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Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

Psoriatic arthritis is characterized by an inflammation of the skin and the joints which may trigger pain and discomfort. Inflammation of the joints typically occurs in about 15% of patients who suffer from psoriasis leading to psoriatic arthritis. General areas affected by psoriatic arthritis may include the elbows, knees, scalp, ears, navel and genital/anal areas. There are various treatments available to offer relief from psoriatic arthritis that involves the use of over-the-counter or prescribed drugs along with exercise. To learn more about psoriatic arthritis treatments, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by the Experts.

What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?

Typical symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include an extensive bout of psoriasis prior to arthritis which can affect the knee, ankle and foot joints. Other symptoms that are common are expressed pain during walking, costochondritis (pain within the chest wall) Iritis, lack of breath, heart failure, pimples or acne and change in the appearance of finger and toe nails.

How can a person treat psoriatic arthritis?

Most of the treatments for psoriatic arthritis are usually directed at lowering and controlling inflammation as this is the biggest symptom of the condition. Two common medicines used are NSAIDS such as Diclofenac and Naproxen.

Another course of treatment is the use of corticosteroid injections. However, this helps only when a few joints are affected by the disease.

If NSAIDS and corticosteroid injections fail to provide relief, immunosuppressants in the form of Methotrexate or Leflunomide may be used. The up side of using these drugs is that they have the ability to treat the psoriasis while treating the inflammation.

There have been other recent developments in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis but they are generally reserved for the more severe cases of the disease. They consist of using Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha inhibitors such as, Infliximab, Etanercept, Golimumab and Adalimumab. Studies continue on the new treatments in the hope that they can be used much earlier to avoid complete joint destruction.

In many cases, surgery is also done for patients who suffer from excessive joint damage by replacing the joint. With the help of surgery, patients tend to avoid excessive joint pain and damage while being able to reinforce the strength and the ability to use the joint.

However, any patient who believes they may suffer from psoriatic arthritis should get a total evaluation done to ensure a proper treatment plan is charted out to offer relief from the pain and lower the progression of the disease. This evaluation can be done by an orthopedic surgeon or a rheumatologist.

Can one gain weight by taking Methotrexate and are there any foods to avoid when you have psoriatic arthritis ?

Methotrexate is a medicine used to treat psoriatic arthritis and has been known to cause weight gain in patients who use it. One of the best approaches to avoiding weight gain may be to reduce one's calorie intake by at least 500 calories less than what is required by the basal metabolic rate (BMR) of the body per day.

While there is no set diet arranged for this caloric reduction, the best approach is generally avoiding processed foods and including fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats into one's diet.

Do cortisone shots work in the early stages of psoriatic arthritis of the hands?

Typically, when only one area is affected by psoriatic arthritic, a steroid injection works fine. However, if there are several joints affected, NSAIDS seem to work better. Advil and Aleve are common NSAIDS commonly used to treat pain. Some people tend to benefit from using other medication such as Azathioprine, Methotrexate and Cyclosporin which are usually used for connective tissue disease.

Psoriatic arthritis is a painful disease that tends to isolate many people from participating in normal everyday activities. However, there are several psoriatic arthritis treatments available depending on the kind and severity of the condition. If you have any questions about psoriatic arthritis treatments, ask a medical Expert for insight and answers.
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