Natural Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis

Alternative Cures and Home Remedies for Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects around 10 to 30% of individuals with psoriasis.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition in which individuals develop red patches of skin covered by a scaly surface. Usually individuals that contract psoriasis do so before they’ve developed arthritis.

Psoriasis is a relatively common dermatological condition that affects the skin cells’ lifecycle. What happens, is that extra skin cells accumulate on the surface of the skin which causes silvery scales to develop that are dry, itchy and often include frequently painful red patches.

The symptomology resembles that of rheumatoid arthritis.  As with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis will cause joints to swell and become painful to the touch. People who contracted psoriatic arthritis, however, are more likely to develop the following symptoms: swelling of fingers and toes, foot pain and lower back pain. 

Psoriatic Arthritis – What is it?

 

 

 

Causes of psoriatic arthritis

As with all autoimmune diseases, psoriatic arthritis occurs when your immune system incorrectly targets for attack healthy tissue and cells. This is an abnormal immune system response that results in painful joint inflammation as well as the over creation of skin cells.

Typically, people that develop autoimmune disorders have a genetic predisposition that is somehow activated by an environmental trigger. Sometimes a dramatic physical incident or a bacterial/viral infection will be the source of activation.

Cures and treatments for psoriatic arthritis

There is no known cure for this autoimmune disorder. The goal is to manage the symptoms and the associated flare ups. The disease is likely to get worse over time. Natural and alternative treatment methodologies for arthritis and for psoriatic arthritis have been trending in the medical literature, but there still is relatively scant information about what works and what doesn’t.

Most courses of treatment focus on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and Motrin, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs like Trexell and Arava, immunosuppressants like Imuran and Azasan, and TNF-alpha Inhibitors like Humira and Enbrel. Besides these medications, steroid injections and joint replacement surgery or also more invasive options.

In terms of natural treatment options, there are a few supplements and other things you could consider that might be helpful in assuaging the painful symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, particularly when used in collaboration with more conventional treatments.

  • Tumeric is a cousin of ginger and it has potential to provide pain relief for an individual suffering from psoriatic arthritis. Tumeric has the ability to decrease amounts of inflammatory proteins. We must caution, however, that the effects of this are relatively mild. It may be worth trying to incorporate Tumeric into your diet via the foods you prepare for dinner, but don’t depend on this to be a cure-all or fast-acting pain reliever for your symptoms.
  • Fish oil is the granddaddy of natural supplements. It is the one supplement that everyone advises you to take the matter what condition you are suffering from, or even if you are not suffering from any condition at all. Generally, the recommended dose of this inflammation-reducing supplement is between 2000 and 3000 mg per day.
  • Willow bark is another supplement that could also be useful tool in your herbal arsenal. It contains a compound called salicin that closely resembles one of the primary ingredients in aspirin called acetylsalicylic acid. The generally advisable dose is 240 mg a day. It works by decreasing arthritis-related swelling through the inhibition of cyclooxygenase and is thought to slow the progress of arthritis conditions.
  • Vitamin D is also something individuals with psoriatic arthritis should look into. A recent research study found that psoriatic arthritis sufferers often were deficient in this vitamin, though there was no clear indication of why this was so. It may make sense for you to get your vitamin D levels checked and to consider whether taking the supplement form of vitamin D makes sense for you.
  • Vitamin B12, similarly to vitamin D, B12 is oftentimes deficient in individuals with psoriatic arthritis. Again, it may make sense for you to get your levels checked and consider whether supplementation makes sense for you.
  • Acupuncture is another possible treatment intervention that might make sense for you. Acupuncture is thought to work by triggering the release of endorphins into your bloodstream, which can help to alleviate the pain of arthritis symptoms. That said, arthritis sufferers generally have mixed results using acupuncture. It may be worth going in and scheduling a couple of sessions with a local acupuncturist to see if this can work for you or not.

Final thoughts

Psoriatic arthritis is a frustrating disorder to have, especially since the causes are still cloaked in relative mystery.

What makes the most sense, is to take an integrative approach to treating psoriatic arthritis by combining some alternative treatments with whatever your physician suggests are a reasonable course of medical action. Make sure that you clear with your physician any changes in lifestyle or diet prior to undertaking them. Another important resource that you most likely already have is a support system- friends and family that can help out.

Merely speaking to your friends and family about your condition and the pain that you were him is often times a great outlet for people suffering from this autoimmune disease.

You can also try to Google for local area support groups: this can also help you to cope with the pain it’s disease as well as stay informed about any updates or news that is occurring in the arthritis community.

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