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Seasonal, psoriasis and joint pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Hiawatha922, Feb 18, 2023.

  1. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Over the past couple of years, I've experienced a number of stressful life events including separation (October 2021), moving to a new house, starting a new job and generally restarting my life.

    I realize the sentence above suggests TMS but I just wanted to check in about current symptoms.

    Over the course of many years (prior to marital challenges), I've experienced joint pain, particularly left elbow, and right leg sciatica that get worse during particular seasons (especially spring). Within the past few months, I've developed psoriasis on my knees and pain in my right shoulder.

    I've been concerned about psoriatic arthritis because my brother has had it most of his life. However, I am 60 years old and my understanding is that it would have made itself known by this age (with very clear symptoms). I saw a rheumatologist two years ago who said she didn't see indications of arthritis (outside of typical age related symptoms).

    I've been doing physical therapy for my shoulder over the past few weeks. No progress yet. I'm thinking of asking for a general rheumatological exam to rule things out again (since these are new symptoms) and then fully shifting to TMS treatment.

    Does this make sense? Any thoughts?
  2. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    I am scheduled to get a shoulder x-ray tomorrow via my general practitioner. I don't know what else they need to do to test for arthritis (maybe blood test?) but I hope they can do that as well. I'd like to rule-out arthritis.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @Hiawatha922,

    To answer the question you asked me via dm: I definitely have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I was told (by Dr David Schecter, TMS MD ) that I must take seriously even if it was caused by stress, which I know it was, under unusual circumstances hugely exacerbated by the initial pandemic shutdowns. When the pain in my hands and started rather suddenly in April 2020, I assumed it was TMS, and RA never even occurred to me until more than a month in I realized that I had rapidly increasing and unrelenting pain plus swelling in both my hands and feet to the point where l was practically crippled. In late May I finally saw my doc who was quite alarmed. She immediately ordered labs and X-rays and the lab results caused her to refer me to rheumatology (fortunately the X-rays did not show any damage). The rheumatologist sent me for more specific labs in order to confirm RA as opposed to other AI conditions. (the lab tech printed out 14 labels and filled 14 vials!) RA was confirmed, and I was started on prednisone while the longer-term immune suppressant drug kicked in (and OMG the prednisone provided blessed and almost instant relief). I'm stable now on a standard dose of methotrexate. Two years ago ago I cut waaay back on so-called "added sugars" which had a surprisingly positive and lasting effect - I think that my flares were associated with sugar intake, and I still think that's the case. Too bad for my favorite Trader Joe's holiday treats :(

    There was a forum post last year by someone who was "diagnosed" with something really hokey like "Benign RA" because their labs showed no signs of any autoimmune condition taking place. To me THAT is TMS, I should be so lucky.

    In addition to telling me that I had to follow my rheumatologist's recommendations, Dr Schecter prescribed therapy with a mindbody practitioner, who I still see every two weeks. Within the last twelve months I also quit two stressful volunteer jobs and finally got rid of the last of my tax clients after dragging my feet about retirement for too long (I'm now 72). I feel like I'm still in recovery, thanks to the pandemic and the messed up state of the world.

    Among a long list of advice for AI conditions, these stand out as universal:
    Reduce stress
    Pay attention to diet, especially cutting out added sugars and other highly-processed foods
    Obviously don't smoke or abuse alcohol etc
    And, by the way, REDUCE STRESS

    Bottom line: unrelenting stress will eventually take its toll. For the second time today I will recommend "When the Body Says No" by Gabor Mate MD.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2023
  4. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    The x-ray this morning of my right shoulder looked normal. My doctor said the left elbow symptoms were golfer's elbow. And he didn't think further testing was warranted because he said psoriatic arthritis would be showing up on both sides, like both hands, both knees, etc. (not right shoulder, left elbow, etc.)

    So, I'm happy about the results (in a certain way). I definitely think a TMS approach makes sense at this point.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2023
  5. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your response, JanAtheCPA. I really like Dr. Mate's approach, paying attention to the interconnection of body, mind, and spirit. Reducing stress is at the top of my list!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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