Psoriatic Arthritis: Facts About Kim Kardashian-West’s Disease Following Diagnosis

Last week's episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" (KUWTK) sparked concerns about Kim Kardashian-West. She got tested for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis then was diagnosed with a different condition. 

Kim has psoriatic arthritis. It is a form of inflammatory arthritis affecting people with psoriasis and causes red patches of skin topped with silvery scales.

Prior to her diagnosis, the mother of four and wife of rapper Kanye West has been vocal about her psoriasis in previous episodes of KUWTK.

Psoriatic arthritis affects any part of the body, from fingertips to the spine. It may cause joint pain, stiffness and swelling. 

Kim decided to meet a doctor to check her condition after experiencing numbness in her hands. She also reported feeling tired and nauseous and having swollen hands.

“I feel like I literally am falling apart. My hands are numb. Lately, my wrists are starting to hurt again but it’s definitely a different feeling,” she said as quoted by Women’s Health. “I feel this in my bones. It’s starting to really worry me. I really have to look into this.”

Kim initially suspected that she had rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. But the doctor who checked her did not find signs of the disease. 

However, she appeared with symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. The doctor said the condition commonly comes and goes, which explains the pain and changes on Kim’s body. 

Psoriatic arthritis commonly affects people at ages between 30 and 50, according to the American College of Rheumatology. But this condition can be tricky and sometimes hard to detect because of common symptoms that also appear in other conditions. 

Psoriatic Arthritis Facts You Need to Know

No Cure

Psoriatic arthritis can be disabling if left untreated. However there is no cure available for this condition, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Doctors commonly recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or prescription anti-rheumatic drugs to control its symptoms and protect the joints. 

Psoriatic Arthritis Can Cause Sausage-Like Swelling

Some people who develop psoriatic arthritis may experience painful, sausage-like swelling of fingers and toes. It may also lead to deformities in both hands and feet. The pain can travel to tendons, ligaments and lower back. 

Psoriatic Arthritis Cause Still a Mystery

Health experts said they have yet to fully understand how psoriatic arthritis occurs. Studies suggested it begins when the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue, which triggers inflammation in the joints and overproduction of skin cells.

However, the question remains of why the immune system starts the abnormal response. 

Family History Plays a Role

Scientists said there can be genetic factors contributing to psoriatic arthritis. A number of studies showed that many people with close relatives who developed the condition also appeared with psoriatic arthritis later in life. 

Meanwhile, Kim did not look at her condition as very serious problem. She said she was relieved “that this is just psoriatic arthritis.”

“The pain is going to come and go sometimes,” she said. “But I can manage it and this isn’t going to stop me.”

Kim Kardashian TV personality Kim Kardashian attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. There are simple ways to spot the early signs of psoriasis when one has a chronic or seasonal dry skin, which may appear similar to the disease. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images