Less Weight Less Stress
Maintaining an ideal body weight is important, and if overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can decrease the progression of your knee osteoarthritis by 50 percent, according to a published study, says rheumatologist Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, director of Cleveland Clinics Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Treatment Center. This is clearly a modifiable risk factor.
Studies consistently show that overweight people have higher rates of osteoarthritis than people who arent overweight. One study found that those who are obese are four to five times more likely to get arthritis in their knees.
If you have weight-induced joint pain, losing pounds and taking stress off your joints may ease your symptoms. While your body cant reverse arthritis or regrow cartilage, losing weight can help arthritic joints feel better and prevent further excess damage.
Can Psoriatic Arthritis Affect Other Parts Of The Body
Having psoriatic arthritis can put you at risk of developing other conditions and complications around the body.
The chances of getting one of these are rare. But its worth knowing about them and talking to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Seek urgent medical attention if one or both of your eyes are red and painful, particularly if you have a change in your vision. You could go to your GP, an eye hospital, or your local A& E department.
These symptoms could be caused by a condition called uveitis, which is also known as iritis. It involves inflammation at the front of the eye.
This can permanently damage your eyesight if left untreated.
Other symptoms are:
- blurred or cloudy vision
- sensitivity to light
- not being able to see things at the side of your field of vision known as a loss of peripheral vision
- small shapes moving across your field of vision.
These symptoms can come on suddenly, or gradually over a few days. It can affect one or both eyes. It can be treated effectively with steroids.
Psoriatic arthritis can put you at a slightly higher risk of having a heart condition. You can reduce your risk by:
- not smoking
- staying at a healthy weight
- exercising regularly
- eating a healthy diet, thats low in fat, sugar and salt
- not drinking too much alcohol.
These positive lifestyle choices can help to improve your arthritis and skin symptoms.
Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your heart health.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Work And Psoriatic Arthritis
Having psoriatic arthritis may make some aspects of working life more challenging. But, if youre on the right treatment, its certainly possible to continue working.
Help and support is available, and you have rights and options.
The Government scheme Access to Work is a grant that can pay for equipment to help you with activities such as answering the phone, going to meetings, and getting to and from work.
The 2010 Equality Act, and the Disability Discrimination Act in Northern Ireland makes it unlawful for employers to treat anyone with a disability less favourably than anyone else. Psoriatic arthritis can be classed as a disability if its making every-day tasks difficult.
Your employer may need to make adjustments to your working environment, so you can do your job comfortably and safely.
You might be able to change some aspects of your job or working arrangements, or train for a different role.
In order to get the support youre entitled to, youll need to tell your employer about your condition. Your manager or HR department might be a good place to start.
Other available support might include:
- your workplace occupational health department, if there is one
- an occupational therapist. You could be referred to one by your GP or you could see one privately
- disability employment advisors, or other staff, at your local JobCentre Plus
- a Citizens Advice bureau particularly if you feel youre not getting the support youre entitled to.
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Can You Prevent Psoriatic Arthritis
Waiting for a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis can feel a bit like the opening scene of Jaws. One minute, youre splashing around in crystal clear waters the next, a big-a** shark is threatening to strike.
And while the term psoriatic arthritis can induce the same level of dread as those two deep notes that signaled the shark was near, were here to remind you that you dont need to let fear of a PsA diagnosis interfere with your life.
Unfortunately, theres no evidence that PsA can be prevented but there are plenty of things you can do to promote good joint health and manage psoriasis symptoms.
Your Heart Will Be Healthier
According to a review published in April 2016 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, people with psoriatic arthritis have a 43 percent higher risk of heart disease than people without the condition. If you have psoriatic arthritis, you have a higher level of inflammatory cells in your blood that can cause inflammation in your blood vessels, which can lead to atherosclerosis a buildup of plaque in artery walls. If this plaque breaks off, it can cause a blood clot, which could then lead to a heart attack or stroke. Lose weight, and you can lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol, which boosts heart health. Lowering your weight by about 10 percent over a six-month period can lower your risk for heart disease, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
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If You Do Develop Psa Treatments Are Plentiful
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Theres no quick fix for psoriatic arthritis, and unfortunately theres no known cure. Medical pros are working on it, but right now its still unclear what even causes the condition.
The good news: There are lots of treatment options to keep PsA symptoms in check, including prescriptions and at-home remedies. Any of these options can make managing the condition much easier.
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Excess Weight Can Make Inflammatory Arthritis Even Worse This Advice Can Help You Shed Unwanted Pounds And Make Your Joints Feel Better Too
Dropping extra pounds can be tough enough. Add some stiff, achy joints and extra dose of fatigue to the task, and it may feel near impossible.
But with some effort, you can slim down, and heres why its important: Excess weight can make inflammatory arthritis even worse. Fat tissue releases proteins called cytokines, which cause inflammation in the body, explains Caroline A. Andrews, MD, medical weight management specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. The role of weight loss is one of many things your doctor might not tell you about managing arthritis.
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How Weight Loss Improves Arthritis
The first thing Dr. DiRenzo asks her patients when they begin to lose weight is: How are you feeling? And the answer is almost always better, she says. Even if you lose just a few pounds, think about how you feel today versus a month ago, she adds if you can walk a little farther or move with a little less aching. Improved quality of life is probably the most impactful and tangible effect.
Patty D., a CreakyJoints Facebook member, has lost 75 pounds to date in part by cutting processed foods, including soda and sugar. How I feel is what keeps me motivated to continue.
