I recently read an article in a local newspaper pertaining to the subject of Psoriatic Arthritis. It brought out that the same biological medications used for conditions such as, RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), are also used for psoriatic arthritis sufferers.
It highlighted that there are five different types of psoriatic arthritis currently known. They are:
- Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis (joint pain usually on one side of the body)
- Symmetric Psoriatic Arthristis (joint pain on both sides of the body)
- Distal Interphalangeal or DIP joint pain predominant psoriatic arthritis (joint pain of the fingers and toes)
- Spondylitis Psoriatic Arthritis (affects the spine)
- Arthritis Mutilans (destructive arthritis)
The article also mentioned that the risk factors included:
- Already having psoriasis
- A family history of psoriasis
- Being between 30 and 50 years of age
Sadly, it mentioned, there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. Conventional treatments involves the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
Of course, the common problems of these drugs and others like them, are the number of serious side effects that can occur. If you presently use any of these types of medications, you know what I mean.
Interestingly, these drugs are immunosuppressant medications that literally suppress the immune system. Both arthritis and psoriasis are autoimmune diseases. This essentially means that the body's ability to differentiate between self and invader is hampered. In other words, the body's first line of defense, the immune system, is imbalanced.
On the one hand, a healthy immune system is both balanced and dynamic. According to one internet medical source ( http://www.diagnose-me.com ), it should be balanced between Th1, cellular immunity and Th2, humoral immunity.
Cellular immunity, that is, what takes place inside the cell, involves T-cell and macrophage activity. Humoral immunity, outside the cell, typically involves the activities of antibodies. In a healthy immune system Th1 and Th2 activity switches back and forth between the two responses as needed. However, an inability to respond adequately with a Th1 response can result in chronic infections and cancer; while an overactive Th2 response can contribute to allergies.
The failure of Th1 arm of the immune system and an overactive Th2 arm is implicated in a wide variety of chronic illnesses. These include:
- CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
- Multiple Allergies
- Viral Hepatitis
- Cancer, and other illnesses
If these two arms of the immune system could be balanced, by stimulating Th1 and decreasing Th2, then many of the symptoms associated with the chronic illnesses would diminish, or, disappear and we would have found the answer to immune restoration and balance. With more than eighty (80) types of autoimmune diseases currently known, such an approach would make a significant difference in the lives of suffers and their families.
One treatment for immune system imbalance (Th2 Dominance) is raising glutathione levels. Glutathione levels in antigen presenting cells determine whether Th1, or, Th2 response patterns predominate. Increasing glutathione levels helps reduce Th2 dominance.
Glutathione (pronounced "gloota-thigh-own") is a naturally produced protein manufactured within each of the trillion cells in the body. This small protein maintains three crucial protective functions. It is the body's master antioxidant, immune system modulator and potent detoxifier.