Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory form of arthritis where the immune system attacks healthy tissue and causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling.
Early diagnosis can keep the disease from progressing, potentially preventing irreversible joint damage and permanent disability — and lower your risk of developing other conditions, such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, that can go along with it.
As Tina Jamerson Hopkins explained to HealthyWomen, “The key about PsA is to catch it early and in that sense, I was lucky. I have connected with people online who have spent years trying to get a diagnosis as their condition gets worse. It is crucial to be your biggest advocate and listen to your body, even — especially — if doctors tell you differently.”
Yet people don’t always get help quickly because it can be difficult to diagnose. Without a specific test that can diagnose PsA, the process can be unclear. That’s why we turned to the experts to help you understand your risk factors, signs, symptoms, and treatment options — and to guide you through the questions you should ask your healthcare provider.
If you have psoriasis, you have a higher chance of getting PsA. In our Real Women, Real Stories feature, “Living with Psoriasis My Entire Life, I Knew I Could Develop Psoriatic Arthritis,” Joni Kazantzis shares her own journey and how she’s coming to terms with her PsA diagnosis.
And, like other chronic pain conditions, PsA can affect your ability to work, socialize, sleep and be intimate, which can lead to increased depression, anxiety and stress. We explore the toll the condition can take on your mental and sexual health.
Bottom line: Get the facts about psoriatic arthritis and become your own best advocate.
Created with support from Bristol Myers Squibb.