Weight loss - my experience

Hi everyone, I am new to the blog. It's really nice to be able to meet people that have the same problem than me. I have never met anyone with PsA in real life.

So a bit about me, when I was 17, (in 2002), I remember having pain in my ankle, neck and really bad foot at times but never did anything about it. I went to study in France in 2005, still having pain but coping somehow, I wonder how I did. When I was in my second year of study there, the pain was getting unbearable, I had troubles sitting down, standing up, neck and back in pain and really had troubles walking. Then, one of my fingers was completely swollen and at work they forced me to go to the hospital one night, which is when I finally saw a doctor for the first time about the pain I had been carrying all this time. They gave me pain killers and associated that my psoriasis condition, which I had since I was around 14. I then went to see a doctor, who referred me to a rheumatologist and after tests, they confirmed I had PsA. It was a shock for me, not really sure what that was, and away from my country and family,no real supprt, but I dealt with it somehow. So, I want to highlight there, that I had taken 10 Kilos in that one year in France, and was eating junk food almost everyday, and that was when, the illness came really unbearable. The inflammation was really significant, I still have those results somewhere, and I remember my doctor there being very worried about me. Anyway, that is when I started taking medications. After trying a few, I found feldene quite ok for me. I have tried MXT but had agreed with the doctors that this was not suited for me, as I was losing a lot of hair and it was not really improving my condition. So, I just stayed with Feldene, the inflammation was still here but I coud cope, hoping that after my studies I will start another treatment. I was not going out too much, was mainly staying home and studying, those 10 Kilos extra were too hard to carry (from 49 kilos to 59 ish kilos).

So, when I finally finished my bachelor, I decided to come to Australia for a Masters. In 2008, I met a guy, then we broke up a few months later, I was sad and was losing weight and not eating junk food. Astonishingly, my PsA was all under control, I remember going for a blood test back then, and it was all good for the first time ever. After a few months, I was starting to put on weight again and was back to my junk food routine, then my condition was bad again. I remember at some point, not being able to lift my arm up. There were up and downs in my condition but have always kept strong and busy working and studying.

But more recently, end of 2011- beginning of 2012, I went through another break-up. I was really eating just enough to survive and work. My diet consisted of steamed veggies and fish,and other food in little portions, I had not appetite and was off junk food and chocolates completely. I lost around 8 kilos (from 58 to 50). In that period of distress I found that my PsA was going. So, I stopped all medication since February 2012. I was great, at my best physically. The finger that had been swollen and deform for years was back to normal, even my feet was not swollen anymore. I could bend down to my knees with no problems at all. The whole of 2012 has been great for me (even if I broke up with my ex fiance) and it was like a miracle cause I did not need any medication at all. Around August 2012, I was starting to recover from my break up, moved to another city, took on a new job, and could find myself out clubbing with friends, partying, going to the beach etc. I could walk to and from work, even wear high heals to go clubbing.

Unfortunately, I have been eating way too much around the festive seasons end of 2012, too many Aussie BBQs, too much meat and cakes, gained 5 kilos back (from 50 to 55). So, since January, I've started to have pain again, right hips, stiffness and deformation in wrists and fingers but more annoyingly swollen feet and a very annoying bunion in my right foot. I went to the doctor's and need to have a blood test done soon. I still haven't taken any medication, I might have to soon, even if I would rather stay away from them, I've had an ulcer over the years from taking feldene. I'm trying to lose weight again. In my opinion, what we eat really makes a lot of difference. Garbage in Garbage out they say. I'm trying to follow a no red meat, no junk food diet. I've read a lot about ayruveda online, I tried lemon and honey with water and that does help. But also, believers of ayurveda posit that it's all about digestion, which I believe is quite true, to my opinion. When I was eating just enough to survive and slowly (which is good for digestion), I was at my best. So, I'll try to get back to that, though it's harder now that I have my appetite back.

I'd love to hear what you think about the history of my life. My family lives in a different country and I never really had their support in that journey. To them, I am normal, or maybe they do not want to admit I am sick, or maybe I don't complain enough for them to realize I am in pain. My dad came to visit me last year, while I was at my best, so they think I'm ok. They have never really seen me in my hard times. No one at work knows I have PsA, neither do my friends I hang out with, even my flatmates don't know. Only the few bfs that I have had know about it and a few family members in Europe.

I'll keep you updated about how I'm going. My real fear is how would I be in the long run? This journey has definitely made me a strong and independent person but now that I am over my ex bf, I do wanna have a serious relationship with a guy. I am often told, I look quite pretty but I fear that a guy would not want a serious relationship with someone that has PsA. Also, I don't really think I can have kids, even if I do love kids ( I have been an au pair for 2 years in Sydney while I was studying, the mum was a doctor and never knew I had arthritis ).

Also, a few questions, yesterday I went for a remedial massage for the first time ever, that's giving me muscular pain now. Do massages help? And, how do you get rid of a bunion?

