovitis of the hands and feet .
Over time, this inflammation can damage blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. People with PsA have a still higher risk of heart disease than those with psoriasis alone, according to the authors of a 2018 review .
For many people who have psoriatic arthritis, waking up is not the highlight of the day. Joint pain and stiffness are often most severe in the mornings. Inflammatory activity can surge at night because of your body's circadian rhythms.