Psoriatic Arthritis – Noble Patient Advocacy

Psoriatic Arthritis – Noble Patient Advocacy


(soft music) – Hello, and welcome to Feel This Pain, my name is Ken Noble McKim
of Noble Patient Advocacy. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I
do want to talk to you tonight about something known
as psoriatic arthritis. Chances are, you’re
familiar with the condition known as psoriasis, where people develop these scaly, red and silver skin
rashes over their body. And I’m sure you’ve probably
seen the commercials for the medications that treat psoriasis. Humira and Stelara are
two of the more well known brand names of medications
for the condition. Psoriasis can be painful, but for some people who have it, skin rashes aren’t their only concern, because some of them will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis. Now as far as common symptoms go, it can mimic the symptomology
of rheumatoid arthritis. It can be very hard to distinguish
between the two of them just by observing symptoms. For example, one of the common
symptoms they both share is the joints becoming inflamed
and even warm to the touch. So, what your doctor might do is order a test looking
for something called rheumatoid factor, or RF. RF is an antibody that’s often found in the blood of people
with rheumatoid arthritis, and conversely, it’s not often found in the blood of people who
have psoriatic arthritis. So, it’s a good place to start weeding out which condition you might have. An even bigger difference
between rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis
is the distribution of the affected areas. So what do I mean by that? Well, RA tends to be symmetrical, with symptoms being mirrored on both sides of the
body in the same spots, whereas psoriatic arthritis
can present as asymmetrical, your left knee might
be inflamed and painful and hard to walk on, but your right knee
might be absolutely fine. Or your right wrist might feel like somebody is driving a
railroad spike into it, but your left wrist feels fine. Psoriatic arthritis can even cause inflammation in your eyes, a condition called uveitis. You might also experience
painful foot swelling in your Achilles tendon, or even on the soles of your feet, it’s also known as plantar fascitis. And as you would expect, it
makes it very painful to walk. Still other people will go
on to develop spondylitis, which is inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine. So the question, how does it feel? Well, it’s painful, obviously. One blogger who goes by the
name of The Disabled Diva describes it this way, “When my joints swell, it feels like someone has wedged a screwdriver into them and is trying to pry my joints out.” “Swelling around the spine sends nerve pain down to my toes and up through my skull.” That definitely paints
a picture, doesn’t it? Yeah, and if you’ve never seen her stuff, you’re missing out. I’ll go ahead and link to her pages in the description box down below for you. Another thing to know about this pain is that it isn’t constant. It comes and goes with
varying levels of intensity. And those are known as flares. So, for example, might be able to exercise throughout the week, but at the same time, there might be periods during the day where you don’t have the strength to pick up a carton of milk. Now, like so many other
invisible illnesses, PA is exhausting to have. When you’re in and out of pain for months and years at at time, with PA or any chronic illness, really, it just depletes all of
your energy reserves. You might have enough
energy to take a shower, but then, after taking that shower, the only thing you might
really feel like doing is going back to bed. So if you suffer with PA
or any chronic illness, I want you to listen very closely. This fatigue is not a sign of laziness. It’s because your body is
constantly in recovery mode. Because there’s near constant damage being done to your tissues. It takes sleep to heal, and
people with chronic illnesses like psoriatic arthritis are not getting quality healing sleep. And, just getting psoriatic
arthritis diagnosed is a minor miracle in and of itself, because the symptomology is just random. And think about it, if you’re in and out of pain, considering how long it can take to get an appointment to see a specialist, the chances of you being in pain by the time you’re actually
laying on that exam table can be pretty slim. So it’s not all bad news, there are some treatment
options available. Your doctor might recommend a class of medications called NSAIDs. You know them under different names, Aleve and Advil are the most popular. Or they might recommend
another class of medications called Disease-Modifying
Antirheumatic Drugs, or DMARDs. DMARDs can sometimes damage your liver, cause lung infections among
many, many other things. They can also weaken your immune system. I mean, diseases like psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune disorders
where your immune system is attacking your own body. So the treatment is to
weaken the immune system, but that’s obviously
going to be problematic since that’s what
protects you from diseases day in and day out, just
the common cold and flu. Now some DMARDs you may have heard of include Adalimumab, that’s fun to say, sold under the brand name Humira. There’s also one called Methotrexate, that’s well known, and Cyclosporine. Bottom line, it’s important to
discuss all the pros and cons of treating your psoriatic
arthritis with your doctor. There’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis. All of the currently available treatments are really focusing on
controlling the inflammation and minimizing the pain as
best as can be expected. I’ve put some links down
below in the description for you to use to educate
yourself more on this condition. And remember, if you or a loved one need an advocate to help
you, either find a new doctor or just go to the doctor
with you and take notes, or maybe you need help gathering all your medical records together from the various places
they’re scattered to, visit my web site, nobleadvocacy.com. There you can schedule your
free consultation with me, or, if you’re one of those people who still uses a phone
to make phone calls, you can call me, 775-235-4555. That’s it for now, thank you so much for watching. Until next time I’m Ken Noble McKim. You take care.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *