Patient Comments: Psoriatic Arthritis - Diagnosis

Question:

How was your psoriatic arthritis diagnosed? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: cherokee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

With enlarged prostate I have trouble starting to urinate; it stops and goes. I am going a lot in small amounts.

Comment from: Theresa, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis aged 33. I had had my right knee swell up red hot out of the blue. I ignored it and it went away in a week. Then a month later my toes on my left foot started swelling (sausage toes). Every morning another one had swollen. I saw my general physician who immediately sent me to a rheumatologist thinking it was rheumatoid arthritis. It turns out its psoriatic arthritis. I only have a small patch of psoriasis on my scalp which I didn't know about. I tried sulfasalazine but I had a bad reaction to it. I wasn't given anything else. They are watching and waiting. No more sweet till this year (2 years later) and still no medicines. Now I am going to ask for something as my left foot is in a lot of pain! I also have fibromyalgia diagnosed a year ago and an underactive thyroid diagnosed in late twenties. No one in my family have either conditions or psoriasis but autoimmune issues run in my family.

Comment from: sloshie420, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I have fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis I'm now 32 and married for 7 years and have a 7 year old son. I have had this for about 5 years now, for the first 3 years I did not have health insurance, I lived on my couch in the worst pain you could imagine. I couldn't keep up with the house work, yard work, dinner, and needing help taking care of our son. My mom lives with us and she worked and took care of me and my son throughout all of this. When I was finally able to afford health insurance I went to a doctor. He was no help and I went to a second. Within 10 min he knew I had psoriatic arthritis and sent me to my first arthritis doctor and he diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. After a year and many drugs later I got another opinion and he diagnosed me with both. I take a load of pills a day and Humira, and have had many trips to the emergency room for migraines. I know how lucky I am to find my doctor who listened to me, just want to say don't give up, keep changing doctors; you are not crazy! Your pain is real and don't let them tell you otherwise. I pull my strength and hope from these kind of sites. You are the only ones who know how it is.

Comment from: Jackie Paramore, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

I got psoriasis 8 years ago, it started behind my right ear, and had progressed to nearly every part of my body. Sadly so, I have started two days ago to get it on my face by my eyes. It itches and burns. It is often associated with infections. I started getting the arthritis part of it 3 years ago. In my hands. I have swollen nail beds and crooked knuckles. Very painful. Nothing has helped it skin wise. It has progressed into my feet, knees, shoulders, hips and back. I've lost muscle control in my legs. It has taken my life away as I knew it. The pain is excruciating beyond measure. I take ketoprofen every 8 hours and Norco 5/325 3 times a day. It is helping me bear some of the pain. On really bad crippling pain days I wish I could die. I've taken years of physical and occupational therapy. I just keep getting worse. I feel that there is no hope left. I am using a walker and am needing a nurse's aide more and more. I hope for a cure for us all! I tried Neurontin and it gave me permanent tremors.

Comment from: colleen, 45-54 (Patient) Published: February 20

I was diagnosed 6 years ago after being misdiagnosed for 5 years. I now have fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis systemically. My physician diagnosed me in 5 minutes after looking at my rashes, hands and feet. I could not tolerate methotrexate, but have been on Enbrel. I just started on Humira but have problems with infections and some of my family who are not supportive.

Comment from: barbara h., 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 27

I have difficulty coping with stress, a situation recently got out of control and I left my husband to then take charge over it. Soon, I had noticed purplish blue circular bruises covering both my arms, top to wrists! Within hours, they were turning bright red with a yellowish center! There were so many and diff sizes too. By 4 days, all were gone! My sister saw them, she's a cardiac trauma registered nurse, tried telling me I was about to go into myocardial infarction and get to the emergency room! Though fearful, I did not. I cannot find what had happened.

Comment from: Ginger, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis about 2 years ago. I never knew I had psoriasis until I read that the disease can be as mild as to appear in the belly button only. No one in my family has psoriasis, but we do have eczema. Now, I have widespread joint involvement. I have just developed some nail separation in a few nails. I just changed from Humira to Enbrel, and am waiting for improvement. Up until this point, I was leery about this diagnosis. Not a lot of swelling, but a whole lot of pain. I think doctors (and people, too) equate lack of swelling to lack of pain.

