Managing Psoriatic Arthritis & Psoriasis While Pregnant {Otezla Update}

Managing Psoriatic Arthritis & Psoriasis While Pregnant {Otezla Update}

Each of us with psoriatic arthritis and/or psoriasis is unique.

Some of us are on biologics, some on other drugs, and some of us can manage our conditions in alternative ways.

I’ve been someone who’s tried methotrexate, did a 2-year stint on Humira (1 year bi-weekly and 1 year weekly), spent 2 years off of medications and then last February started on Otezla.

I still wholeheartedly believe that the best way to manage psoriatic arthritis (whether you’re on or off medication) is to focus on these 5 principles. 

Whenever I found out I was pregnant, one of my biggest concerns was the fact that I was on medication. I had been taking Otezla and had taken a few opioids the month prior to help manage an influx of pain I had due to rigorous activities. It’s been a few months since I last updated you on my Otezla journey (my last update was here), but I do have to say that my Doctor and I decided that I should stop it.

Why?

Well, it was definitely a personal decision. I truly felt that, at max, I was getting MAYBE 50% relief from my symptoms with Otezla. Sure, it helped a little bit, but I didn’t feel like it was making a dramatic impact on my psoriatic arthritis.

I was more worried about the potential risk it provided to my baby. There are studies showing that researchers don’t believe that it causes harm to unborn babies, but there aren’t any studies that show that it IS safe for pregnancy. Because of these factors, I decided to stop the medication. 

I recently had a chance to do an interview with Stat and talked about this exact thing. Many pregnant women are worried about medications and pregnancy. And unfortunately, the research just isn’t there to put your mind at ease one way or another. (Click here to read the article)

One website that I thoroughly suggest to any pregnant mom out there is MothertoBaby.org. They have ongoing studies of individuals who opt-in to submit their data for research. Upon realizing they had an Otezla study, I signed up to help. I’d at least like to contribute my data to help future Mama’s out there decide if stopping or continuing their medicine is the right thing to do!

For me, I believe the right decision was to stop the Otezla.

I should also mention, that when I decided to stop my Otezla I also decided to stop most of my supplements. Why? For the same reason as the medications. There was nothing that showed they were safe for pregnancy. The only supplements that I continued to take have been my B12, Spirulina and I added a Pre-natal Vitamin. Again, the research just isn’t there!

But stopping my medication and supplements then brought up a whole new concern. How was I going to manage my psoriatic arthritis sans medication?

Even when I started Otezla, I never strayed from the 5 main principles that I truly believe help manage psoriatic arthritis: DietSupplementsToxinsMeditation & Mindfulness, and Yoga & Movement. Upon stopping my Otezla, I knew I was going to have to be even more careful and pay attention to these things 100% (minus the supplement part).

On top of that, I knew there would need to be a few extra things to add to the mix to help me manage. And what are they? Well, I recently wrote this article for HealthCentral talking about the 7 ways I’m managing my Psoriatic Arthritis during pregnancy to help share what’s working for me!

I suggest you take a few moments, click on this link, and learn what’s been helping me during this pregnancy!

 

7 Ways to Manage Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms During Pregnancy | HealthCentral

Being pregnant often means going off certain treatments for psoriatic arthritis. But there are still many ways to keep symptoms at bay.

In sharing this article, I also think that this one is worth sharing as well!

My friend and fellow Psoriasis blogger Sabrina (from Homegrown Houston) has written a lot about dealing with psoriasis and pregnancy. I think this HealthCentral article is a fantastic resource you should check out as well!

 

Psoriasis and Self-Care During Pregnancy | HealthCentral

Credit: Lulu Lopez Photography While living with a chronic, autoimmune disease like psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, self-care is vital to your health. But when you’re pregnant, self-care seems to take a back seat. No judgement – you’re carrying another life inside of you!

And if you’re looking for one more resource, I’d suggest my friend Joni (from Just A Girl With Spots). She’s a Mama of two who’s blogged a lot about her journey with psoriasis and pregnancy.

At the end of the day, since we’re all unique, we will find different ways to manage our psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis during pregnancy. But, one thing that was can do is to learn from each other and try our best!

Just remember, at the end of this journey you’re getting the absolute best present you could ever receive. So do what you can, accept the things that are out of your control and enjoy the ride. It’ll be a crazy 9 months!

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!

Julie Cerrone, Certified Holistic Health Coach, Yoga Instructor, Patient Empowerer, Autoimmune Warrior (Psoriatic Arthritis), Avascular Necrosis, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome | itsjustabadday.com