How do I find out what sets off my psoriatic arthritis symptoms?

What causes psoriatic arthritis symptoms can vary a lot from person to person. And what triggers your symptoms can change over time. Knowing what causes symptoms to flare is key to managing your psoriatic arthritis symptoms well.

Be aware of common causes of psoriatic arthritis symptoms

These can include:

  • Infections. Strep throat and other infections can cause symptoms in both skin and joints. Skin injuries, such as cuts or scrapes, bug bites, or sunburn can cause skin symptoms to flare.
  • Stress. This can set off the immune system to increase pain and swelling, known as inflammation, in the body.
  • Cold weather, smoking and drinking a lot of alcohol. These can all set off psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
  • Certain medicines. These include lithium, beta blockers and antimalarial drugs. They can cause skin symptoms.

Other causes of psoriatic arthritis symptom flares might include some foods and other health conditions.

Keep track

Keep a health journal to track the links between your symptoms and what you do every day. Jot down your symptoms each day or note that you had none. Also note what you did that day, what you ate and how well you slept. List new medicines and anything that caused you stress.

Keep entries short. At your next appointment, tell your health care provider what you've learned.

There are online tracker tools and smartphone apps to help track symptoms. But writing down your symptoms in a notebook works just as well. Use what's easiest for you. Stick with it until your next medical appointment.

Your journal can help you and your health care provider see changes you can make to live your best life.

March 21, 2023