Arthritis -

"My name is Liz, and I have Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). It's an inflammatory, autoimmune arthritis where the immune system mistakenly attacks joints and other connective tissue. It can cause permanent, irreversible joint damage and can be disabling. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint swelling, fevers, and limited mobility. PsA patients have a significantly increased risk of serious cardiovascular problems and double the average risk of mortality from infectious disease. Treatment is available, but often involves extremely costly medications called biologics. In the US, biologics account for ~40% of pharmaceutical spending but only ~2% of Americans take them. People hear "arthritis" and think of osteoarthritis, mistakenly assuming that young people can't have arthritis. Autoimmune forms of arthritis don't discriminate, you can be diagnosed at any age. I was 29 at diagnosis, but have had symptoms since my mid-20s. As many as 30% of people with Psoriasis eventually develop PsA, yet almost no one seems to have heard of it! I hadn't either, until my rheumatologist diagnosed me. I wear a blue AWARE necklace for arthritis awareness, but especially PsA and other autoimmune/inflammatory types of arthritis. Because yes - young people can have arthritis too!" 

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