Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis). Psoriasis is a common skin condition affecting 2% of the Caucasian population in the United States. It features patchy, raised, red areas of skin inflammation with scaling. Psoriasis often affects the tips of the elbows and knees, the scalp, the navel, and around the genital areas or anus.
Approximately 10% of patients who have psoriasis also develop an associated inflammation of their joints. Patients who have inflammatory arthritis and psoriasis are diagnosed as having psoriatic arthritis.
The onset of psoriatic arthritis generally occurs in the fourth and fifth decades of life. Males and females are affected equally. The skin disease (psoriasis) and the joint disease (arthritis) often appear separately. In fact, the skin disease precedes the arthritis in nearly 80% of patients. The arthritis precedes the psoriasis in up to 15% of patients.
In some patients, the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis can be difficult if the arthritis precedes psoriasis by many years. In fact, some patients have had arthritis for over 20 years before psoriasis eventually appears! Conversely, patients can have psoriasis for over 20 years prior to development of arthritis, leading to the ultimate diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is a systemic rheumatic disease that can also cause inflammation in body tissues away from the joints other than the skin, such as in the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Psoriatic arthritis shares many features with several other arthritic conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis (formerly Reiter's syndrome), arthritis associated with Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. All of these conditions can cause inflammation in the spine and other joints, and the eyes, skin, mouth, and various organs. In view of their similarities and tendency to cause inflammation of the spine, these conditions are collectively referred to as "spondyloarthropathies."
Successful Treatment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Although its cause is unknown, the condition appears to be an abnormal response of the body's immune system. Several treatment components appear necessary for successful treatment.
- Careful avoidance of foods that trigger your flare-ups. Since these triggers vary from person to person, you must be individually tested. One of the best ways to discover your particular triggers is the ALCAT blood test.
- Adequate nutrition supportive of healthy skin. Most psoriasis patients are deficient in certain essential vitamins and minerals. I used to recommend one particular brand liquid vitamin and mineral supplement that was derived from various plant extracts. In often eads to dramatic improvements in psoriasis in the short term, but I noticed it created other problems long term. Now I recommend:
- Any good liquid mineral supplement that is NOT made from foods. The problem with plant derived mineral supplements is that any food that you are exposed to on a daily basis, including through a mineral supplement, can become an inflammatory trigger through overly frequent exposure. I recommend a liquid supplement instead of a solid pill, because absorption into the body is so much better. Here is one example of a good liquid mineral supplement NOT made from food: Trace Minerals Research - Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops, 8 fl oz liquid .
- Only taking vitamin supplements after being tested for food and chemical inflammatory triggers. Many vitamins contain as a hidden components, foods that are often inflammatory triggers.
- The other healing methods in the book Conquering Arthritis will help your psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, but the two treatments above seem to be the most critical.
- In addition, phototherapy, the use of ultraviolet (UV) light is often helpful in treating psoriasis, since it slows the rapid growth of new skin cells that is one of the hallmarks of psoriasis.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. The sacroiliac joints are located in the low back where the sacrum (the bone directly above the tailbone) meets the iliac bones (bones on either side of the upper buttocks).
Chronic inflammation in these areas causes pain and stiffness in and around the spine. Over time, chronic spinal inflammation (spondylitis) can lead to a complete cementing together (fusion) of the vertebrae, a process referred to as ankylosis. Ankylosis leads to loss of mobility of the spine.
Ankylosing spondylitis is also a systemic rheumatic disease, meaning it can affect other tissues throughout the body. Accordingly, it can cause inflammation in or injury to other joints away from the spine, as well as other organs, such as the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Ankylosing spondylitis shares many features with several other arthritis conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, arthritis associated with Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. Each of these arthritic conditions can cause disease and inflammation in the spine, other joints, eyes, skin, mouth, and various organs. In view of their similarities and tendency to cause inflammation of the spine, these conditions are collectively referred to as "spondyloarthropathies."
Ankylosing spondylitis is two to three times more common in males than in females. In women, joints away from the spine are more frequently affected than in men. Ankylosing spondylitis affects all age groups, including children. The most common age of onset of symptoms is in the second and third decades of life.
What Causes Ankylosing Spondylitis?
