I am overdue an update on my Psoriatic Arthritis and how I am managing things, so I thought I would do a little update. I have been having a flare for the last 6 weeks, predominantly in my knee. It has really gotten me down, and for the first time in a few months I have felt very disabled. I have cried (a lot!) and I haven’t ventured very far from home due to pain. I have also been massively fatigued by it. It has brought up a lot of the emotions I felt when I was first diagnosed, with worry about the future being paramount. So here is a little update.
Time since diagnosis: 9 months
January and February 2020
Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drug (DMARD): Sulfasalazine – 6 tablets daily. I had this dose increased from 4 tablets to 6 at a rheumatology nurse appointment in November. This is because I felt I still wanted to make progress to “feeling better” but that the sulfasalazine had helped somewhat.
Naproxen / Ibuprofen – as and when needed.
Prednisolone – read more about this below.
Probiotic – 1 tablet in the morning with a glass of water before eating (affiliate link).
Turmeric capsules – 2 daily, 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening.
Omega 3 – 1 capsule daily.
Chiropractor. I swear by my chiropractor and I visit him every 3-4 weeks. This most recent time I went he taped up my knee, and honestly it has helped so much! I really recommend finding a chiropractor local to you, and I’ll do a blog on knee taping at some point too.
Diet changes. I have cut gluten, dairy and refined sugars. I started doing this two weeks into my flare to see if it would help, so I am 4 weeks in now. The reason for this is that all three of these are known inflammatories, and arthritic pain is caused by inflammation. I am going to continue with exploring the impact of diet and have actually booked to see a Naturopath next week. I have also been drinking bone broth every day for the last 4 days, and I do feel a slight difference in pain reduction so am going to continue with this. Bone broth is a total superfood and I have long heard its benefits; it contains calcium, gelatin and collagen which are all good for both the joints and gut health – explaining why it would be helpful for inflammatory arthritis. I used this recipe with a chicken -carcass and cooked in my slow cooker for 24 hours.
Rheumatologist appointment in January. Annoyingly this occurred just before my flare started so it was brief and not much came from it, and now I am not due for a repeat appointment for another 6 months!
I had a flare in my knee during late January / early February. For the first two weeks it just felt a little sore and swollen, and I thought I could totally manage it. However, then things escalated; it became very swollen and painful and walking was a struggle. It made me utterly miserable and a lot of my anxiety from when I was first diagnosed resurfaced. I was prescribed a weeks course of Prednisolone, a steroid. I made a few phone calls to Rheumatology during this, and was prescribed the steroids over the phone. I have just finished taking the steroids (yesterday). My pain has reduced, however my knee still feels really weak and a little swollen – my chiropractor commented that he could feel fluid on it.
Return to Exercise programme. I started this at the very beginning of my flare. It is run through the NHS and is aimed at helping people get back into fitness, and is run by an experienced physio. I have had to defer my place on this due to my flare and being in too much pain, which has really saddened me as I was so looking forward to exercising again, even if it was going to be really gentle. I am determined to get back there so watch this space!
Find more information about my psoriatic arthritis journey under the Living Well section of my blog.