An accurate and early diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis will help you avoid the damage and deformity it can cause.
Your doctor will make a decision based on:
A physical exam
Your medical history and your family's
No single thing will diagnose psoriatic arthritis, but blood tests, imaging, and other tests can help your doctor. He may want to give you certain tests that check for rheumatoid arthritis, because it can look a lot like psoriatic arthritis.
Some proteins related to inflammation may affect the fatty deposits, called plaque, that can build up inside blood vessels. Your heart has to work harder to move the blood. This can lead to heart disease and heart attacks.
Obesity is widespread in people with psoriatic arthritis. That's when you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Some medications that can treat psoriatic arthritis, such as corticosteroids, can lead to weight gain and heart disease. When you have a lot of pain and can't move easily, you probably don't like to exercise, and that can make it hard to stay at a healthy weight, too.
About 1 in 5 people with psoriatic arthritis also have diabetes, a life-long disease related to high blood sugar. Being obese puts you at risk for both. Some drugs that can treat psoriatic arthritis make you more likely to get diabetes, too.
Someone with psoriatic arthritis is also five times more likely to get gout.
What You Can Do
Work with your doctor to limit your chances of getting these conditions.
Exercise regularly. Ask your doctor how to do that safely.
Researchers are working on ways to treat and control psoriatic arthritis, taking into account the risks for other diseases. For example, one treatment may be better than another for someone who already has diabetes.