Psoriatic Rheumatoid Arthritis

Psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis is in many ways a combination of two diseases, both of which are autoimmune diseases. Psoriatic arthritis, as it is often called, has the symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis, a painful inflammatory arthritis of the joints, and psoriasis, a chronic skin disease which causes red or grayish scaly patches on the body. Psoriasis usually precedes arthritis symptoms, which about 1 in 20 psoriasis patients will develop. The disease strikes affected men and women when they are between the ages of 30 and 50, although occasionally it occurs in childhood. The severity of the symptoms varies greatly from person to person; some are afflicted with mild, non-progressive symptoms, while others are stricken with extremely painful joint inflammation and terrible flare-ups of psoriasis which must be treated so as to prevent permanent dysfunction.

While there are five types of psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis, there are basic similarities between them all. Joint pain and inflammation, particularly in the fingers, toes, wrists, knees and ankles is one of the predominant symptoms. Joints are usually particularly stiff and painful in the morning. Tendonitis often accompanies joint discomfort, as does low back pain in individuals whose spine is impacted. The skin most affected by the silver-gray scaled texture of psoriasis is usually on the scalp, elbows, knees, and low back. Fingernails and/or toenails also exhibit pitting. Individuals suffering from psoriatic arthritis also often get conjunctivitis and suffer from extreme fatigue.

Since psoriatic arthritis can evolve and change over time, it is important to work with a rheumatologist and to keep a close watch on symptoms, documenting any significant changes which may impact treatment. Common to the treatment plan (myrbetriq) is prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which help to reduce the inflammation and pain in affected joints, read more myrbetriq. More powerful drugs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), are often prescribed to attempt to slow or stop the progression of the disease. Such drugs, like Leflunomide, Methotrexate, and Sulfasalazine may be prescribed. The newest medications being prescribed to psoriatic rheumatoid arthritis patients are called TNFs of tumor necrosis factors which seek to block inflammatory proteins made by the body.

Regular exercise is recommended for all individuals with the disease, as it helps to maintain mobility and flexibility, even in the stiffest of joints. Inactivity will only make the disease progress faster. To assist with this, occupational or physical therapy may be recommended, especially for individuals with severe cases of psoriatic arthritis. Ice and heat applications can also ease joint discomfort flare-ups.

The earlier the disease is identified and treatment begins, the better the prognosis is for patients and the better the odds that symptoms and progression will be limited. While there is not a current cure for the illness, the symptoms often do seem to ebb and flow, getting better for weeks, months and even years at a time before another flare-up occurs.