Psoriatic arthritis must be diagnosed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, identifying psoriatic arthritis can take a long time, which can be frustrating. Read on to find out why psoriatic illness may take longer to diagnose than other diseases.
Your General Practitioner Is the Gatekeeper
When you’re sick, your general practitioner (GP) is usually the first person you call. If your doctor feels that your disease is significant and outside of his scope of practice, they will refer you to a rheumatologist. However, depending on the severity of your symptoms and your doctor’s knowledge, you may not be sent to a specialist right at once. This may cause your issue to be misdiagnosed.
Your Symptoms Can Change in Severity
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms come and go. You can feel like running a road race one day and then be unable to put on your sneakers the next. A flare-up occurs when the illness is at its most severe. It’s normal to schedule a doctor’s appointment during a flare-up, only to cancel it if you feel better before the appointment. It could be a while before you get another flare-up and have to see a new doctor.
There Is no Definitive Test
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, unlike certain other immunological illnesses, psoriatic arthritis has no definite testing. Psoriatic arthritis is frequently diagnosed by a process of elimination. To rule out other possible causes of joint discomfort, can take months of trial and error.
You May not Hurt in the Same Place All the Time
Many have gone to the doctor for a variety of joint symptoms a few years before they are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. They thought they’d call the doctor about one joint, but by the time the appointment came around, another joint was hurting. You should focus on the joint that is troubling you at each appointment. You may not know the many joint aches that were most likely all related to your psoriatic arthritis until you received your diagnosis.
Symptoms May Mimic Other Diseases
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms might be similar to those of other joint illnesses such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The most prevalent cause of joint discomfort is osteoarthritis. It’s reasonable that if you go to the doctor with a hurting joint, the first thing that comes to mind is osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can strike at any age, with symptoms that resemble those of psoriatic arthritis. Any joint in your body might be affected by gout.
X-rays May not Help
If you have a hurting joint, your doctor may utilize X-rays as the first diagnostic technique. However, X-rays may not reveal any changes in the joints that are affecting you early on in the condition. The use of a standard X-ray is unlikely to detect early inflammatory changes that damage soft tissue. You will only be able to observe alterations in the skeletal structures as the disease progresses.
Your Skin Symptoms May not Be Present
Psoriasis skin symptoms frequently arise several years before psoriatic arthritis. However, arthritis can appear before skin changes in roughly 15% of instances. As a result, if you don’t have psoriasis symptoms, your doctor may not suspect psoriatic arthritis. You may have had skin issues in the past, but when you see your doctor, your symptoms may be in remission.
It May Take a Variety of Treatments
If your doctor suspects you have psoriatic arthritis, they may start you on a therapy that doesn’t work. You may subsequently be inclined to believe that your ailment has been misdiagnosed and that you do not have psoriatic arthritis. However, because arthritis treatment often requires several efforts, it’s possible that the diagnosis is right but that a viable treatment has yet to be discovered.
Your Medical History May Be Inaccurate
Patients and clinicians are becoming more aware of psoriatic arthritis as a result of lobbying efforts. If either of my sons gets aching joints, they will be able to tell their doctor that their mother has psoriatic arthritis, which may speed up the diagnosing process.