Psoriatic arthritis (PA) can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain in and around the joints, cause nail changes and general fatigue. Studies show that delaying treatment with PA for only six months can lead to permanent joint damage. Early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment are critical to relieve pain and inflammation and prevent joint damage. This article will look at how to identify psoriatic arthritis.
How to identify psoriatic arthritis
If you experience joint pain and pain, talk with your doctor about the diagnosis and treatment. Working with primary care physicians or dermatologists is often the first step in diagnosing psoriatic arthritis, but patients with PA should consider going to a rheumatologist who specializes in arthritis.
There is no definitive test for psoriatic arthritis. The diagnosis is made mainly by your doctor’s observations and the elimination process. Your doctor will need your medical history, especially your history of psoriasis, and can do physical examinations, blood tests, MRI scans, and x-rays of the joints that have symptoms for psoriatic arthritis.
Symptoms of PA are similar to those of three other arthritic diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and reactive arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually involves joints symmetrically distributed on both sides of the body, and it can cause bumps under the skin that are absent in psoriatic arthritis. However, some forms of PA are very similar. However, psoriasis on the skin and changes in the nails are usually indicators of PA.
To rule out rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may check for a specific antibody called the rheumatoid factor, which is usually present with rheumatoid arthritis. The rheumatoid factor usually does not occur in the blood of patients with PA.
A person may have rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, but this is rare.
Similarly, it is possible to have gout along with psoriasis and PA. If you have a painfully painful attack in the joints, especially in the thumb, you can do a gout test. Your doctor will want to examine the fluid from the affected joint for an increase in serum uric acid, which indicates gout.
However, people with psoriatic arthritis may also have elevated serum uric acid levels, as well as no gout. Taking aspirin or increasing the turnover of skin cells can also lead to high serum uric acid levels. It is important to distinguish between two forms of arthritis because they can be treated with different drugs.
What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis can develop slowly with mild symptoms, or it can develop quickly and be serious. Early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of PA can help prevent or limit extensive joint damage that occurs in the later stages of the disease. The disease can develop in a joint after an injury and may appear to rupture in cartilage.
Here are the common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis:
- Generalized fatigue.
- Tenderness, pain and swelling over the tendons.
- Swollen fingers and toes like sausages.
- Stiffness, pain, throbbing, swelling, and tenderness in one or more joints.
- Reduced range of motion.
- Morning stiffness and fatigue.
- Nail changes – for example, the nail separates from the nail bed or becomes ulcerative and mimics fungal infections.
- Redness and pain in the eyes, such as conjunctivitis.
Psoriatic arthritis usually affects the distal joints (those closest to the nail) with the fingers or toes.
You may also experience symptoms in the lower back, wrists, knees, or ankle. In 85% of patients, psoriasis occurs before the joint disease. If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, it is important to tell your dermatologist if you have any pain.
There is a slight association between the severity of psoriasis and the severity of psoriatic arthritis. Having a severe case of psoriasis does not necessarily mean that a person will have a severe case of PA. A person may have several skin lesions, but they have many joints affected by arthritis. How to determine psoriatic arthritis see above.
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