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Julie asked...

Psoriasic arthritus

How do I know if I am suffering from psoriasic arthritus? I have a history of psoriasis and a sister with rhumatoid arthritus. I have swollen aching joints, mainly fingers and wrists, and am unable to make a complete fist and my grib is painful in the mornings in particular.

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The answer

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis which can occur in 20- 40% of people who suffer from psoriasis. Onset of this type of arthritis usually develops within 10 years of psoriasis being diagnosed and is thought to be a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissue.

Symptoms of this type of arthritis include pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints particularly in the neck, hands, feet, spine and elbows.

It would be advisable to see your GP for investigations such as blood tests to check for inflammation markers and infection and also commence referrals for other investigations such as scans which can help diagnose this ailment.

This type of arthritis can be treated by means of anti-inflammatory medications, steroids andante-rheumatic drugs.

Monitoring your general health, weight, reducing alcohol, caffeine and smoking can also help reduce the side effects you are experiencing too.

Due to your medical and family history we would encourage you to see your GP as soon as possible so that you can be assessed and so that other causes can be eliminated too.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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