Look forward to hearing from you and good luck with everything


Assuming this is a real post and real story from a real person...(sorry. just a lot of information)...

I'm not a doctor but, my opinion is that....stress is your trigger for Psa flares, Not diet/weight. I'm not saying diet/weight aren't important or factors.

In the "long run" if you have Psa you should stay on your meds. If you don't have symptoms while you're on your meds that's great but, Psa doen't disapear. It may hide or do little damage but, over a few years, untreated, it adds up.

I don't get massages. I'm no help there.

I lifted this from the Mayoclinic.com....

Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic staff

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your bunion and the amount of pain it causes you.

Conservative treatment Nonsurgical treatments that may relieve the pain and pressure of a bunion include:

  • Changing shoes. Wear roomy, comfortable shoes that provide plenty of space for your toes.
  • Padding and taping. Your doctor can help you tape and pad your foot in a normal position. This can reduce stress on the bunion and alleviate your pain.
  • Medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen (Aleve) may help control the pain of a bunion. Cortisone injections also can be helpful.
  • Shoe inserts. Padded shoe inserts can help distribute pressure evenly when you move your feet, reducing your symptoms and preventing your bunion from getting worse. Over-the-counter arch supports can provide relief for some people, though others may require prescription orthotic devices.

Surgical options If conservative treatment doesn't provide relief from your symptoms, you may need surgery. A number of surgical procedures are performed for bunions, and no particular surgery is best for every problem. Knowing what caused your bunion is essential for choosing the best procedure to ensure correction without recurrence.

Most surgical procedures include a bunionectomy, which involves:

  • Removing the swollen tissue from around your big toe joint
  • Straightening your big toe by removing part of the bone
  • Realignment of the long bone between the back part of your foot and your big toe, to straighten out the abnormal angle in your big toe joint
  • Permanently joining the bones of your affected joint

It's possible you may be able to walk on your foot immediately after a bunion procedure. However, full recovery can take up to eight weeks or longer with some bunion procedures. To prevent a recurrence, you'll need to wear proper shoes after recovery.

Surgery isn't recommended unless a bunion causes you frequent pain or interferes with your daily activities. A bunionectomy — like other types of surgery — is not without risk. Additionally, you may still have pain or you could develop a new bunion in your big toe joint after surgery. Consider trying conservative treatment before having a bunionectomy.

I’m with Robert on the issue of diet/ weight. Though you may find that you have certain “trigger” foods that can help a flare come on, diet and weight loss havent been found to have an impact on PsA. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t eat well and exercise. PsA is tough on the joints, so by maintaining a healthy weight you avoid adding any undue strain on your feet, knees, hips and back. Also, people with PsA are believed to be at greater risk for diabetes (type 2) and heart disease. Keeping yourself to healthy eating habits should help reduce those risks.

The information from the Mayo Clinic is great. I might add that you should look into changing the type of shoes you wear. Make sure that al of your shoes have a big toe box. No pointed toes or heels over 2 inches, but flats are even better. Maintaining a healthy weight is a must, as well. You didn’t list your height, but even when you were at your heaviest, you were probably at a good weight. Chances are that you will need a bunionectomy, but making a few simple changes can really reduce your odds of getting another bunion.

PsA is a chronic issue and it will not go away even with medication. One of the purposes of drug therapy (other than reducing symptoms) is to control the destruction that is caused to joints. Even if you are not having symptoms, pain, swelling, joint deformity, etc…, it’s highly likely that there is joint damage occurring. There is no way to prevent or slow this process without drug therapy. If you read a little further into this site, you will see examples written by members who went without treatments for years (mostly due to doctors not being on the ball). They are now paying a severe price for that. Permanent joint deformity, chronic and debilitating pain, and joint replacements are just a few of the long term effects of living with this disease without pharmacological intervention. I am on a strict diet that was prescribed by my gastroenterologist. I do not eat red meat, pork, dairy, legumes, nuts, alcohol, gluten, and there are certain fruits and veggies that I have to avoid. I also made the choice to eat organic, and farm raised. I have one of the leanest, healthiest diets out there, but I have still been off of work for six weeks now due to uncontrolled PsA. I have had pretty severe symptoms, and we are having a hard time getting my meds just right.

Massage does help, but make sure you get gentler massages during a flare as massage can aggravate symptoms in some people. Drink a lot of water after your massage, it can help prevent muscle soreness. It isn’t unusual to be a little tender the day after a massage. Like I said, have the therapist be gentle until you get used to having regular massage and drink plenty of water. Add some Tylenol to the mix if you feel really sore.

Having children isn’t a no-no just because you have PsA. It is something that you want to discuss with your doctor before you decide to try, but many women are able to have families. Some women even report remission during pregnancy. Yay!

Plenty of people with PsA are able to find good mates. It can be more of a challenge for your mate to handle, especially when you are having a rough time. That ends up being a good thing though. You will end up choosing a stronger partner who really does care about your well being, and will be able to be your rock when you are struggling.