Comment from: Gould88, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 27

I am a 44 years old RN (registered nurse), practicing for 25 years. I have had flares of mild to moderate scalp psoriasis since age 9. At age 12, I had debilitating pain in my knees and could barely walk for a few weeks. The doctor diagnosed me as "needy" - implied that I "over-exaggerated" my pain, and told my parents to spend more quality time with me. Frequent asthma attacks and bouts of severe pleurisy would put me on steroid treatment - and pain always got better. I've exercised since I was 13 just because I noticed how much better I felt when I did. Approximately 2 years ago, knees became severe, couldn't continue with running or walking for any length of time, I have put all energy since then into making it through 2, 12 hour shifts at hospital a week, then I have to rest. I have progressive fatigue- the doctors said it was stress and I'm "that age." Elbows are hurting now, hips hurting bilateral, and 6 weeks ago I "hurt" my back helping a patient. MRI showed significant spondylitis/sacroiliitis of lower spine. Progress of recovery has been slow! Out of desperation, feeling that I was being "over-reactive" to pain and maybe I was depressed, I started researching and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I came across psoriasis foundation website, and saw nail changes that looked just like mine! I looked further and realized, I am legitimately hurting! I am not crazy! I am not needy! I have psoriatic arthritis! I discussed my revelation with the doctor this morning and he agrees; and I see a rheumatologist in 2 weeks. I'm a little scared about future, but also hopeful that at least now I'm validated after all these years.

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Comment from: carusbrent@yahoo.com, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

I was first diagnosed with P/A at the age of sixteen when I had a bad fall in the winter. Then after I was bedridden for eighteen months, I was told by the doctor I may never walk again, but I wasn't giving up that easy. I'm very stubborn. After many injections, pills, and therapy I was back on my feet. I am now thirty five and it is gotten more severe. I've never wanted to accept my fate and in some ways I still don't want to accept that I have to live with this forever. Any information I can get about this will help me. And any support from other's who live with P/A may help me get out of having the blue's. It's very hard to explain or talk to other's who don't know what you're going through.

Comment from: david, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I'm 57 this year and three years ago my knees started to swell up and a rash appeared on my shinbones. My doctor diagnosed me with osteoarthritis, Ross river virus, and hip bursa, as I had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, hence the rash on my shin bones. I was sent to a rheumatologist. It was psoriatic arthritis. Three years down the track not only is it in the knees but in the ankles, feet, hips, buttocks, and lower back and sometimes hands and chest. I have tried many painkillers. I'm taking methotrexate along with Embril once a week injection and Targin, painkiller (morphine based), and Lyrica. I am still going down hill. One day I'm on my crutches, another day I can use just a walking stick.

Comment from: lallen75, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

When I was 34, I started having severe joint pain in a couple of fingers. My grandmother had rheumatoid arthritis, so I went to see my doctor. After some initial blood work showed signs of inflammation in my body, I was referred to a rheumatologist. Through various tests, rheumatoid arthritis was ruled out. I continued to have joint pain in hands, one wrist and one hip. He was always asking me about psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis and there was none. I happened to scratch my head at an appointment (I thought I had dandruff) and he noticed. He looked at my scalp and suspected psoriasis and it was confirmed by a dermatologist. I then was formally diagnosed with PsA.

Comment from: JR, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 12

Aged 45, I contracted chicken pox, which laid me low for 12 months off work. I was like a zombie most of the time and unable to work. About 12 months after this I got morning pains in my heels/feet, which was like walking on glass which lasted about 2 hours. My ankles were swollen as well. I was finally diagnosed 5 years later but also contracted in no order, engina, sleep apnea, Psoriasis, type 2 diabetes, Carpel tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis. Before the chicken pox, I was a normal adult with no major health problems.

Comment from: Robert, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 06

I got out of bed for work when I was 30 years old, and within a few steps, I was overwhelmed by a sudden pain in my hip and fell to the floor. I could not walk for a year while going from doctor to doctor trying to determine what was wrong with me. A pain doctor, not a rheumatologist, determined that I had psoriatic arthritis. I have had psoriasis from age 4. Once properly diagnosed and medicated, I started to slowly improve and am now able to walk with assistance from a cane. Things progressed rapidly for me, destroying almost every joint in my right hand before treatment could be made effective. Every single joint in my body would hurt. I would have to circle the entire body to explain where I hurt. Many people treat me as if nothing is wrong with me because they cannot see it. I take Methotrexate, Humira, Gabapentin, Cymbalta, Hydromorphon (morphine), Opana, Propolanlol, and Hydrachlorathiazide. Before medication, I remained in the fetal position in indescribable pain. Now, nearly six years later, I can slowly walk like an old man with a cane.

