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Thread: Psoriatic arthritis page

  1. #1
    oldschoolsting's Avatar
    oldschoolsting is offline Junior Member
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    Psoriatic arthritis

    Primal Fuel
    Hey guys,

    I'm 27 and was diagnosed today with psoriatic arthritis. My symptoms have been showing for about 18 months. I began following the primal blueprint last February (pretty strictly) and had great results with weight loss (about 20lbs down to 165lbs). It hasn't had a huge effect on my arthritic symptoms though.

    The doc said that if left untreated, very large problems can arise. The fact that I am here should show that I'm not into being on meds for the rest of my life, but right now something has to change for the better. I have a damaged metatarsal head in my left foot (among other minor joint injuries), which is preventing running and causing my middle toe to swell severely. He said he wants to put me on methotrexate...I am skeptical. For one I don't want to have to abstain from all alcohol for the rest of my days. I have heard people say that quality of life has been greatly improved by humira.

    Has anyone had experiences with PA? Did diet change help your problems or did you try one of the above mentioned meds?

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    jammies's Avatar
    jammies is offline Senior Member
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    Hello and welcome I am sorry about your diagnosis - I know how tough and overwhelming it can be. My official diagnosis is sero-negative RA, but I have a strong family history of psoriasis and get the occasional patch on my scalp, so I probably have PA. My arthritis was HORRIBLE, every joint was swollen and I was pretty severely disabled. I have been on humira, enbrel, infiliximab, rituxan, abatacept, methotrexate, and a few others I can't think of right now. Before starting PB I was on prednisone, azathioprine, and tocilizumab. I was improved, but I was still flared almost every day. I started doing a low-lectin version of PB based on this website: http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

    In addition to no grains or processed foods, I eliminated eggs, dairy, coffee, and all nightshades. The results for me have been amazing. I have been able to wean off of steroids and azathioprine and will be cutting my iv meds in half in the next month or so.

    The key thing you REALLY want to do, is prevent joint erosions now. I would get on meds early, and then if you can improve things with diet you can always taper off. Your insurance company may require you to try methotrexate before going on anything else - you'll have to check. I would go for the TNF inhibitors and soon as possible (Enbrel, Humira, Remicade). If one doesn't work, try another because they have different efficacy in different individuals, even though they work by the same general mechanism.

    I think there was a featured story on the main MDA website about someone with psoriatic arthritis who improved dramatically with meds. I will find it and post it for you.

    Let me know if you have any questions. Sorry to be so slow to respond, but I hope I can be helpful.

    Good luck@

  3. #3
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    jammies is offline Senior Member
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    cillakat's Avatar
    cillakat is offline Senior Member
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    You may want to have a look at my journal. I've been through the wringer with AI stuff, incl psoriasis, possible RA, possible lupus etc.

    How is your vitamin D?



    iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


  5. #5
    jammies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cillakat View Post

    How is your vitamin D?
    Oh yeah, I think D is super important too..... I can't believe I forgot to mention it! It took me forever to get my vitamin D3 levels to a reasonable level. I think this was a very important part of my recovery. PLEASE get your levels checked and then get a good oil based D3 supplement and then test until you are normalized.

  6. #6
    TigerLily's Avatar
    TigerLily is offline Senior Member
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    I'm newly diagnosed with an unspecified autoimmune disease (we're still working on that, but I've been told it may never have a name...though I suspect it to be early-stage lupus) and have all sorts of arthritis in my spine and my joints swell and are painful depending on what I eat. Primal can and will help you tremendously. When I eat grains, sugar, and dairy, I can barely even put my socks on. On Primal, I am lifting heavy weights, stretching, doing everything/anything with zero pain or stiffness or limitations. I don't feel like I'm dying all the time anymore. Lot of AI stuff to read here. Welcome! You've come to the right place.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

  7. #7
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    Hello and welcome. I'm soooo sorry about your diagnosis - it' such a hard blow to have your body 'fail' you, I know.

    I'm 39 and was diagnosed about 5 years ago with rheumatoid arthritis (and IBS; initially it was assumed I had Crohn's disease because of my overall symptoms). My understanding is that PA is very much like RA, with added skin issues.

    I went primal almost 4 years ago. My results have been nothing short of life changing!! I was considering that I might have to go on disability (and I was involved in sports all of my life previously); now I am doing all of the sports I was involved in before and I have an active life with minimal impact from RA! Of course, I still have 'bad' days, but believe me when I tell you that my 'bad' days now are what every single day was like before I went primal!!

    However, it took quite a while for significant changes in joint pain/swelling to appear. Initially, I only noted that if I 'cheated' by eating anything with grains or SUGAR it would INCREASE my pain and swelling the following day; it took about six months of being strictly primal before I began to notice big improvements in joint pain/swelling. (Boy, pain will change your thought process when it comes to 'cheating'.) I did have an improvement in fatigue and IBS within a week of going primal.

