Does Your Psoriatic Arthritis Care Work for You?
Psoriatic arthritis treatment has come a long way since doctors first recognized the condition in the 1950s. These days, your doctor can help you figure out how to ease symptoms and prevent joint damage.
Your plan probably will involve medicine along with exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management.
There are medicines that treat psoriatic arthritis. Your doctor will decide exactly what you need. It may take some time to find the drugs that work best for you.
If you’ve noticed any of the following things, let your doctor know. She’ll look for solutions that’ll help you feel better.
1. Side effects bother you.
Many meds that treat psoriatic arthritis make a big difference, but they all have risks.
For instance, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen or ibuprofen) can make stomach irritation and bleeding more likely. Methotrexate, which is prescribed for many types of arthritis, can damage the liver. And because medicines called biologics work on your immune system, they can make serious infections more likely.
Let your doctor know if you have side effects from your medication.
2. Your symptoms make your job or daily life hard.
This can mean different things for different people.
If you're a college professor and your treatment gets rid of all your symptoms except two swollen finger joints, you might be OK with that. But if you're a concert violinist who relies on those joints for a living, those same symptoms could be a show-stopper.
Tell your doctor what you need to keep up with your day-to-day activities.
3. You don’t feel any better.
Some drugs may take a few weeks before you start to feel an improvement. So give your medicine a chance to help.
But let your doctor know if your symptoms don’t improve or they get worse. She’ll figure out what’s best for you.
4. You’re extremely tired.
This is a common side effect of psoriatic arthritis. It’s also a side effect of many meds that treat it. Your condition may also cause anemia, which leads to fatigue.
If you feel more tired than usual, tell your doctor so she can find out what’s causing it and how to fix it.