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PA: Heredity, Blood, Stress and Alcohol
I've had P since I was 7 and I'm now 25.
At 10 I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.
This mail is to the girl who was worried about getting arthritis.
I think it is heredity BUT nobody in my family has had either of
these before, only me, so I don't know really how I got it.
It has something to do with blood cells.
I personally think it has a lot to do with stress. I
find everything gets worse when I'm stressed AND unfortunately, if I've
been drinking, my P flares up hugely! -AJS
Response: I’m not sure about
the particular correspondent you are referring to, the
girl who was worried about getting arthritis, but that doesn’t
matter because the archives here are full of emails from people who worry
about PA compounding their struggles with P.
you’re right about the heredity and blood angles on PA (and P).
Scientists believe they have isolated some genes that enable
psoriasis, and one of the new ways health researchers are combating it is
through biologics — a new class of medicines — that, in the case of P, target the behavior of very specific cells
in our blood.
resolve the issue of why there is no history in your family, yet you’ve
been afflicted since the age of 7. How
does heredity work in your case? Well,
what you and the rest of us flakers actually inherit
is probably the potential to
flake. P may or may not be
something that just happens.
Many of us suspect it must be triggered.
It’s kind of like a pistol and a bullet.
Under a certain set of circumstances a pistol can be made to
discharge a missile (bullet). The
hammer must be cocked and the trigger squeezed.
Of course, there must already be a primed bullet in the chamber.
The genetic proclivity we
flaker’s probably share is the bullet in the chamber.
Something else cocks the
hammer and squeezes the trigger.
You and a few
million of the rest of us think the “something else” is stress.
There’s lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest this.
Also, alcohol-related stress is evidenced.
Anecdotally, there are hundreds of possible/probable P-triggers.
Is it possible that your parents, grand parents and siblings,
cousins, et. al. possessed the
bullet but never fired it? Well,
here we scratch our heads. We’ve
just come into possession of this wonderfully complex map of the human
genome and we’re a long way from “connecting all the dots” (no pun
intended). If the proclivity
to flake is a certain combination of genes, it may be possible for two
genetically un-inclined non-flakers to produce a very-much-inclined
flaker. It may also be that
the inclined gene combination goes un-triggered in generations or certain
probably be several more years before we can explain psoriasis
genetically. (Time gets added
to that prognosis every time another
gene becomes suspected of involvement.)
But we should be thankful the subject is being explored.
meantime, we continue to focus on ways to inhibit the symptoms of
psoriasis. Those biologics
I mentioned are an exciting new development.
There are more.
And no, none of
this relieves the anxiety and worry about P evolving into PA.
I commend us not to worry because worry can be stressful, but I
know we’re going to do it anyway. <
Sigh > -Ed