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Client with Psoriatic Arthritis

Posted Jan 08 2009 4:19pm 2 Comments

Name : Connie

I have a client that has Psoriatic Arthritis in her hands. I would like to know how I can help alleviate some of her pain. Her Doctor wants to start her on chemo treatments for the pain.


What is psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis). The common symptoms are patchy, raised, red areas of skin inflammation with scaling and pain. This condition commonly these areas of the body: the tips of the elbows and knees, the scalp, the navel, and around the genital areas or anus, but the areas are all person dependent.

Psoriatic arthritis is a systemic rheumatic disease that can also cause inflammation in body tissues away from the joints other than the skin, such as in the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys. Typically in these clients, you see immune system dysfunction, which is a sign of long-term external stress affecting the person internally. The body just expresses it more externally. This condition I have seen to associated with many other arthritic conditions such Ankylosing Spondylitis (see below in causes), reactive arthritis (formerly Reiter’s syndrome), and arthritis associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (GI inflammation from improper food intake or Rx meds over time).

What causes psoriatic arthritis?

According to western medicine, the cause of psoriatic arthritis is currently unknown. A combination of genetic and immune as well as environmental factors are likely involved, which I agree with. My perspective is this: we might have the gene markers for specific genetic conditions, cancer, etc, but it is how we live, eat and think that will determine whether or not these genes raise their ugly heads. As well, most are brought into this world with balance and –ease. I feel it is the person, how they live, eat and think, that will determine how much stress they put their body (i.e. immune system) under. Our body can handle stress, but over time if we never acknowledge or adapt to our stressors, they will break us down. Example: If one is eating convention foods, drinks a lot of coffee and alcohol, takes Rx meds, etc, we will create gut dysfunctions, especially leaky gut syndrome. Over time, the foods we eat slip through the leaky gut into our blood and our body attaches antibodies to those antigens. We have phagocytes that play clean up to help our body and immune system to eliminate these antigens. But over time, if we do not change how we live, the phagocytes cannot keep up and the amount of antibodies with antigens grows and grows. To make a long story short, the end result is self fighting self = autoimmune disease!

In patients with psoriatic arthritis who have arthritis of the spine, a gene marker named HLA-B27 is frequently, but not always, found. Blood testing is now available to test for the HLA-B27 gene. I would refer your client to a Holistic MD for this test. I have had clients with this dysfunction, but none have come up with this marker.

Other Causes:

1. When the body is out of alignment, there is wear and tear on the joints. This is exacerbated with improper exercise and movements within daily life. Not to say this is the root of her issue, but can complicate things.

2. Overuse of NSAID does create inflammation in the gut (where 70% of the immune system is housed). This creates more systemic inflammation and toxins are actually held in the joints.

3. Certain parasites, such as Klebsiella have been shown to create certain arthritic conditions. More so it has been associated with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

4. Eating conventional foods on a daily basis creates inflammation in the body. This in turn activates that immune system and creates joint inflammation and pain.

5. Chronic dehydration has been shown through research to create joint pain. The body’s joints contain fluid and when you are dehydrated, these fluids become dehydrated as well.

6. Most ligaments in the body contain estrogen receptors. When a woman is estrogen dominant (not enough progesterone to oppose estrogen), this creates ligament laxity. Which in turn creates instability within the joints = wear and tear.

Treatments that I have used for Psoriatic Arthritis:

1. Find a skilled CHEK Practitioner ( in your area to get a full assessment by in order to get an individualized corrective exercise program from.

2. Eliminate NSAID’s for pain reduction. There are many alternatives such as acupuncture, glutamine, cod liver oil, and proteolitic enzymes (, as well as some great immune system support herbs from

3. Get a stool test down by your local Functional Medicine practitioner in order to see if you have any parasites that could be creating your Rheumatoid Arthritis. You can contact and have her order the 401H and to order the GI 2 panel. From there, an MD on their staff can help with a protocol that suits her needs.

4. Follow a more holistic lifestyle by eating food from the land. Start by eating grass fed meats, eliminating all things with a shelf life, that come in a box or can, and that have to be microwaved. A simple way to start is to follow the principles in How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek.

5. Begin by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day. This should be reverse osmosis water and not distilled or tap water. Most tap water has been shown to contain over 300 various hazardous elements in it, which will create joint and body inflammation.

6. Get a local hormonal panel done by your local Functional Medicine Practitioner. If you are estrogen dominant, using Bio-identical hormones will create homeostasis.

Good luck!

Joshua Rubin, OTR/L

Referenced from:

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Causes of Psoriasis:

Psoriasis is driven by the immune system, especially involving a type of white blood cell called a T cell. Normally, T cells help protect the body against infection and disease. T cells help create scabs over wounds. In the case of psoriasis, T cells are put into action by mistake and become so active that they trigger other immune responses, which lead to inflammation and to rapid turnover of skin cells.


Most recently, the natural or innate immune system has been found to be highly implicated. Non-specific natural responses of the skin immune system, and virtually every subsystem of that, are activated in psoriasis. Epidermal cells up on the surface of the skin, forming itchy patches or plaques. The first outbreak of psoriasis is sometimes triggered by emotional or mental stress or physical skin injury, but heredity is a major factor as well. In about one-third of the cases, there is a family history of psoriasis. Researchers have studied a large number of families affected by psoriasis and identified genes linked to the disease. (Genes govern every bodily function and determine the inherited traits passed from parent to child.)


People with psoriasis may notice that there are times when their skin worsens, then improves. Conditions that may cause flare-ups include infections, stress, and changes in climate that dry the skin. Also, certain medicines, including Lithium salt and beta blockers, which are prescribed for high blood pressure, may trigger an outbreak or worsen the disease. Other autoimmune diseases such as HIV/AIDS may significantly worsen the symptoms of psoriasis. Alcohol consumption and obesity may also worsen the condition.

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Psoriasis is a prolonged inflammation of skin. The causes of psoriasis are still unclear. This condition is neither infectious (Do not spread from one person to another) nor does it affect the general health. It affects both the genders and may start at any age.

Psoriasis is quite common, affecting around two per cent of the population, although people with very mild symptoms may not be aware they have it. Psoriasis can begin at any age but usually starts either around the age of 20 or between 50 and 60.

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Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterized by raised scaly lesions often silver to reddish-pink in color, a result of the build-up of dry, rough dead skin. Psoriasis patches are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, lower back and groin. Affecting more than 6 million people in the United States, the condition is believed to be an inherited disorder. It can be effectively treated with herbal psoriasis remedies.

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