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Psoriatic Arthritis

psoriasis-arthritisWhat is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. If your joints ache and feel stiff in the morning and if your skin starts to change then you might be suffering from psoriatic arthritis. This is a type of arthritis that affects not only your joints, but also your skin.

Statistics show that in Germany there are around 160 000 people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis. The disease can appear at any age and affects men and women in the same way, therefore your sex is not an issue.

Psoriatic arthritis can affect people in many different ways, depending on your metabolism. Some of the people suffering from the disease may experiment a greater skin infestation than the pain in the joints. For others, the disease may manifest only to the fingers and feet.

Causes

Unfortunately, due to the fact that the disease is still being researched the causes of psoriatic arthritis are yet unknown. According to studies, the reason for the disease might be a bacteria or a virus that triggers an altered immune response. It is believed that heredity plays a role in contracting the disease. You may also develop the disease from normal psoriasis.

Symptoms

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are generally the same as normal arthritis. The general symptom with which the disease starts is inflammation of the joints. The reason for your inflammation is a faulty immune system. Your immune system confuses your joint cells with harmful ones and starts attacking them in order to eliminate them. This is why psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. These types of diseases are caused by a faulty immune system.

Starting therapy as soon as possible after you’ve contracted the disease can help you stop the destruction of the joints. Treating yourself as fast as you can reduces the damage to the joints.

Diagnosis

In order to start treating psoriatic arthritis properly you need to have the correct diagnosis. Usually a blood test can determine what kind of joint disease you have. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for psoriatic arthritis. The normal analysis can’t determine correctly if you have psoriatic arthritis or not.

In order to determine if you are suffering from psoriatic arthritis, the physician needs to pay more attention to your physical discomfort. He needs to check whether you have psoriasis, or if the nails are affected.

Treatment

It is important to get the right treatment for psoriatic arthritis. The normal treatment against inflammation is usually a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Ibuprofen or Diclofenac. Along with this treatment comes the basic therapy that you have to do for undefined period of time. Some people do it their whole lives. The basic therapy involves the use of Methotrexate and Sulfasalazine, two drugs used to treat psoriatic arthritis. They help by stopping the overreaction of the immune system.

There also biological treatments that help you deal with the pain by stopping the pain signals from reaching the brain. This is type of therapy is new and expensive. It is usually used when other treatments have failed.

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