You will get to learn all the signs and symptoms to watch out for with psoriasis and then talk to a doctor to see if you are at risk. Please note that some people are more prone to be affected by psoriasis than others due to various factors.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

Psoriasis involves inflammation of the ankles, knees and feet and hand joints. However, only a few joints get inflamed at time which then becomes swollen and painful and sometimes red and hot. Inflammation of the joints in the toes or fingers may sometimes cause them to swell entirely and this gives them the appearance of sausages.

Difficult periods of psoriasis

Joint stiffness is also common and is typically much worse in the morning. Although it isn’t common, psoriatic arthritis sometimes causes joints in the body to swell in a symmetrical fashion and this mimics the same pattern seen in rheumatoid arthritis.

The disorder can also cause spine inflammation as well as sacrum inflammation. This causes the affected person to experience a lot of pain and stiffness in the lower back, neck, buttocks and upper back. In about 50% of all affected with spondylitis (spine inflammation), the genetic marker HLA-B27 can be found in them. In some rare instances, it even involves the small joints fount at the ends of the fingers.

Complex forms of the disease

One very destructive form of arthritis is known as Mutilans. This causes rapid damage to the joints found in the hands and feet and subsequent loss of their function. However, this form of arthritis is rare and this is very fortunate for those suffering from psoriasis.

Symptom of inflammation of tendons

Another one among the symptoms psoriasis presents is the inflammation of the tendons and areas around cartilage. This type of inflammation may lead to an esthesopathy (inflammation of a tendon where it inserts into a bone). When this happens behind the heels it causes Achilles tendinitis which leads to pain while walking or climbing stairs. Inflammation of the cartilage that links the ribs to the sternum and chest wall causes a lot of chest pain as seen in costochondritis.

Does psoriasis cause inflammation of the organs?

The answer to this questions is, yes it does. Unfortunately, psoriasis symptoms include inflammation in organs such as the eyes. When the inflammation occurs in the iris, it causes a condition known as Iritis which is very painful and aggravated by any bright lights.

For people affected with Iritis, corticosteroids need to be injected directly into their eyes for the inflammation to decrease and prevent blindness. Even though it’s rare, inflammation can occur in and around the lungs which causes chest pain when the person breathes in deeply as well as breath shortness. When the inflammation occurs in the aorta, it becomes Aortitis which can cause the aortic valves to leak and lead to shortness of breath as well as heart failure.

[note]Nail changes are also seen in people affected by psoriasis.[/note]

In 80% of the patients, ridges and pitting can be seen on the nails. You should note that these nail changes can be seen in only a small number of psoriasis patients who don’t happen to have arthritis.

When should I call my doctor?

If you happen to have psoriasis and you are experiencing joint pain, call up your doctor for a consultation.

You should also call a doctor if you happen to have any of the following psoriasis symptoms:

  1. Stiffness in your joints
  2. Swelling and pain in the joints
  3. Redness and irritation in your eyes

In order to identify psoriasis, your doctor must perform a physical exam on you. He/she may also order blood tests, X-rays and joint fluid tests to examine all the affected areas and rule out other possible diseases. Of course, some of the usual symptoms of psoriasis like red, scaly skin patches may make diagnosis much easier for your doctor.

The diagnosis

Any psoriatic diagnosis is made mainly with a physical exam based on the findings of the doctor during the exam and the inflammatory arthritis of the spine and/or other joints in the body. When dealing with psoriasis, blood tests like the sedimentation rate may become elevated and this reflects the presence of inflammation of the joints and other body organs. Other tests like rheumatoid factor may be obtained to rule out the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

You find yourself symptoms of psoriasis?

If you happen to notice any of these psoriasis symptoms, don’t panic because you could be suffering from something else. Call your doctor and make an appointment for an exam first. The only way to know for sure what is afflicting you is by consulting a qualified medical practitioner and having tests done. You can manage your psoriasis and live a long and prosperous life.

22 Oct, 2013

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