    I'll reiterate what others have said about the importance of vit D and strict primal eating. Another huge factor for me has been weight lifting; I believe that the combination of increasing blood flow and strengthening muscles/tendons is key to keeping and improving joint function and mobility. I don't do any 'isolation' lifts, only full range of movement lifts (ie. squats, overhead presses, etc - in other words, follow Mark's suggestions) Start slow, and if you're not familiar with weight lifting, get help from a fitness trainer to make sure you are performing lifts correctly, since you can hurt yourself with improper form. For me, initially, the weight lifting was not comfortable, but I would notice improvement the following day in my mobility, and, like with the sugar/grain, I noted that skipping several work outs in a row would cause an increase in my joint pain. Four years down the road, I'm lifting about 3 times the weight I started with, and it feels GOOD to push my body - I look forward to my work outs!

    I also agree that you should pursue the medical route; RA (and I assume PA) can cause joint damage, and you want to prevent/slow that damage. My insurance made me do a 'trial' with methotrexate before I could go to the more expensive biologics (I'm on Enbrel). Currently, I take NSAIDs (this year I was able to cut to 1/2 the total amount I was previously using) and Enbrel only. Additionally, I take fish oil, vit E, vit D and probiotics (I take the probiotics one week on, one week off, and that seems to work well for me). I'll also totally plug Mark's Primal Calm as an excellent stress management tool.

    Oh, and I had put on a lot of weight initially with dropping all the sports because of RA - now, my body looks better than it did in my 20's!!

    Wow, I've been long winded, but going primal changed my life! Hmm, guess I need to get off my butt and write in to Mark's 'Success Stories' like I keep saying I will!

    I hope it helps to know that others here have gone down your road, and that there is hope!
    A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for. ~John A. Shedd

  8. #8
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    Excellent post, Jennifer. I hope you can post here more often. What wonderful success. I totally agree about the big impact of "cheating" upon us. The pain and stiffness makes it not worth it. I've also recently excluded nightshades; they have a big impact upon the swelling in my joints, I've found. I have "cheated" a couple of time with tomatoes and both times have regretted it the next day. Won't happen again. I can't believe I used to walk around eating all this stuff all the time. My poor body was screaming.
    Last edited by TigerLily; 01-26-2011 at 09:57 AM.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

  9. #9
    oldschoolsting's Avatar
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    Thank you to everyone who posted! There is a lot of good info here. As a couple of folks noted, the most important thing to me is preventing long term damage to my joints. The doc told me that he may not be able to reverse damage already done to my foot, but he can stop progression of joint problems. My foot is sometimes much better with the NSAIDs. Although I've probably only done about 25% of the research that I want to do before going back to the doctor, my initial thoughts are to push for enbrel or humira...I believe that I can start directly with these but the copay is much higher than methotrexate. I'm really not sure if the doctor is a fan of these because the only drug that he suggested was methotrexate, and at the time I didn't know to ask about bioligics. I think my doctor is correct in his diagnosis, but I may get a second opinion to be sure.

    Regarding going stricter on the diet: I think I will give this a try, but it will be tough. That's cutting out the best of the best! Eggs with salsa and cofee with a little heavy cream!! That's the breakfast of champions.

    I have been taking vitamin D but I haven't had my levels checked. I will be sure to do this next time I am in the office. And thanks to Jennifer for mentioning primal calm. I have wondered if stress is a contributing factor or a trigger with my problems. My problems first started at one of the most stressful times in my life...and I'm not sure that things have gotten a whole lot better since. I need to work on that. And I also need to begin lifting again. That will help the stess levels as well.

    Thanks again to everyone!

  10. #10
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    PA is a cell-mediated, TH1 dominance disease (I have another TH1 dominance disease- Hashimoto's). I manage mine with Primal eating (although I just did a Paleo challenge and I think I'm going to stay largely dairy free form now on, which the exception of butter/ghee). It's really worth tightening up the diet and focusing on healing leaky gut (this is a big factor in most autoimmune illnesses).

    I also use emulsified D3, probiotics, Oxicell glutathione cream (to reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system) and a TH2 stimulating formula (which down-regualtes TH1 activity) containing polyphenols like green tea, resveratrol, pine bark and grape seed extract.

    Krill oil and turmeric might be helpful for your inflammation, too.

    Just so you know, there are certain herbs that will cause your immune system to flare if you're TH1 dominant: echinacea, astragalus, medicinal mushrooms, beta glucan and licorice.

    You might want to check out the practitioners at http://www.thyroidbook.com/practitioner-locator.html
    I know it's a thyroid website, but these people are trained in autoimmune balancing protocols and can help you. Some of them will wrk long distance with you if there's no one in your area. These protocols have helped me a lot!

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