The tendency to develop ankylosing spondylitis is believed to be genetically inherited, and the majority (nearly 90%) of patients with ankylosing spondylitis are born with the HLA-B27 gene. Blood tests have been developed to detect the HLA-B27 gene marker and have furthered our understanding of the relationship between HLA-B27 and ankylosing spondylitis.
The HLA-B27 gene appears only to increase the tendency of developing ankylosing spondylitis, while some additional factor(s), perhaps environmental, are necessary for the disease to appear or become expressed.
For example, while 7% of the United States population have the HLA-B27 gene, only 1% of the population actually have the disease ankylosing spondylitis. In Northern Scandinavia (Lapland), 1.8% of the population have ankylosing spondylitis, while 24% of the general population have the HLA-B27 gene.
Even among HLA-B27 positive individuals, the risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis appears to be further related to heredity. In HLA-B27-positive individuals who have relatives with the disease, their risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis is 12% (six times greater than for those whose relatives do not have ankylosing spondylitis).
Best Treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis
I have to admit up front that although the treatment methods in the book Conquering Arthritis sometimes lead to dramatic and sometimes complete healing of ankylosing spondylitis, there is still much to learn about what it takes to heal this form of arthritis.
I have had several people write in and tell me that they healed their ankylosing spondylitis using the book Conquering Arthritis.
For food sensitivites, the temporary withdrawal of food triggers allows the immune system to heal. This is because the memory cells that trigger these attacks usually go away when left untriggered for long enough. I have one close friend that cured herself by taking this concept, but, instead of applying it to food sensitivities, applied the concept to emotional triggers. She temporarily removed these triggers to heal to the emotionally stressful events in her life that she knew were triggering her flare-ups.
Instead of letting time alone heal her emotional pattern, this friend took a creatively different tact to resolving her emotional triggers. In her untriggered state, she wrote an epic poem about the period of her life that was the starting point for these deep emotional triggers. Somehow the writing of this poem allowed for the resolution of those deep emotional triggers. Since finishing her poem, she has been able to re-engage in situations that were formerly triggers for her arthritis without experiencing any pain or stiffness at all.
I have another friend who has largely stopped the ongoing inflammatory damage, but has only partially reversed the spinal collapse that is the end result of years with the disease. But his partial success may be due to his only partial willingness to modify his diet.
As best I can tell, if you have ankylosing spondylitis, the best order for the healing methods in the book Conquering Arthritis is:
- Taking the ALCAT test and implementing dietary changes based on the results.
- Taking Gut Healing Measures
- The Arthritis Healing Diet
- Exercise for Healing Arthritis
I had reactive arthritis, so called because I was reacting to a bacterial infection, in my case, to bacterial dysentery caused by the bacterium Shigella. When the arthritis-triggering infection is a venereal disease, the condition used to be called Reiter's Syndrome, but is now often also called Reactive Arthritis.
Reiter's and Reactive Arthritis are technically classified as one of the spondylopathies along with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, and they are also quite similar to rheumatoid arthritis.
If you have Reiter's syndrome or reactive arthritis you can benefit from all the healing methods in the book Conquering Arthritis.
The best place to start is:
- Treatment of the infection, if it isn't already gone.
- Taking the ALCAT test and implementing dietary changes based on the results.
- Gut healing measures
- The rest of the methods detailed in the book Conquering Arthritis in any order you choose.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread, unexplained pain in the muscles and joints. Light pressure at certain tender points in the body causes pain. Fibromyalgia also causes fatigue, problems sleeping, depression, and anxiety. Fibromyalgia symptoms are often triggered by an illness such as a viral or bacterial infection, physical trauma such as a car accident and emotional stress.
Successful Treatment of Fibromyalgia
One of the critical components for long term healing of fibromyalgia is restoring gut health. Because this is also true for all types of arthritis, the steps in first half of the book Conquering Arthritis are also equally important for fibromyalgia.
To use the book Conquering Arthritis
for healing from Fibromyalgia:
- Take the ALCAT test and then eliminate all the foods and chemicals triggering your inflammation.
- Undertake the other gut healing methods (detailed in the first half of the book)
- If emotional stress is a contributing factor, use some or all of the mind-body practices (detailed in the second half of the book)