Psoriatic arthritis is a systemic rheumatic ailment that refers to the arthritis of the joints in the people with a history of psoriasis. It causes inflammation and pain in the affected area. It may also affect tissues of the body like eyes, heart, kidneys and lungs. Unlike several autoimmune medical conditions, Psoriatic arthritis may affect both men and women equally.
Psoriatic arthritis mostly begins to trouble people with psoriasis between the age group of 30-55 years. However, it can also occur in the childhood. In many cases, the psoriasis and the arthritis occurs separately, at different stages of life. In majority of people, the skin disease, psoriasis may precede the joint related disease, arthritis.
But, in some cases, it is also observed that the arthritis hits first and then psoriasis follows, making it difficult to diagnose if the arthritis appears many years before the occurrence of psoriasis. The causes of Psoriatic arthritis are unknown but scientists believe that there can be a number of causes that can lead to this medical condition.
Identifying the Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis
Immune System Abnormalities
Psoriatic arthritis affects people when their own immune system becomes very active and attacks the healthy cells to destroy them. It can also cause the overproduction of the cells in the body leading to swelling and pain in the affected joints. Abnormal immune system can also contribute to synovium, the membrane lining the sheets of tendons and the joints. This can affect people with Psoriatic arthritis and may lead to considerably higher levels of inflammation of the cells, proteins and different chemicals in the fluid and tissues of the joints.
Genetics play an important role, thus making heredity one of the most common causes of Psoriatic arthritis. It is observed that many patients suffering from Psoriatic arthritis have some kind of history of the disease in their immediate families, where their family members may be either suffering from psoriasis or the psoriatic arthritis.
Scientists have found certain genetic factors that seem to have connections with Psoriatic arthritis. For instance, the HLA-B27 gene is known to play a very significant role in causing psoriatic arthritis. It is interesting to know that most people with the HLA-B27 gene do not get Psoriatic arthritis; however, those who are diagnosed with this ailment are reported to have this gene.
Trauma and Physical Injuries
Injuries or severe physical trauma can also lead to Psoriatic arthritis. Many times, people do not realize but the injured areas of the body get prone to be affected with this type of arthritis. Severe injuries can trigger Psoriatic arthritis for those people who are already genetically predisposed toward this ailment.
Infections like a viral, bacterial infection or a streptococcal infection can also cause Psoriatic arthritis in people with a family history of the disease. Though not a proven fact yet, this ailment is also observed to affect people already infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV.
Stress is also one of the potent causes of this ailment. In many cases, people who are highly stressed due to their work or home issues get vulnerable towards this ailment.