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I wasn't diagnosed until I was 24

I, unlike most, developed arthritis first, then years later the psoriasis came. I have had joint pain for as long as I can remember. I am not confident that all those ‘growing pains’ weren't actually arthritis.

After years and years of going to the doctors (starting at age 16) I wasn't diagnosed until I was 24. Simply because my rheumatoid factor was fine and psoriatic arthritis doesn't cause noticeable swelling and of course comes in waves.

By the age 24 I had arthritis in my toes, ankles, soles of my feet, knees (always my worst), hips, elbows, shoulders, wrists, fingers, and eyes (yes my eyes. The ligament swelling would take my eye sight). I developed psoriasis at about age 21, a little in my ears, then my elbows.

Nobody explained to me what it meant to have it. Treated it like ‘whatever’. I had no idea how it spread and where it would/could.

After my diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, I quickly worked my way through all the NSAIDs and DMARDS, in 1 year I was onto biologics. I was young, I wanted more children and want ready for the long-term effects so I walked away and went in a different direction. Best choice ever. I managed to keep everything under control simply by tanning, watching my red meat intake and resting when I need too. Not over doing it.

It was simple keep the psoriasis under control, will keep the arthritis under control. I still have a few times a year where I'm in pain. Anything lasting more then 5 days and I go in for steroids.

I now take tumeric on a daily basis and that seems to help. I'm 34, and just developed hashimotos [also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis]. Which apparently is a common thing with psoriatic arthritis? Oh man I wish controlling that was as easy as my arthritis.

Submitted by a 34 old female living outside the UK

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