I am a 25 years old male, and today I will share my experience with Psoriatic Arthritis and how Your Doctors.Online helped me.
Since the past few months, I started noticing changes in my body, primarily muscle weakness and fatigue, and I had no idea that Psoriatic Arthritis was the culprit. I was also experiencing morning stiffness in all the joints of my body. It took me 15 to 30 minutes minimum to pull myself out of bed. Day by Day, I was getting fatigued. I had stopped playing football for my team, and it hit me hard.
I Went To See My Local Doctor But Received Partial Help.
My doctor assessed me for fatigue and muscle weakness. But, like any other busy clinic, they didn’t pay heed to my query of joint stiffness in the morning and blamed my diet for lack of vitamin D and calcium intake.
I started taking care of my diet and added milk, cheese, and oral supplements for it. It made the fatigue vanish, and I started playing football again.
My Happy Days Didn’t Last Long, And I Developed A Rash.
The rash first started on my knees. It was a dry red rash that initially contained small bumps, but it progressed to an irregular shape within a few months.
I ignored it as it didn’t itch and was neither painful. But, being forever careless, I never noticed my nails were changing their shape, and some lines were appearing on them.
My Symptoms Were Progressing, And I Couldn’t Stop Myself From Seeking Help Again.
The rashes were progressing in size and were now on my scalp, knees, elbows and trunk.
Also, silver scales had started covering the rashes, itching badly. I was in so much pain. The current Covid pandemic made it nearly impossible to see a doctor in person with all the restrictions and lockdown. I could not go anywhere and was locked in my room with my miserable health at such a young age.
Taking advice from google was not a good idea because it kept diagnosing me with a fungal infection, but all antifungal treatments went in vain. So I modified my search on google and started looking for an online doctor.
With A Lot Of Fear And Doubts, I Downloaded Your Doctors Online.
As soon as I downloaded the app, it connected me to a professional and calm doctor who was well-versed in her subject. First, she assured me and then asked me to send her pictures of the rash. After looking at the rash, she inquired:
- If I was experiencing morning stiffness in my hands?
- If I had oral ulcers?
- Was I experiencing any nail changes?
- If I had noticed any triggers for these rashes, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, stress, any medicines?
I gave affirmative answers to her questions. I also noticed that stress and smoking always flared my rash and joint pain. Finally, the doctor asked me if I took painkillers like ibuprofen? With a bit of hesitation, I informed her that I was heavily dependent on ibuprofen all these years for any kind of pain.
The Doctor Diagnosed Me With Psoriatic Arthritis.
The doctor diagnosed me with Psoriatic Arthritis, an autoimmune disorder based on my history. These were foreign words for me. The doctor explained that my body’s immune response was fighting against my skin cells and stress; smoking and ibuprofen can worsen my symptoms. She emphasised that it is a multifactorial disease.
She ensured that I understood that the rash was not contagious and proper treatment could help manage my symptoms. The doctors gave me emollients and a steroid cream, which improved my symptoms. She advised me to take care of my diet and keep an eye on any food-related triggers. As per the doctor’s advice, I started exercising, which helped relieve my joint pain.
The doctor referred me to a rheumatologist for further Psoriatic Arthritis treatment. By the time my appointment came, I was in a much better state. My rash had improved, and I was very well prepped with the information regarding Psoriatic Arthritis, all thanks to Dr Noor at Your Doctors. Online.
Now, I am a healthy 25-year-old man, a lot more conscious of my health, and I have quit smoking, as Dr Noor suggested. But, although it has been six months, I still seek help from online doctors for anything related to my health.
Download Your Doctors Online App And Talk To A Real Doctor
Like me, you can download Your Doctors Online and chat with an actual doctor from your home, an app that helped me find the cause for my symptoms. Cheers to Your Doctors Online!
Information on Psoriatic arthritis:
Psoriatic arthritis is typically the result of a skin disorder called psoriasis that causes red, scaly skin. Psoriasis affects almost 2 percent of people in the United Kingdom and about 7.5 million people in the US. Psoriasis is not limited to a specific gender and affects men and women equally.
Cause of psoriasis
Psoriasis is classified as an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune cells begin attacking healthy skin cells. As a result, the degeneration and regeneration of skin cells is faster in psoriasis, which causes a build-up of skin cells in the form of red patches.
Causes of psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis typically occurs as a consequence of psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis is also an autoimmune disease in which the body’s defence system starts killing healthy cells. However, by far, the connection between psoriasis and associated arthritis is not clear.
Risk factors of psoriatic arthritis
Your chances to get psoriatic arthritis increase if you have:
- familial problem of psoriasis
Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis can be caused by a genetic tendency to develop PsA. According to an estimate, about 10 percent of the population inherit one or more genes that cause psoriasis.
The early symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:
- Stiffness in joints
- Nail deformities
- Reduced motility
These symptoms vary from individual to individual and range from milder attacks to a sudden flare-up. Rough red patches of the skin may form anywhere but are abundant on knees, arms, elbows, hands, and feet. Skin becomes cracky.
Types of psoriatic arthritis
There are five types of psoriatic arthritis:
Symmetric psoriatic arthritis
Similar to Rheumatoid arthritis, this affects joints on both sides of the body equally, e.g., left and right elbows, but symmetric PsA is milder than rheumatoid arthritis. Nevertheless, it occurs in 50% of the population suffering from psoriatic arthritis.
Unlike symmetric PsA, which affects joints on both sides of the body, asymmetric PsA affects one side. It affects 35% population suffering from psoriatic arthritis.
Distal interphalangeal PsA
‘Phalanges’ is a term used for fingers in the medical world. Distal interphalangeal joints are those joints of the fingers that are present close to nails. Distal interphalangeal PsA affects these distal joints. This type of PsA affects 10 % of the entire population affected by psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis mutilans
This is the most devastating type of PsA, affecting 5% of people with psoriatic arthritis. It affects hands and feet and may cause pain in the lower back and neck.
Treatment of PsA
Following are some prescribed treatments of psoriatic arthritis depending upon the nature of the patient:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
These medications are used to control pain and inflammation in joints. Many over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen serve the same purpose. Depending upon the severity of pain, the doctor may prescribe high doses of NSAIDs.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
These drugs reduce inflammation, thus preventing further progression of PSA. Some of the commonly used medications are :
These medications can be taken orally or in the form of injectables.
Steroids are occasionally injected into the affected areas to help relieve inflammation. However, side effects of steroids may be observed as well.
Immunosuppressants like azathioprine and cyclosporine limit the autoimmune reaction in psoriatic arthritis. However, they are not commonly used because of their ability to suppress the body’s immune system.
Many over-the-counter topical creams and ointments are available for treating rash and itchiness—for example, calcitriol, salicylic acid, anthralin, etc.