The PsA disease mechanism results in elevated and sometimes damaging levels of inflammation. Many of the inflammatory symptoms of PsA resemble those commonly seen in rheumatoid arthritis. This makes sense, given that both disorders involve a dysfunctional immune system that “attacks” itself. Such overactive immune and inflammatory responses have other effects that are associated with certain conditions.
One of the most common comorbidities of PsA is metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Although the impact of metabolic disorder on health is profound, this condition can be prevented by staying active. PsA is also associated with a variety of musculoskeletal problems, including osteoporosis (erosion of bone structure) and fibromyalgia (muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep dysfunction). Together, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia can reduce mobility and impair your ability to function at home and at work. PsA can also occur with other inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye).
In order to reduce the negative impact of these associated conditions, it is important to recognize early symptoms and to address them with your healthcare team. This includes more subtle signs such as new or worsening pain, feeling tired, changes in weight, appetite, vision, and reduced mood.