What tests are used to diagnose psoriatic arthritis?

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Written By MartinCorbett

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Other lab tests and blood tests

PsA can also be diagnosed using laboratory tests. These tests can be used by your doctor to identify your condition. Lab tests are generally done at your doctor’s office, or another medical facility. These tests include:

  • Skin test: A biopsy may be done by your doctor to diagnose psoriasis.
  • Fluid test: Your doctor may take fluid from your joint with suspected PsA in order to diagnose your condition.
  • Blood tests: While most blood tests won’t diagnose PsA they can point to other conditions. Your doctor might look for certain factors, such as the Rheumatoid Factor. This indicates rheumatoid. You don’t have it if it is in your blood.

Your doctor might also check for signs of inflammation in the blood. Normal blood levels are common in people with PsA. Although your doctor might look for a genetic marker that is related to PsA it does not necessarily mean the condition has been diagnosed.

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There are other tests that can be done for psoriatic inflammation

A 2014 study by researchers concluded that doctors can use three screening tools to determine if you have PsA. These screening tools were the Psoriasis and Arthritis Screening Questionnaire, Psoriasis Epidemiology Screening Tool and Toronto Arthritis Screen.

These screenings require you to complete a questionnaire. Your doctor will decide if you require further medical attention based on your answers.

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If your doctor is unable to diagnose you, they may refer you for a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist, or doctor who specializes on musculoskeletal conditions like psoriatic arthritis, is also known as a rheumatologist.

When should you seek diagnosis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) may cause pains and aches in your joints. Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory condition. Early diagnosis and treatment are important. If you experience symptoms of PsA, it is important to see your doctor. Although there are not specific tests that can confirm PsA symptoms, your doctor may use several diagnostic methods in order to diagnose your condition.

PsA symptoms include:

  • Inflammation and pain in the joints
  • tiredness
  • Toes and fingers swelling
  • Especially in the morning, stiffness and tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Changes to the nails

Eye irritations, such as redness and pain, can cause inflammation.

  • There is limited movement in the joints
  • PsA can be experienced in:
  • Hands
  • Watches
  • Elbows
  • Neck
  • Lower back
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • The spine, pelvis and Achilles heel are all places where tendons meet with joints.

Who gets psoriatic arthritis in the first place?

Psoriasis can lead to PsA. Psoriasis is a condition that affects around 30 percent of those with psoriasis. It is estimated that 85 percent people with PsA have psoriasis.

While the conditions may be related, each person’s experience with them can be very different. You may experience mild psoriasis symptoms, but severe PsA.

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Both psoriasis (and PsA) are autoimmune conditions. Psoriasis and PsA are not known. Genetics could be a factor. Around 40% of those with these conditions have a relative with the same condition.

Certain age and infections that can trigger the immune system are also risk factors. The majority of people with this condition are in their 40s and 50s.

Psoriatic arthritis treatment options

After testing, you may be diagnosed as having PsA. Your doctor will then determine the best treatment plan to treat your PsA level based on your symptoms and overall health.

One or more of these options may be included in your treatment plan:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Antirheumatic drugs that treat disease
  • Biologics
  • New oral treatments have been developed
  • Alternative therapies
  • Injections of steroids into the joints
  • Surgery to replace the joints
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • PsA symptoms can be treated
  • Healthy eating habits such as the Mediterranean or gluten-free diet are important.

Regular exercise is a great way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Additional weight can cause inflammation and put pressure on the joints.

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Get enough sleep.

Avoid strenuous activities, which can cause joint pain, like high-impact sports.