Common causes of psoriatic arthritis

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Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people who have psoriasis, a condition that features red patches of skin topped with silvery scales.

Most people develop psoriasis first and are later diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, but joint problems can sometimes begin before skin patches appear.

This review explains what might cause psoriatic arthritis and presents the evidence in an easy-to-understand manner.

While the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis isn’t fully understood, researchers believe it is likely due to a combination of genetic, immune system, and environmental factors.

Each of these plays a role in the development of the condition, influencing who gets it and how severe its symptoms can be.

Genetic Factors: There is a strong genetic component to psoriatic arthritis. If you have family members with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, your chance of developing these conditions is higher. Researchers have identified certain genetic markers that are more common in people with psoriatic arthritis.

These markers relate to the immune system and how it responds to threats from viruses or bacteria, which might explain why the immune system in people with psoriatic arthritis attacks healthy cells in the skin and joints.

Immune System Response: Psoriatic arthritis is considered an autoimmune disorder, which means it occurs because the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.

In psoriatic arthritis, the immune system attacks the joints and skin, causing the inflammation and symptoms associated with the condition. Several immune system proteins, particularly those known as cytokines, play a significant role in this process.

For example, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-17 are cytokines that have been shown to be particularly active in psoriatic arthritis, leading to inflammation.

Environmental Triggers: Environmental factors also contribute to the onset and flare-ups of psoriatic arthritis. Physical trauma or something in the environment may trigger the disease in a person who has inherited a tendency to develop it.

For some, the initial trigger can be a viral or bacterial infection, physical trauma, or stress. Researchers believe that these triggers might set off an immune response that leads to the development of psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis Connection: Most people with psoriatic arthritis have psoriasis, and the severity of psoriasis can predict psoriatic arthritis. Those with more severe cases of psoriasis are more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis.

However, not everyone with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, suggesting that additional factors are involved in the transition from skin symptoms to joint issues.

Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking have also been linked to an increased risk of developing psoriatic arthritis.

Obesity can contribute to the severity of the condition and also makes it more challenging to treat effectively. Smoking not only increases the risk but may also affect the severity of the disease.

In conclusion, psoriatic arthritis is a complex disease influenced by a mix of genetic predispositions, immune system dysfunctions, environmental exposures, and personal health practices.

While the disease can be challenging to manage, understanding these factors provides a clearer picture and helps in better managing the condition. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the symptoms, reduce pain and inflammation, and prevent joint damage.

Regular consultations with healthcare providers, appropriate medication, and lifestyle modifications play a crucial role in managing psoriatic arthritis effectively.

With ongoing research, our understanding of psoriatic arthritis continues to improve, leading to better treatments and outcomes for those affected.

If you care about arthritis, please read studies about extra virgin olive oil for arthritis, and pomegranate: A natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

For more information about arthritis, please see recent studies about how to live pain-free with arthritis, and results showing medical cannabis may help reduce arthritis pain, back pain.

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