20984 Arthritis Australia Psoriatic Arthritis

Because herbal, homeopathic,. Ayurvedic or Chinese medicines may affect the treatments prescribed by your doctor, please tell your GP and specialist what ...
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Taking control of your

Psoriatic Arthritis

A practical guide to treatments, services and lifestyle choices

How can this booklet help you This booklet is designed for people who have psoriatic arthritis. It will help you understand your condition so that you can better manage your symptoms and continue to lead an active and healthy life. This booklet offers information and practical advice to help you: • understand what psoriatic arthritis is and what it means for you • work with your healthcare team to manage the disease and reduce symptoms

• find support to cope with the emotional and lifestyle impacts of arthritis. The information inside is based on the latest research and recommendations, and has been reviewed by Australian experts to make sure it is current and relevant to your needs. So go ahead — take control of your psoriatic arthritis!

• choose foods and activities that are appropriate to your situation • understand how your medicines can help in the short and long term

© Copyright Arthritis Australia 2009. Reviewed November 2016.

Proudly sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from:

UCB Australia Pty Ltd ABN 48 005 799 208 Level 1, 1155 Malvern Road, Malvern VIC 3144 Original booklet produced by: Indegene Australia Pty Ltd


Taking control of your Psoriatic Arthritis


Contents Understanding psoriatic arthritis


Who can help?


Working with your GP


Seeing a specialist


Other health professionals


Healthy moves for your joints


Making the most of medicines


Seeking support


Glossary of terms


Useful resources


Medical and consumer consultants Medical and consumer consultants Dr Paul Bird, Rheumatologist Dr Mona Marabani, Rheumatologist and President of Arthritis Australia (2007-2010) Dr Peter Nash, Rheumatologist Mrs Judith Nguyen, Arthritis Australia Board Member Dr Peter Youssef, Rheumatologist and Chair of Arthritis Australia Scientific Advisory Committee

Arthritis Australia


Understanding psoriatic arthritis What is psoriatic arthritis? Psoriasis is a condition which results in red, scaly patches on the skin, especially the knees, elbows and scalp. About one in eight people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, where the immune system targets the lining of the joints between your bones. Sometimes the arthritis appears before or at the same time as the psoriasis, but for most people the joint problems occur after the skin condition. While psoriatic arthritis tends to affect different people in different ways, early symptoms may include swelling, heat, tenderness, pain or stiffness in your joints. It affects men and women equally and can occur at any age.

What causes psoriatic arthritis? At present, the causes of psoriatic arthritis are not fully understood. While there is no clear pattern of inheriting psoriatic arthritis, genes do seem to be an important contributor in up to two out of every five people who develop the disease. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can also be


Taking control of your Psoriatic Arthritis

About one in eight people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, where the immune system targets the lining of the joints between your bones

triggered by other factors, including smoking and a range of infections and viruses.

Whatever starts the process, the main problem in psoriatic arthritis is that your body’s immune system begins to target your joints. Usually the immune system protects you against infections, but in psoriatic arthritis it mistakenly treats the tissue of your joints as ‘foreign’.