I've read the Advice to Newbies section, so here goes my self-introduction to site members. I am 52 years old female who was a dance teacher and in good health before this.
I had palmar-plantar psoriasis for about 3 years which was incorrectly diagnosed as "fungus". I finally self-diagnosed psoriasis and got a better Dermatologist who actually helped me with cortisone injection and topical cortisone cream (clobetazol) which I use alternately with a natural product called Puremedy Excema & Psoriasis Relief. I have had flares so bad my feet were bleeding. Now mostly controlled and best results from alternating these 2 products.
I was just getting the Psoriasis under control when I came-down with an RTI / sore throat / fever.
The infection seemed to "attack" my joints. At first both hips and one shoulder were affected. My doctor didn't take me seriously until I actually forced her to measure & document my loss of mobility. Then she ordered blood tests, saw the elevated Rheumatoid factor and got me a referral to Rheumatologist.
Waited 3 month to see the Rheumy. Getting worse the whole time. One knee stared to become affected. Rheumy prescribed Naproxin and gave tentative dx of Inflammatory Arthritis, and sent me home with a pamphlet on PsA.
The Naproxin worked great for about 4 days ... then it gave me ulcer-like symptoms. My stomach hurt so bad i couldn't eat. This began the downward spiral of gastric issues and weight loss. I have been OFF naproxin for more than a month but my stomach still isn't "normal". Never had stomach problems a day in my life before this. Lost 16 lbs and i was thin to start with. Took ulcer medication prescribed by my GP which helped the worst symptoms but then THAT med started giving me side-effects. Sort-of better ... but still not right.
2 months wait to see the Rheumy. She prescribed Methotrexate. Worst 4 days of my life. I literally could not get out of bed for 3 days b/c every time I tried to stand-up for more than 5 minutes I felt faint and had to sit down or lie down to keep from falling. Mouth sores, bleeding gums, AND I spent 3 days researching and planning ways to kill myself. NO ONE warned me that methotrexate might affect the mental health. wtf??? On day 8 when the methotrexate finally left my system, I no longer felt like killing my self. It was like turning-on a light switch. Suddenly I was my normal self again. I wonder if anyone else has had mental reactions to methotrexate?
It is another 2 months wait for my next appt but I called to demand another med to try. Took me 5 days, but I finally got a prescription for sulfasalazine and a snotty note from the Rheumy saying maybe I don't have arthritis at all and I should talk to my GP about Fibro. WTF??
My GP agrees that this is a severe inflammatory arthritis. As of today, both shoulders, both wrists, both hips, both knees, and 1 anckle are affected. Swollen and lost mobility. I am nearly totally disabled. The sulfasalazine has not given any serious side effects - but is hasn't helped either.
I am going to a clinic in India for Ayurvedic medical treatment in a month. I don't have the money as I have not been able to get any disability yet. My S.O. is paying for me to go ... and it is a strain on him. But this same clinic helped me recover from stage 2C cancer after a terrible experience with a botched surgery ... so I have confidence in their methods.
I am grateful for the comraderie and information on this site ... but also disturbed by the bias against Naturopathic medicine. I am totally open-minded and trying both Allpathic and Naturopathic routes. But just to be clear ... True Naturopathic Medicine ***IS*** Evidence Based. The criteria for evidence is different (i.e. 6 months testing on lab rats vs. thousands of anecdotal pieces of evidence over 100s of years) In the Ayurvedic system, a treatment had to be tested over 3 generations before it could be included in their medical protocol.
So this may or may not be a good place for me. I find it very disheartening to read such ignorance about and bias against Naturopathic medicine when Allopathic methods remain so "hit & miss". The pharma meds used to treat PsA offer a temporary chemical remission at best. None are a cure. Ayurvedic medicine also does not promise a cure. Also their aim is to create a remission. Personally, I don't see that one is any better than the other ... I just want to find which WORKS for ME.
Sorry for the long rant ... best regards and pleased to meet you.