Could I have Psoriatic arthritis?

terri85
terri85 Member Posts: 8
Hi,

I am only 25 years old and have a strong family history of arthritis on my mothers side.
For the last two years four of my finger nails have come away from the nail bed and I was told I had psoriasis of the nails however arthritis was never mentioned. I do not have psoriasis anywhere else on my body. Since the diagnosis I have moved down to London and my new GP is really unhelpful. I suffer from pain in my wrists and finger joints that comes and goes but my GP keeps telling me it will just be a sprain but I get it in both hands!! Heat eases the pain. I am wondering if I have the onset of psoriatic arthritis but how do I get my GP to take me seriously? If I do have it what are the treatments? And what can I expect for the future?
Is there anything that can be done to improve the appearance of my fingernails? They get discoloured and as I very girly girl I hate having such horrible nails.
Any advice welcome!

Comments

  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    terri85 wrote:
    Hi,

    I am only 25 years old and have a strong family history of arthritis on my mothers side.
    For the last two years four of my finger nails have come away from the nail bed and I was told I had psoriasis of the nails however arthritis was never mentioned. I do not have psoriasis anywhere else on my body. Since the diagnosis I have moved down to London and my new GP is really unhelpful. I suffer from pain in my wrists and finger joints that comes and goes but my GP keeps telling me it will just be a sprain but I get it in both hands!! Heat eases the pain. I am wondering if I have the onset of psoriatic arthritis but how do I get my GP to take me seriously? If I do have it what are the treatments? And what can I expect for the future?
    Is there anything that can be done to improve the appearance of my fingernails? They get discoloured and as I very girly girl I hate having such horrible nails.
    Any advice welcome!


    Dear Terri85
    Thank you for your posting on the forum. It can be very difficult when you don’t feel as if you are being taken seriously but you can ask your GP for a referral to a rheumatologist so they can assess if you have this condition. If you follow the link http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis_information/arthritis_types__symptoms/psoriatic_arthritis.aspx this will lead you to Arthritis Research UK’s information on Psoriatic Arthritis that you can look at including treatments.

    Also for more information on the condition follow the link http://www.papaa.org/tiki-custom_home.php. This leads to the website of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthropathy Alliance (papaa). They have lots of information on their website about the condition. I hope this information is helpful.

    Best Wishes
    Dawn
  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi terri.. welcome to the forum :D

    I have PA without the skin condition. I was referred to a rheummatologist by my doc due to having a persistently swollen & painful elbow and was eventually diagnosed as having PA ... but it did take a year to get the diagnosis!

    There is no simple blood test for PA (negative for Rheumatoid factor) so the rheummys rely on the clinical signs & x-rays...and what you can tell them... to confirm a diagnosis. So it can take a considerable time.

    I too have the pitting & nail discolouration (on nails of both hands & feet) and lose nails which then regrow (not fully) before we repeat the cycle....not very attractive. I use nail varnish to mask the effect as best I can.

    There are lots of PA peeps on the forum so if you post on the 'Living With Arthritis' you'll get lots of support there.

    hope that your doc will be more sympathetic when you next see him and that you do get your referral. the info on this website and paapa is excellent.

    Iris xxx
  • terri85
    terri85 Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, thank you for the advice!
    I am going to go back to my doctors and ask for a referral. I just had a look at that papaa site and it looks really useful, I might tell my doctor I want to try the vitamin D analogue cream for my nails. I will post my progress!
    dorcas wrote:
    Hi terri.. welcome to the forum :D

    I have PA without the skin condition. I was referred to a rheummatologist by my doc due to having a persistently swollen & painful elbow and was elentually diagnosed as having PA ... but it did take a year to get the diagnosis!

    There is no simple blood test for PA (negative for Rheumatoid factor) so the rheummys rely on the clinical signs & x-rays...and what you can tell them... to confirm a diagnosis. So it can take a considerable time.

    I too have the pitting & nail discolouration (on nails of both hands & feet) and lose nails which then regrow (not fully) before we repeat the cycle....not very attractive. I use nail varnish to mask the effect as best I can.

    There are lots of PA peeps on the forum so if you post on the 'Living With Arthritis' you'll get lots of support there.

    hope that your doc will be more sympathetic when you next see him and that you do get your referral. the info on this website and paapa is excellent.

    Iris xxx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi. Like dorcas I have PA but mostly without the P. So far my nails are unaffected but that doesn't mean to say they will stay that way! I use Barbara Daly's No More Yellow (or Goodbye Yellow - I can't remember the name) on my nails to brighten them. You get it from Tes**S and it brightens nails quite a bit. I also use OPI Nail Envy on them all the time: that has made them strong and long. If you do go down the coloured nail varnish route make sure you use a base coat to stop further discolouration. Dreamdaisy
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • carola
    carola Member Posts: 840
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome Terri.

