Does Psoriatic Arthritis Increase The Risk Of Weight Gain?

Psoriatic Arthritis is an autoimmune condition which is a form of inflammatory arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation states that around 30% of people with psoriasis develop Psoriatic Arthritis at some point even though people without any history of psoriasis may also get it albeit rarely. Psoriatic Arthritis is a painful condition and causes stiffness and severe pain in the joints. If left untreated, Psoriatic Arthritis can result in permanent damage to the affected joints. The weight of a person also has its own effect on the severity of this condition. An overweight person will put extra pressure on an already stiff joint in cases of Psoriatic Arthritis which increases the intensity and severity of the symptoms[1,2]

Weight of a person also results in the medications used to treat Psoriatic Arthritis lose its efficacy. The relationship between weight and Psoriatic Arthritis is quite complex.

It has been seen that most of the people with Psoriatic Arthritis are either obese or overweight. This has also been proved in research which additionally suggests that people who are obese or overweight and have Psoriatic Arthritis tend to have other complications as well related to it. Some studies estimate that around 40% of people with Psoriatic Arthritis tend to overweight or obese.[1,2]

Dr. Rubén Queiro, associate professor of medicine, Department of Rheumatology, Oviedo University, Spain, had published a study done in 2019 which stated that approximately 28% of the people enrolled in the study with Psoriatic Arthritis were found to be obese. This further added to the proof that there was a relationship between Psoriatic Arthritis and weight of a person and such people were also at increased risk of related complications like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.[2]

The article below discusses about whether Psoriatic Arthritis increases the risk of weight gain in people.

Does Psoriatic Arthritis Increase The Risk Of Weight Gain?

As stated, the weight of a person and Psoriatic Arthritis share a complex relationship. This can be understood by the fact that Psoriatic Arthritis causes stiff joints. This makes it difficult for the person to move and exercise. This increases the risk of weight gain by being more or less sedentary due to the condition. Once the person starts gaining weight then it puts that much more pressure on the joints which further worsens the symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis.[2]

Studies have confirmed that people with Psoriatic Arthritis who are overweight have more severe symptoms than those people who are not. Additionally, fat tissues aside from putting pressure on the joints also release proteins that cause inflammation. This further worsens the already existing inflammation due to Psoriatic Arthritis. Studies have also shown that people with Psoriatic Arthritis who manage to lose weight in a healthy manner tend to have less severe symptoms than those who are not able to do it to the tune of 50% which is very significant reduction in symptoms.[2]

Losing weight not only eases the symptoms but also makes the joint mobile which further paves way of improving the ability to exercise and promote good health. It has also been observed that person with Psoriatic Arthritis who gains weight will find the medications to treat the condition less effective. This is because of the difficulty in finding the right dosage for the patient that takes care of the problems posed by the additional weight of the person.[2]

Now that there has been a clear link established between weight gain and Psoriatic Arthritis, it is important to have knowledge on how to lose weight in a healthful manner and prevent any worsening of symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis. Some of the ways to lose weight include.[2]

Exercise: it is well known that exercise is the best way to lose weight. For people with Psoriatic Arthritis or in fact any form of arthritis, exercise is a tough call. However, it is better to try as much as the body allows and increase gradually with time will ultimately be bear fruits and the person will be able to lose weight.[2]

According to American College of Rheumatology, people with arthritis who exercise regularly have less symptoms and have overall high energy levels and are able to do more than people who do not exercise and remain sedentary. For people with Psoriatic Arthritis, low impact exercises like swimming and yoga are extremely beneficial.[2]

Diet: Diet also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight, especially in people with Psoriatic Arthritis. Diet low on saturated fat and carbs are good for health. The portion sizes should be small so that overeating can be prevented. It is also important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids so that they do not feel hungry often.[2]

The body produces a protein called leptin which makes a person feel full and not hungry. The production of this protein gets affected if a person is sleep deprived. Thus sleep also plays an important role in weight management for people with Psoriatic Arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation also recommends that people with Psoriatic Arthritis should be mindful of what they are eating as it may decrease the calorie intake by over 300 calories every day.[2]

People with Psoriatic Arthritis who gain weight put themselves at risk for other complications as well. Studies mention that people with Psoriatic Arthritis who are obese are at greater risk for developing metabolic syndrome with conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. This puts them at risk for developing cardiovascular illnesses and even liver dysfunction.[2]

In summary, it is quite clear from above that people with Psoriatic Arthritis are at increased risk for weight gain. This is because Psoriatic Arthritis causes the joints to become stiff which makes it tougher for a person to move the joints or exercise. This is what results in rapid weight gain. Once a person gains weight then it puts extra pressure on the joints which further worsens the symptoms of pain in people with Psoriatic Arthritis.[1,2]

Increased weight also is one of the causes of worsened inflammation in people with Psoriatic Arthritis. It also affects the way the medications for Psoriatic Arthritis works making them less effective. Thus, it is in the best interest of the patient to try and lose weight by healthful means to not only improve quality of life but also decrease the overall symptoms and prevent any complications from creeping through.[1,2]

Lifestyle and dietary restrictions along with exercise as much as the body allows are the best ways to decrease weight. Swimming and yoga are believed to be the best exercises recommended for people who are overweight and suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis.[1,2]

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