Underlying Reasons Why Psoriatic Arthritis is Misdiagnosed
There are several reasons why patients are misdiagnosed especially in cases of arthritis. For instance, there are recurring symptoms which often manifest in similar manner while there are others which are not typical. Among those similar symptoms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis gout. As a result, some patients are often misdiagnosed with one type of arthritis when in fact, they suffer from another kind of arthritis.
According to Eric Matteson, MD., early and accurate diagnosis is very important as a first step to eliminate any possible joint problems which usually occur during the first few months. As the chair of rheumatology, Matteson said that treatment is crucial but more importantly, early tests should be done to detect any signs of join damage. Matteson works at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota.
One common mistake is when a psoriatic arthritis or PsA is diagnosed as osteoarthritis because the latter is not an inflammatory form of arthritis. In addition to that, this illness is often confused with rheumatoid arthritis which is also called as gout. In order to avoid this kind of misdiagnosis, you should consult a rheumatologist. He or she is a trained medical expert who specializes in arthritis.
One important rule to remember is not to rule out the possibility that you have psoriatic arthritis. This is especially true when you have red, flaky skin, joint pains, and nail pitting. There are rare cases when psoriasis occurs prior to its symptoms.
In case if nail pitting occurs first and then followed by recurring joint pains, then PsA is the main cause. This is particularly true if there is joint swelling. However, it is also possible that you have developed both psoriasis and another type of arthritis which is not psoriatic arthritis. According to Dr. Matteson, age is also a contributing factor. He said that a patient who is already in his or her sixties or seventies may have OA especially without any swelling.
On the other hand, gout may be your problem when you suffer from a swollen joint which becomes unbearably painful at night. Gout is easy to diagnose unlike psoriatic arthritis. One way to do this is to extract joint fluid coming and then examine it under the microscope. One reliable indicator is the formation of uric acid crystals which causes gout. If the human body can no longer function properly to process uric acid or there is too much presence of uric acid in the body, then gout is the ultimate result. Dr. Matteson said that these are reliable indicators that a person has gout.
In cases when the swelling extends to the fingers and toes, then PsA is the main cause. In medical term, this condition is called as dactylitis. It is commonly called as sausage fingers. It is also discovered that RA can cause extreme swelling of the joints.
Another possibility is that if the affected parts are purely asymmetrical, which means only one side of the body is swelling, then it is a psoriatic arthritis. It is not a manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis.
Doctors also advised that if the pain persists until the morning, then it could be PsA or RA. Usually, the pain occurs after a physical activity when it is osteoarthritis. For gout, the pain just gets too intense and abruptly. According to Dr. Matteson, the pain that comes along with PsA and RA usually do not last for more than five minutes. But when it lasts for more than twenty or even thirty minutes, then it should be osteoarthritis. You need to get access to psoriatic arthritis treatment drugs if this happens.
Blood tests can also indicate if you have RA. For instance, if the result shows that your rheumatoid factor is positive, then you surely have rheumatoid arthritis. Meanwhile, PsA victims usually have an RF-negative result. Dr. Matteson added that there are a few rare cases when patients have an extremely low FR-factor. Seek immediate assistance especially when it comes to psoriatic arthritis treatment options