10 Symptoms Never to Ignore If You Have Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that mostly affects people who have psoriasis. The most typical symptom of psoriasis is red patches of skin that can appear anywhere on the body, which can be painful and itchy. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are both autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can cause other health problems too. Learn about some of the complications associated with psoriatic arthritis and which symptoms you should never ignore.
1Changes in your nails
Most people who have psoriasis develop nail psoriasis. This form of psoriasis can occur on your either the fingers or toes. If you notice changes in your nails, such as thickening, pitting or yellowing, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible to slow down the progression. Untreated nail psoriasis can result in them becoming unsightly as they thicken and discolor. They also may loosen, making it easier to injure yourself if the nail is pulled away from the nail bed.
2Changes in your vision
The most common eye disorder caused by psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis is uveitis. It’s inflammation of a pigmented tissue layer inside your eye, called the uvea. Symptoms of uveitis include:
- Blurry vision
- Floating spots in your range of vision (floaters)
- New or increasing sensitivity to light
- Red eyes
- Pain in your eyes
Psoriatic arthritis can put you at higher risk for cataracts and glaucoma.
3Signs and symptoms of a stroke
The inflammation from psoriatic arthritis can increase your risk of atherosclerosis, which in turn can cause a stroke. Strokes usually come on very suddenly and can result in serious long-term disability or death if not recognized and treated quickly. It’s important that everyone know what to do if they suspect someone has had a stroke. They must think FAST:
- F — Does one side of the face droop?
- A — Can the person raise both arms together to the same height?
- S — Can the person speak?
- T — Time: call 911 immediately for treatment
Inflammation in people with psoriatic arthritis affects other organs too, including the heart and blood vessels. If you have high blood pressure—a strong risk factor for heart disease and heart attack—work with your doctor to control it. Be vigilant about signs and symptoms of a heart attack, and call 911 immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms. Not everyone has the same or all of the following symptoms, but these are the most common ones:
- Blurry vision
- Chest pain
- Pain that radiates from your chest into your back, down your left arm or up into your jaw
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden sweating
- Nausea, heartburn
- A feeling of impending doom
5Increasing urination and thirst
Type 2 diabetes is another condition associated with psoriatic arthritis. Signs of diabetes include:
- Increased thirst or hunger
- Frequent need to urinate
- Unintentional weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Slow-to-heal wounds
- Frequent infections
6Persistent sadness or other signs of depression
Depression is often associated with chronic illnesses like psoriatic arthritis. Some signs of depression include:
- Losing interest in things you enjoy doing
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Feeling sad or bad about yourself and your life
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
7Signs of infection
Medications for psoriatic arthritis may weaken or depress the immune system, making it easier to contract an infection. If you have signs or symptoms of an infection, particularly if you have recently had a cut or wound, an invasive medical procedure, or you have been around someone who is ill, you need a medical evaluation. Contact your doctor as soon as possible for these signs and symptoms:
- Increased pain around a wound or unexplained pain in a specific part of your body
- Redness around a wound
- Pus or discharge from a wound
8Changes in your joints, shortening of fingers or toes
The most serious form of psoriatic arthritis is psoriatic arthritis mutilans. The joints in the digit become more difficult to move or straighten, and loose skin develops over the area as the digit shortens. This condition affects about 5% of people with psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is associated with Crohn’s disease, another autoimmune disease that causes gastrointestinal problems. Signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
- Diarrhea with or without blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Unexplained weight loss
Psoriatic arthritis inflammation can damage your inner ear causing hearing loss. Speak with your doctor if you are:
- Turning up the volume on your devices to hear them more clearly
- Asking people to speak louder
- Finding it harder to follow conversations when there is background noise
- Dizzy or losing your balance