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  • Psoriatic Arthritis - close to a cure?

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    Old 04-15-2003, 12:43 PM   #1
    Dorescore
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    Post Psoriatic Arthritis - close to a cure?

    I'm 29 years old and was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis about a year and a half ago. My earliest symptoms were present when I was 25 (recurring swelling in my knee). My psoriasis is mild (just on my scalp) and my arthritis is mild to moderate (knee, and now present in two toes and a finger).

    I've been on Azulfadine for a year and I just started seeing a new rheumatologist -- he has started me on methotrexate because he thinks I'll get better results from it. Right now, my knee isn't swollen and hasn't been swollen for a year, but my big toe and second toe are pretty swollen and painful and my index finger is swollen and painful. Since the Azulfidine hasn't relieved symptoms in my toes and finger, my new Dr. put me on the methotrexate and wants to treat me aggressively since I'm young. My x-rays are good and they do not reveal any bone damage (although he says an MRI could reveal some cartilage damage). I've only been on the MTX for 2 weeks, so it's a little early to see whether it is going to work, but I'm hopeful.

    Now to the point of my post -- my Dr. has told me the last couple of visits that he really thinks we will see a cure for Psoriatic Arthritis in the next 10 to 20 years. He says he wants to treat me aggressively because we'll be able to cure it at some point, but we will not be able to "undo" any damage. I agree with him and I am pleased with his recommended course of action, but I'm not sure if I really believe there will be a cure. Researchers have said forever that they will find a cure for cancer and diabetes, but the cures have never come.

    I'm just curious to hear other's opinions on whether they think a cure is on the horizon and what they have heard from their Dr.'s.

    Also, I'm curious about other's experiences with psoriatic arthritis. I know that it isn't that young to be diagnosed with it at 28, but I'm a little worried that since I started symptoms at age 25 (rather than 35 or 40) this means it will be worse for me when I'm older. My Dr. says that isn't necessarily the case, but I must admit to being concerned.

    Thanks.


     
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    Old 04-17-2003, 03:03 AM   #2
    Romi
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    You know what? I think you are on the right track. And I think I finally am, as well. I only saw a rheumy at the end of December last year after years and years of hospital and doctor visits, x-rays, scans, MRIs, physio, chiro, tens machines, meds - I could go on and on ad infinitum. So depressing! Eventually a really smart GP decided to run bloods, checking specifically for HLA B27. Voila! I tested positive to this annoying little antigen which, I understand, comes off the short arm of the sixth chromosome. At least we knew then what we were potentially dealing with and I was sent to a rheumy who diagnosed psoriatic arthiritis. This group of disorders is vast and it seems that in many areas they overlap (spondyloarthropathies?, I think). The good news is that I commenced treatment in January. Rx methotrexate and cyclimycin (plus the very NB folic acid). One of these drugs was causing beastly side-effects, so after a month of feeling like hell, I quit until my next scheduled visit with the rheumy. He believed the cyclimycin was the one causing the problems and switched me to Plasmoquin, an anti-malarial agent. Having resumed my med routine: one plasmoquin plus one folic acid per day and six methotrexate once a week, with the occasional Vioxx in between, I am now delighted to report that I haven't had Vioxx for the past three days and for the first time in AGES, I am ache and pain free! No side effects at all. My mood has lifted considerably (understandably so) and with all this newfound energy -in abundance, I must say, all the dominoes that had fallen down are starting to erect themselves again. I feel a little afraid to rave about my health in case it is just a flash in the pan, but I really do feel good again (and it has been such a long, long time...) and I am sure I'm in good hands now. Part of the PA problem is that the psoriatic side of things has affected some of my toenails so, being somewhat vain, pretty sandals have been out of the question for me for quite some time. I am truly grateful for the relief I feel - no morning stifness, no creaking and groaning when I get up off a chair, no limping or battling with lower backache and sore legs etc. - but I do so hope that the meds will help ease off the problem with the nails so that I can once again don my pretty sandals and, BETTER STILL, go barefoot without feeling embarrassed. Too much to ask for? I really hope your meds work too and also send up a prayer that a full cure will one day be available. Also, it is worth mentioning that I have my diet plays a critical role in my condition. I do cheat sometimes (and pay the price), but if I follow the rheumy's advice on my eating plan I feel extra good. Every time I stray from the path, my body shrieks at me and so I am learning that if I want to feel okay, I have to give certain foodstuffs a miss. What I have noticed is that combining protein and carbohydrates is a no-no. I can eat as much protein as I like with no problems. Similarly, I can indulge in carbs, also with no problems. But heaven help me if I combine the two. Also, tomotoes (deadly nightshade vegetables, in fact) do not really agree with me. The rheumy told me, in terms of fruit, that to have one apply and one orange a day is one of the wisest things I could do. He was right! Is there anybody else out there who is on this drug/eating plan combo? I am 46 and started with early symptoms of this disorder about 12 years ago!

     
    Old 04-23-2003, 07:05 AM   #3
    MiaD
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    I have a friend here in the uk who has just been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritus.Can anyone tell me more abut this disease.Apparently the doctor is reluctant to treat it unless it gets alot worse as theres only 1 kind of injection they can use to improve it.
    Has anyone had experience of how effective treatments are? And does it go into remission ever?
    My friend is in alot of pain and discomfort atm and I cant find any info on this topic.How serious is this disease...and is it degenerative? Thanks in advance
    Mary

     
    Old 04-23-2003, 02:14 PM   #4
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    Apparently the doctor is reluctant to treat it unless it gets alot worse as theres only 1 kind of injection they can use to improve it.

    I cannot believe this doctor. Why in the world would you wait until it's worse??? Your friend needs to get started on a treatment as soon as possible to slow the progress down. I don't know what meds they have available in the UK but there a different kinds here to choose from, including an injection type, which I am currently on for psoriatic arthritis. She needs to find another doctor, PRONTO.

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 04:42 PM   #5
    MiaD
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    Thanks Dawn for your prompt reply.
    I think we are probably well behind the U.S. in terms of treatments available.But if we know more about what is actually working in the U.S...we can ask for it and see if its made available as a result.
    It seems diet plays a major part in lessening the symptoms.Id be very grateful if anyone could tell me

    1/Specific names of drugs that ar eprescribed in the U.S...and which are most effective

    2/what they were advised to eat/avoid eating to lessen the pain and halt the progress.

     
    Old 04-25-2003, 02:05 AM   #6
    Romi
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    Hi Mia
    Read my post above. It might give you some more insight. I am in South Africa and we have state of the art meds and treatments! - surely the UK is on par?
    Quote:
    Originally posted by MiaD:
    Thanks Dawn for your prompt reply.
    I think we are probably well behind the U.S. in terms of treatments available.But if we know more about what is actually working in the U.S...we can ask for it and see if its made available as a result.
    It seems diet plays a major part in lessening the symptoms.Id be very grateful if anyone could tell me

    1/Specific names of drugs that ar eprescribed in the U.S...and which are most effective

    2/what they were advised to eat/avoid eating to lessen the pain and halt the progress.

     
    Old 04-25-2003, 02:42 AM   #7
    Dawnrise
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    I've used methotrexate (which worked wonders for me) and that was discontinued after a few years and then I went to imuran. I'm now doing the Enbrel injections while taking imuran (which after awhile will be discontinued also - the imuran, that is). After only 3 injections (they're done twice a week) I am starting to feel a difference. As far as diet is concerned - I've never noticed in myself that anything triggered flare ups. The only thing that would cause mine to really flare up is over-use and bad weather approaching.

     
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