Psoriatic arthritis is a condition where a person is afflicted with psoriasis and arthritis at the same time. It’s an auto immune disease whereby the immune system cells and antibodies go to war with body tissues. In most cases, the more severe the psoriasis the greater the risk is of contracting psoriatic arthritis.
Possible Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis
The main cause of psoriatic arthritis is yet to be known. Studies have, however, shown that a combination of genetic, immune, and environmental factors could be responsible.
A gene marker, which goes by the name of HLA-B27, has been found in 50 percent of the cases of patients afflicted with psoriatic arthritis who have arthritis of the spine. Currently, blood testing could be carried out to identify the above gene.
Changes in the immune system and the reduction in the number of immune cells, known as helper T cells, could also contribute to the onset of psoriatic arthritis. The T cells factor is usually attributed to patients with AIDS who are afflicted with psoriatic arthritis.
Meanwhile, researchers are still investigating the role of environmental factors and infectious agents in relation to psoriatic arthritis.
Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis
In most cases, psoriatic arthritis worsens over time. However, there will be periods when symptoms go into remission, especially after a `critical’ period. Furthermore, in most cases, joint and skin problems appear and disappear simultaneously.
Among the signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are swollen joints, painful joints in affected areas, and warm-to-the-touch joints. Medical experts have identified five main types of psoriatic arthritis and their symptoms. Patients may experience a number of them over different periods of time.
Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis
This is actually the mildest among the group. Only joints on one side of the body are affected but at times different joints on each side could be affected as well. Affected joints are usually those in the hip, ankle, knee or wrist. Usually the affected joints are red and tender.
Symmetric Psoriatic Arthritis
The symptoms include pain in five or more joints on both sides of the body. There are more female patients with this condition compared to male patients. The pain is severe.
Distal Interphalangeal Joint Predominant Arthritis
The symptom for this rare type of psoriatic arthritis is pain in the finger and toe joints. It affects mostly men. Nails are also affected with psoriasis symptoms like discoloration, thickening and pitting.
The main symptom for this kind of psoriatic arthritis is pain in the spine, accompanied by stiffness and inflammation in the neck or lower back. Inflammation could also be felt in areas where tendons and ligaments attach to the spine. At the advanced staged of the condition, movements become painful and increasingly difficult.
This is psoriatic arthritis of the severe and destructive type. Only a small percentage of psoriatic arthritis patients are afflicted with this painful condition. It has the potential to destroy the small bones in the fingers leaving them permanently deformed and disabled.
The moment you experience any of the above symptoms, don’t leave anything to chance. Consult a doctor immediately so that proper medical treatment could be given in case there’s an onset of psoriatic arthritis.
https://www.emedicinehealth.com/psoriatic_arthritis/article_em.htm - psoriatic arthritis overview
https://www.medicinenet.com/psoriatic_arthritis/page2.htm#2 - possible causes of psoriatic arthritis