Comment from: Matthew, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I was misdiagnosed for two years while working in the UK and by the time I was correctly diagnosed all the cartilage in the toes of one foot had gone and one knee and a few fingers .We're beginning to be attacked too. If I had been correctly diagnosed earlier and put on methotrexate this suffering and irreparable damage could have been avoided. I was thirty when this started and am now forty and living with the condition. I had to have surgery to wire my toes together and can no longer run, but exercise as much as I can with swimming and cycling which definitely helps the pain and soreness. Once a year or so I have my knee drained and steroid injections in it.

Comment from: Brazeng, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 22

This has defiantly ended my nursing career. I found out I have psoriatic arthritis two months ago. The podiatrist says I have a bunion or Morton's neuroma. The psoriatic arthritis is painful. Funny part was that my skin psoriasis has weirdly disappeared in the past six months. I had it since I was 20; I am now 52. Taking lots of Motrin and Aleve each day must have kept me from noticing, plus the 16-hour shifts. I almost bled to death; that's when I had to deal with it. It's not anything I ever expected, and now it's probably a matter of managing the pain. My first step now is to try a detox.

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Comment from: voodoo mama, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I guess I'm new to the club. I've had psoriasis since I was bitten by a spider more than 13 years ago. I have been told it's hereditary, but can't seem to find a family member who has it. But plenty of family members have autoimmune problems, so I guess this is mine. It's been an ugly, itchy, long journey in which I've denied and hidden my pain for so long. I'm only 43, and in my mind, I'm like 21. I hate this.

Comment from: debbijane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I started off with psoriasis on my elbows and developed swelling in the joint of my right little finger as well as my neck. After having X-rays of my neck, my joints are severely affected and painful. I exercise regularly and go to physiotherapy when the pain is bad in my neck. I am on medication now but I believe that it takes a while before I will see the results. My psoriasis is not as itchy anymore, but it has not gone away.

Comment from: chloe 30, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I am a 74 year old female who was told that I have psoriatic arthritis in my feet about 3 months ago. I had some psoriasis on the instep of my right foot about 13 years ago and had to take methotrexate to get it to clear up. Now my feet hurt so bad I can hardly walk. I have been told that I had plantar fasciitis. I had to have my big toe operated on. The doctor had thought it was gout, but the fluid taken out showed no crystals. I was referred to a rheumatologist who said psoriatic arthritis. My feet burn and hurt so bad I can hardly stand it, and it hurts to walk. I have also been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease back in January. I don't know what to take anymore, but I have to see the rheumatologist on the 26th of this month. Hopefully things will get better.

Comment from: Katy , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I was 21 and I went to the doctors with a swollen foot because I couldn't walk properly on it and after two months of tests I was finally diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I only had it in my left foot. I am now 22 and it has spread to both feet, both knees, and my right hip. Every day is a struggle and it frustrates me when people say you don't have arthritis you're too young. But they don't feel the everyday pain I go through and it really makes me angry if only they could just have one day with the pain I have then maybe they would understand.

Comment from: Patty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 13

My doctor noticed the blood tests were off and the leg had scabs on them (flaky), I have a lot of aches and pains and have had back pain for some time. As well, joint pain and severe pain in the feet and ankles.

Comment from: Gayle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I would like to know if anyone who has psoriatic arthritis does not actually have psoriasis. Psoriasis runs in my family and my doctor knows that I have arthritis because of blood work, but about 6 months ago said it was psoriatic arthritis. With that being said, does anyone have hives with it. I have seen an allergist and dermatologist and they seem to think it might be related to the psoriatic arthritis or lupus (which I have not been diagnosed with). If anyone has an opinion I'd like to hear it. I think having the hives is almost as bad as the arthritis.

