Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that appears as red patches on the skin. It is caused by an immune disorder which causes the body to attack the skin after confusing it for an enemy. This leaves visible red and white patches on the skin. Although rare, it does happen for reasons unknown.
It is estimated that a third of people with Psoriasis develop Psoriasis arthritis. This is a condition whereby the body starts to attack the bones and joints. The severity of the condition varies from person to person and can occur on different body parts.
According to The American College of Rheumatology, Psoriatic arthritis has been observed to occur after 5 to 12 years after psoriasis of the skin starts. Although the condition has been known to affect adults between 30-50 years, there are rare cases of affected younger people and even children. The real cause of Psoriatic Arthritis is not known.
In this article we discuss 7 bad effects of psoriatic arthritis on the body that you have probably heard of; they include;
1. Swollen limbs
Psoriatic arthritis causes a lot of pain. According to The American College of Rheumatology, the condition can affect one or more joints in the body. The affected parts are usually inflamed and highly swollen, a condition known as dactylitis.
When this happens, the patient can hardly do anything. It is especially bad if it affects the fingers and nails. They appear swollen in the shape of sausages. Persisted swelling may cause the finger and toe nails to fall off.
2. Affects the spine
When Psoriatic arthritis affects the spine, it causes pain in the neck and back. Most people with this type of infection experience back pain when they bend or twist their spine. It is referred to as spondylitis. This may cause paralysis and render a person immobile if not treated on time.
3. Damage to the joints
Psoriatic arthritis causes the joints to swell and be extremely painful. This happens when it attacks the tendons and ligaments in the joints causing pain in the heel, feet, and other affected joints. This condition is known as enthesitis.
The American College of Rheumatology says that if not treated, psoriatic arthritis will destroy the joints completely. However, early diagnosis prevents further damage to the joints and bones. With treatments and drugs, the progression of the condition can be highly slowed down. This can be done through medical tests.
4. Affects the toes and fingers
According to WebMD, there is a rare form of Psoriasis Arthritis that causes the fingers and toes to stop working. This comes as a result of attack to the nerve endings on these body parts cause them to lose sense of touch. Anyone with this type of Psoriasis can easily loose balance and fall or have problems using their hands.
5. Affects the eyes
When Psoriasis affects your iris, it may cause inflammation and red coloring in the eye. This causes pain that gets worse in bright light.
6. Chest and Lungs
The American College of Rheumatology lists chests and lung pains as a possible symptom of Psoriatic arthritis. This happens when the cartilage linking the chest walls and ribs gets inflamed.
This condition can also affect your heart. According to WebMD, this happens when the cartilage surrounding the heart and lungs is affected; it could cause pain around the heart area. This is especially dangerous when the walls of the aorta –which is connected to the heart-are affected.
Other effects of Psoriatic arthritis include constant fatigue, anemia and mood changes. Some patients develop high blood pressure, obesity and rare cases of diabetes. Although the condition is not curable, it can be managed by maintaining a healthy life goes a long way in slowing down progression of the conditions.
According to WebMD, Psoriatic arthritis has been known to affect people without psoriasis. So if you experience persistent stiff joints, swelling and pain around the joints, irritated and red eyes, visit your nearest health center for checkup, you could be developing Psoriatic arthritis. It is way better if you catch the disease in its earlier stages.
Although Psoriatic arthritis is rare, it can be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, gout or osteoarthritis. It is therefore, essential to take a thorough test to confirm before diagnosis. It is also good to know that not everyone who has Psoriasis will develop Psoriatic arthritis, only in rare cases. It is however, advisable to that people with psoriasis test for possible arthritis whenever they experience joint pains and swollen limbs.
With early diagnosis, this condition can be managed through treatment. Psoriatic arthritis causes a lot of damage to the body when left to progress. Apart from making mobility difficult it can affect vital body organs and even the eye.