Kim Kardashian West was “freaked out” because her hands “hurt so badly.” She learned she was suffering from a severe case of psoriatic arthritis. No cure for the disease exists, but a number of treatments are available to relieve the symptoms, according to medical professionals.
Kim has learned to manage her psoriasis over the years, and hopes sharing her story will allow others to “feel confident” dealing with their health battles.
She was spotted in 2012 at Miami International Airport with a clearly visible outbreak of psoriasis on her legs.
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The reality television queen revealed she suffered from the autoimmune disease on her show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” She visited a dermatologist in Los Angeles after red, flaky patches appeared on her legs.
She was 31 at the time, and the affliction most often appears in individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. The red, flaky patches on her legs were attributed to high stress, which can trigger outbreaks.
Psoriatic arthritis is an outgrowth of the autoimmune disease. West says she discovered it when she experienced severe pain in her hands. She says she couldn’t pick up her phone because it “hurt so badly.”
“One night, I woke up to use the restroom and I physically couldn’t pick up my phone. I thought it was strange, but maybe I just slept on my hands weird, and I was so tired, I didn’t need to be checking my phone at that hour anyway. I fell right back asleep,” she recounted on sister Kourtney Kardashian’s lifestyle website Poosh.
“I woke up that morning, and I still couldn’t pick up my phone. I was freaking out – I couldn’t even pick up a toothbrush, my hands hurt so badly,” she added.
“I had worked out the day before, and we did an arm day, so I thought maybe one of the exercises strained my hand. It didn’t cross my mind that it could be anything serious.
“As the day went on, I got a bit more movement in my hands, but they really hurt from the inside – I felt it in my bones. Everyone assumed it was just my workout, but I knew this felt different,” she said.
Kim, now 38, went to the doctor and was tested for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
“I went to the doctor because then I thought I could possibly have rheumatoid arthritis. I knew I felt the pain in my bones, and after I Googled the possibilities, I was beyond scared.
“I had my blood tested for all possibilities, and it came back positive for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I immediately started to cry and felt so lost.
“You really can get in a crazy headspace when you think you have something. My doctor said I could have a false positive, and he wanted me to come back.
“I went back three days later, which felt like the longest three days of my life!” she said.
It turns the tests were a false positive. While she did not have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, it she learned that she had psoriatic arthritis.
It’s similar to arthritis that can stem from psoriasis and it can come and go. It’s still painful and scary, but I was happy to have a diagnosis. No matter what autoimmune condition I had, I was going to get through it, and they are all manageable with proper care,” she said.
She wrote: “I’ve become extremely comfortable with my psoriasis. No matter where it is on my body, sometimes I am fine with showing it off, and other times I don’t want it to be a distraction, so I cover it up with body makeup.
“If you have psoriasis, you can’t let it ruin your life or get the best of you. You have to do what you can to make sure you are comfortable but not let it take over.
“I hope my story can help anyone else with an autoimmune disease feel confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can cause permanent joint damage. For people who have or suspect they may have psoriatic arthritis, it is extremely important to work with a rheumatologist (arthritis doctor) to find the right treatment plan,” according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Treatments range from oral medications to reduce inflammation and swelling to drugs that are injected or infused and target specific parts of your immune system to slow joint damage.
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