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Very Well Health explains the similarities of psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and fibromyalgia are two very painful and life-altering health conditions. While each condition has its unique features, they do share many common characteristics.

PsA is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes joint and tissue inflammation throughout the body. It can also affect the skin. Fibromyalgia also affects the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues, causing whole-body pain.

These two conditions can exist alone or together. Living with both PsA and fibromyalgia can be quite a challenge, so it is important to manage and treat both conditions.

Both PsA and fibromyalgia are painful conditions that cause whole-body symptoms. Common symptoms of both conditions include pain, chronic fatigue, and brain fog. PsA might also cause sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, and numbness and tingling of the limbs, which are more frequently seen in fibromyalgia.

PsA symptoms include…

  • Swollen, tender joints
  • Swelling of the whole fingers and toes
  • Scaly skin plaques
  • Nail psoriasis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Back and shoulder pain
  • Enthesitis
  • Chest and rib pain
  • Brain fog

Fibromyalgia symptoms include…

  • Widespread pain, including muscle pain and spasms
  • Stiffness upon awakening or after sitting for too long
  • Brain fog
  • Gastrointestinal troubles
  • Jaw and facial tenderness
  • Sensitivity to lights or smells
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Numbness and tingling in the limbs
  • Bladder troubles, including frequent urination
  • Reduced tolerance to physical activity
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Costochondritis

PsA is an autoimmune disease—that means it is the result of your immune system attacking healthy cells and tissues. An abnormal tissue response leads to joint inflammation and the overproduction of skin cells.https://d85524c7cb1517e42a40acc7d2b97b9e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

PsA affects between 3.6 and 7.2 per 100,000 people worldwide. Prevalence in the United States ranges from about 0.06% to 0.25%. PsA affects about 30% of people with the inflammatory skin condition psoriasis.

PsA tends to be a condition that will flare up with severe or increased symptoms that may last for days, weeks, or months. These symptoms can subside, and you will experience periods where the disease is milder or less severe. It is also possible to experience remission—periods of minimal disease activity.

Fibromyalgia affects around 4 million adults in the United States—about 2% of American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The majority of people with the condition are female.

Doctors don’t consider fibromyalgia to be an autoimmune disease or an inflammatory condition. According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), it is believed that fibromyalgia is a problem of the nervous system, specifically of the brain and the spinal cord.

The pain and tenderness from fibromyalgia will come and go and affect various parts of the body. It tends to be a lifelong problem that commonly causes widespread muscle pain, severe fatigue, and sleep problems.

Fibromyalgia affects up to 18% of people with PsA. People with PsA who also have fibromyalgia tend to have a worse disease course with PsA than those with PsA alone.

A study reported in 2016 in the Journal of Rheumatology by researchers at Tel Aviv University looked at 73 people with PsA, the majority of whom were female (57.5%). Using the American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia, the condition was diagnosed in 13 people—12 of whom were female.

Researchers also determined that having fibromyalgia with PsA might lead to worse disease activity scores. They concluded that the impact of fibromyalgia should be considered when treating people with PsA and that doctors should avoid unnecessary changes to treatment.

Source: Very Well Health

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