Comment from: tallbrit, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I am a Nurse Practitioner, 66, who has self diagnosed. I have had very mild psoriasis off and on since age 14, usually one tiny patch at a time that clears up with cortisone cream. I also have ulcerative colitis with very few flare ups and am on no meds. My knees and hips, back and neck have hurt for years and I basically ignore it. More recently, I wake up in the morning and limp to the bathroom as both feet hurt.I find myself limping due to hip and leg/foot pain. I had an MRI and the doctor said it was either bursitis or avascular necrosis, but no arthritis. The arthritis in my knee was worsening so I get three shots of Buspartz yearly and that allows me to hike. Recently, my right index finger swelled up, was red and painful to bend. The other fingers in my hand ached as well. I saw a rheumalogist who said I had severe joint degeneration(after xray) and he gave me a cortisone shot and said he could "fix" my finger with surgery. No thanks. I would never be able to bend it again. Since then, the other hand is hurting, hip is worse, neck and spine hurt continuously. Motrin helps, but I had an ulcer years ago, so I don't take it regularly. I ski, hike, ride a bike,dance and swim and I cannot fathom not being able to do these things. I am type A and never sit still for a minute. I am now going to research holistic treatments as I do not want any of the DMARD meds. I ice my knees after dancing or hiking, take some meds, and try to ignore everything else.

Comment from: Maria, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis 7 months ago, when I was 25. It started in my fingers. (By the way, I first had spots in my nails few months before the finger pain, when I started taking birth control pills. I wonder, can there be any connection.) First I was on Recoxa for one month, but it didn't help, so I was put on sulfasalazine. A month later the disease spread in my toes (doctor thought, that maybe Salasopyrin wasn't working yet and didn't change the treatment). Three months later arthritis spread everywhere, in my neck, spine, ankles, knees, wrists, ribs and so on. Now we started with methotrexate (Trexan in Estonia) and it seems to be working, at least for now. But the pain is still there, every day and I am very sad, that our national health insurance does not cover biologics for the patients, who would need them.

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Comment from: biologics, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I was diagnosed with RA 8 years ago, but never felt that it was the correct diagnosis. Finally this month the doctors have confirmed it to be PA. I have been on Humira Remecade enbrel orencia and now simponi. Some have not helped at all and others work well but have side effects that are dangerous. I am having severe problems with side effects from the biologics. Kidney infections and skin cancer now too. Even with all the fancy drugs my spine and rib cage are still swollen and my toes and fingers are constantly aching. My heart goes out to all who have these terribly painful diseases. It's hard to find quality of life when you hurt all the time. But keep your chin up, and find things to smile about everyday. Hugs to all.

Comment from: Robbie56, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 12

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis last year. 17 years after being told I had serum neg RA. The only thing that I couldn't figure out is why I had such buttock pain. I have had that my whole life, but no one believed me.

Comment from: Bonnie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis when I was 20 years old. The doctor I was seeing said I'd be in a wheelchair within 5 years. I dropped him as quick as I could!! I needed someone who would help me not feed into my depression and pessimism. I saw another doctor and was on all the drugs over the years...methotrexate, sulfasalizine, Enbrel and finally Humira. I worked until I no longer could (age 45) and had to go on disability. I ended up losing my prescription coverage a few months ago and cannot afford most of my medications. Eight months without Humira...bad idea. Everything hurts!

Comment from: cindy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I am 39 years old. I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis 3 years ago. I was on embrel but went off 4 months ago and now experiencing the worst pain ever. I'm waiting on my insurance to approve Humira. I'm a nurse and it is so hard to work at times. I'm affected by the psoriatic arthritis in my left knee and foot. At times I can't even walk! I hurt so bad. I can't do so many of the things that I once did.

Comment from: Penny, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 24

I am writing for my youngest daughter, she was diagnosed at 10 months with JRA. I had picked her up from daycare with a swollen ankle and within two weeks her ankles, knees, hips and a thumb were fully inflamed. She is now 20 years old and has been re-diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. She has been struggling over the past 7 years with trying to find a drug that will continue to work for her.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I've not been diagnosed with PA but I've had chronic back pain since I was 7 years old, I've always had skin problems, I have chronic diarrhea, chronic tendonitis and fused toes and joints in my back. Doctors have recurrently tested me for B27, but I'm B23 and so they've sent me home with naproxen prescriptions. In my country women has traditionally not received expensive medical care. I'm currently going through a very bad phase but I am still trying to live a normal life. I am afraid I will not be able to do that much longer.

Comment from: carold, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

My doctor took a chance and prescribed Prednisone for my pain and swollen joints, within 24 hours I was feeling better, after a week I was able to move almost pain free. I have had to go off Metotrexate because I was having trouble healing from a cold and burns and was in AFIB looking at other options considering sulfasalazine.

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