    I would say, request a referral for a Rheumy and also a different GP.

    Good luck and sending positive thoughts.
    Carol
  • terri85
    terri85 Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for everyone's advice.

    I did go back to my GP and asked for a referral to a rheumatologist, she booked me in with the hospital but when I got home I saw on the bit of paper she had booked me in to see a dermatologist....surely this is wrong? Did she mis-hear me? I dont need someone to confirm that I have psoriasis of the nails- this has already been confirmed by the hospital in Newcastle when I lived there two years ago, I now want to be assessed for psoriatic arthritis!
    Should I go back in to see her and tell her she has made a mistake?
    I am in despair as the other gp at that surgery is just as bad....
    Advice most welcome!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Of course you should. You know you have psoriasis, you now need rheumatology to investigate the possibility of the arthritis side of things kicking in. Blood tests will be taken but may not confirm anything: it took them over nine years to diagnose my PA, but that was because I didn't have the P bit! Contact your GP and ask for the correction to be made. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi terri...how frustrating this is for you. :roll:

    ....by giving your docs the benefit of the doubt :? I did wonder if perhaps she wanted you to see a dermatologist anyway... to look at treatment for the psoriasis/ nail bed issues. :?:

    you could of course go back to your docs....or you could wait and see the dermatologist and be referred from there..... at least the dermatologist will have knowledge of PA and perhaps have more direct link to the rheummys...just a thought. :wink:

    keep in touch terri and let us know what you decide to do. we are here for you.

    Iris x
  • terri85
    terri85 Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both for the advice,

    I think I will go along to the dermatologist and just see what they say.....hopefully from there I can be referred to a rheumatologist.


    My nails are so painfull at the minute and really green :(

    I did ask the GP about vitamin D analogue cream (which the papaa website recommended for psoriasis of the nails) but she had never heard of it and was again really unhelpful- its so frustrating!

    My appointment with the hospital is in October so I will keep you updated! thanks again :)

    Terri x
  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Terri....
    sorry lovely...but if you're nails are painful and greeny yellow then you may have an infection and need treatment.
    Peeps with Psoriasis affecting the nail bed are unfortunately at higher risk of fungal nail infection due to the pre existing damage :roll:

    I know you don't want to.... but please consider going back to see the doc to make sure you haven't got this. It is easily treatable..I had it and it cleared up with just using anti-fungal cream.

    Iris x
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    terri85 wrote:
    Thank you both for the advice,

    I think I will go along to the dermatologist and just see what they say.....hopefully from there I can be referred to a rheumatologist.


    My nails are so painfull at the minute and really green :(

    I did ask the GP about vitamin D analogue cream (which the papaa website recommended for psoriasis of the nails) but she had never heard of it and was again really unhelpful- its so frustrating!

    My appointment with the hospital is in October so I will keep you updated! thanks again :)

    Dear Terri

    Thank you for your postings and I am aware that you have had lots of support from the other members of the forum. It sounds as if you have been having a difficult time lately. I am aware that you have found your doctor unhelpful but if your nails are painful then it may be worth seeing your doctor again about this while you wait for your appointment with the dermatologist and seeing if there is anything that they can suggest that can help. If you want to talk things through then you can always call us on the helpline for some more support. I hope this is helpful.

    Best Wishes
    Dawn


    Terri x
  • arthritiscured
    arthritiscured Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Not long ago i was identified as having psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia despite the fact that I am still finding out, I wish to stay optimistic and keep my own self from feeling ashamed or singled out.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Not long ago i was identified as having psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia despite the fact that I am still finding out, I wish to stay optimistic and keep my own self from feeling ashamed or singled out.

    Dear Arthritiscured

    Thank you for your posting on the forum. It is positive that you have mentioned staying optimistic. Adjusting to having these conditions can be challenging and isolating, there is no need to feel ashamed or singled out, many people have these conditions and when you are first diagnosed it can be an extremely difficult time. The forum is there for you to communicate with others online about your concerns and to hopefully help you feel less singled out. I would also like to encourage you to contact us here on the helpline if you feel you would like to talk about these issues with our helpline team. The freephone number is 0808 800 4050 and we are open Monday – Friday, 10am to 4pm. Often having information can be helpful and can give insight to treatments. For information on Fibromyalgia click on the link http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis_information/arthritis_types_and_symptoms/fibromyalgia.aspx. And for information on psoriatic arthritis click on the link http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis_information/arthritis_types__symptoms/psoriatic_arthritis.aspx

    I hope that this is helpful.

    Best Wishes
    Dawn