What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis). The common symptoms are patchy, raised, red areas of skin inflammation with scaling and pain. This condition commonly these areas of the body: the tips of the elbows and knees, the scalp, the navel, and around the genital areas or anus, but the areas are all person dependent.
Psoriatic arthritis is a systemic rheumatic disease that can also cause inflammation in body tissues away from the joints other than the skin, such as in the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys. Typically in these clients, you see immune system dysfunction, which is a sign of long-term external stress affecting the person internally. The body just expresses it more externally. This condition I have seen to associated with many other arthritic conditions such Ankylosing Spondylitis (see below in causes), reactive arthritis (formerly Reiter’s syndrome), and arthritis associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (GI inflammation from improper food intake or Rx meds over time).
What causes psoriatic arthritis?
According to western medicine, the cause of psoriatic arthritis is currently unknown. A combination of genetic and immune as well as environmental factors are likely involved, which I agree with. My perspective is this: we might have the gene markers for specific genetic conditions, cancer, etc, but it is how we live, eat, and think that will determine whether or not these genes raise their ugly heads. As well, most are brought into this world with balance and—ease. I feel it is the person, how they live, eat and think, that will determine how much stress they put their body (i.e. immune system) under. Our body can handle stress, but over time if we never acknowledge or adapt to our stressors, they will break us down. Example: If one is eating convention foods, drinks a lot of coffee and alcohol, takes Rx meds, etc, we will create gut dysfunctions, especially leaky gut syndrome. Over time, the foods we eat slip through the leaky gut into our blood and our body attaches antibodies to those antigens. We have phagocytes that play clean up to help our body and immune system to eliminate these antigens. But over time, if we do not change how we live, the phagocytes cannot keep up and the amount of antibodies with antigens grows and grows. To make a long story short, the end result is self fighting self = autoimmune disease!
In patients with psoriatic arthritis who have arthritis of the spine, a gene marker named HLA-B27 is frequently, but not always, found. Blood testing is now available to test for the HLA-B27 gene. I would refer your client to a Holistic MD for this test. I have had clients with this dysfunction, but none have come up with this marker.
1. When the body is out of alignment, there is wear and tear on the joints. This is exacerbated with improper exercise and movements within daily life. Not to say this is the root of her issue, but can complicate things.
2. Overuse of NSAID does create inflammation in the gut (where 70 percent of the immune system is housed). This creates more systemic inflammation and toxins are actually held in the joints.
3. Certain parasites, such as Klebsiella have been shown to create certain arthritic conditions. More so it has been associated with Ankylosing Spondylitis.
4. Eating conventional foods on a daily basis creates inflammation in the body. This in turn activates that immune system and creates joint inflammation and pain.
5. Chronic dehydration has been shown through research to create joint pain. The body’s joints contain fluid and when you are dehydrated, these fluids become dehydrated as well.
6. Most ligaments in the body contain estrogen receptors. When a woman is estrogen dominant (not enough progesterone to oppose estrogen), this creates ligament laxity. Which in turn creates instability within the joints = wear and tear.
Treatments that I have used for Psoriatic Arthritis
1. Find a skilled CHEK Practitioner in your area to get a full assessment by in order to get an individualized corrective exercise program from.
2. Eliminate NSAID’s for pain reduction. There are many alternatives such as acupuncture, glutamine, cod liver oil, and proteolitic enzymes, as well as some great immune system support herbs from www.oramune.com.
3. Get a stool test down by your local Functional Medicine practitioner in order to see if you have any parasites that could be creating your Rheumatoid Arthritis. You can contact www.biodia.com and have her order the 401H and diagnostechs.com to order the GI 2 panel. From there, an MD on their staff can help with a protocol that suits her needs.
4. Follow a more holistic lifestyle by eating food from the land. Start by eating grass fed meats, eliminating all things with a shelf life, that come in a box or can, and that have to be microwaved. A simple way to start is to follow the principles in How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy by Paul Chek.
5. Begin by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day. This should be reverse osmosis water and not distilled or tap water. Most tap water has been shown to contain over 300 various hazardous elements in it, which will create joint and body inflammation.
6. Get a local hormonal panel done by your local Functional Medicine Practitioner. If you are estrogen dominant, using Bio-identical hormones will create homeostasis.