More benefits of weight loss:
Reduced joint pain and inflammation: Less body weight means less pressure and often less pain. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, adults with osteoarthritis who lost weight through a combination of diet and exercise over a period of 18 months reported less knee pain. Thats something CreakyJoints Facebook member Dave M. can attest to: He lost 20 pounds and it made a huge difference on his knees, hips, and feet. The study also showed inflammatory compounds associated with arthritis decreased over the course of 18 months of exercise and weight loss.
Better joint function: Research has shown weight loss seems to improve joint function in obese people with knee OA in part because compressive forces inside the knee joint improved, according to scientists.
Tips To Help You Lose Weight
- Keep a food diary. Studies have shown that writing down everything you eat is a critical part of sustained weight loss. Noting how you feel when you eat will help you identify emotional triggers that may cause you to overeat.
- Eat slowly. If you eat too fast, you eat more than you need to satisfy your hunger. Your brain needs time to catch up with your stomach.
- Plan your meals ahead of time so you make healthy choices. When dining out, check the menu online and decide what you will order ahead of time. Ask for dressings on the side and opt for foods that are baked, broiled or steamed versus foods that are fried or in creamy sauces. Avoid the chips and bread baskets that can add unnecessary calories to a meal.
- Eat when youâre truly hungry rather than when you are tired, anxious, or stressed. Emotional eaters tend to overeat.
- Stay hydrated. Oftentimes people mistake thirst for hunger.
- Eat breakfast. If you skip this meal, youâll be starving by lunchtime and will have more difficulty making healthy choices throughout the day.
- Find resources to help you keep track of your food choices and nutritional values, and that can offer additional support when you need it. Potential resources include CalorieKing.com and MyFitnessPal.com, which offer a searchable database of foods with nutritional values.
If youâre overweight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss approach thatâs right for you.
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung disease caused by inflammation in the lungs and airways. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. While the most common cause of COPD is smoking, inflammation from rheumatic diseases may also trigger it.
Research shows that people with PsA are at a higher risk for developing COPD compared to the general population. Researchers found that 11.5 percent of people with early PsA and 9.4 percent of people who have had PsA for more than two years had COPD.
Focus On Your Whole Body
“If you have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, you’re at a higher risk for other health conditions like heart disease and diabetes,” Ferris says. Psoriatic arthritis causes joint stiffness, swelling, and other problems. People who have psoriatic diseases, including psoriatic arthritis, are at high risk of metabolic syndrome. That’s a group of medical problems that includes heart disease, abdominal obesity, and high blood pressure.
But losing weight does two things to help protect you from that. “It lowers the level of inflammation in your system,” says Shari Lipner, MD, PhD, a dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. And lowering inflammation, she adds, “lessens psoriasis symptoms while greatly reducing your risk of heart disease and other serious psoriasis-related conditions.”
Losing even 5 or 10 pounds can lighten the load on your joints. That’s key, because up to a third of people with psoriasis get psoriatic arthritis. Losing weight may also make your psoriasis medications work better, says Ferris.
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Go For A Swim Or Do Another Low
Physical activity helps reduce inflammation and pain. Weight loss guidelines from the CDC recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Exercise is great for your overall health and to break through those weight loss plateaus, says Prest.
Staying physically active is especially important for people who have psoriatic arthritis, as metabolic syndrome has been linked to psoriatic arthritis disease activity and medication effectiveness, says Bhatt. Exercise can help you tackle metabolic syndrome by reducing inflammation and improving muscular metabolism. And thats not all. Exercise can increase range of motion in the joints and maintain joint flexibility and muscle strength, says Bhatt. Physical activity also increases pain tolerance, helping psoriatic arthritis symptoms feel less debilitating, and decreases uric acid, which reduces joint pain in people who also have gout, he adds.
If youre experiencing a lot of joint pain in your lower extremities, Bhatt recommends swimming a few laps. Swimming is a good low-impact activity for those who have access to a pool and enjoy it, says Davis.
What Are Foods That Trigger Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
Now that you know what you should be eating, lets talk about what you should be avoiding if you are living with psoriatic arthritis. While the above list of foods are noted for their anti-inflammatory properties, there are foods that are known for just the opposite. That is, they are known to cause inflammation. Naturally, these are just the types of foods you should avoid if you are living with psoriatic arthritis.
Saturated fats, sugar, alcohol, and simple carbohydrates are all triggers for psoriatic arthritis symptoms to flare up. Theyre also key factors in weight gain and obesity. As your weight increases, the stress on your joints also increases, so it goes hand in hand that keeping your weight down is beneficial for managing psoriatic arthritis.
Whats on the bad food list for individuals living with psoriatic arthritis?
- Processed meats
- Fried foods
Similarly, the foods on this list are ones that you would find on many lists for foods to avoid. It is only natural that our bodies do well with more nutrient-dense foods than ones that are processed, enriched, and full of sugar.
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What Foods Should I Eat
When it comes to psoriatic arthritis, many of the foods on the good list are the same types found on other types of healthy diet lists such as for heart health, diabetes, and cancer. Many of these foods have the effect of decreasing inflammation. Naturally, since joint inflammation is a major symptom of psoriatic arthritis, these types of foods are beneficial for people who have this disease.
What should you eat to decrease inflammation? As a starting base, your diet should include:
When cooking, use healthy oils, such as extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil. Great herbs to use include ginger and turmeric, which are also noted for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Many of the foods listed for helping to improve psoriatic arthritis are ones with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The following list of foods are known for just that.
- Avocado: This fruit is one of the best healthy fats out there. Avocados are high in potassium, beta-carotene, and Vitamins C, E, and K.
- Greens: Leafy greens, including collards, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and beet greens are great anti-oxidant and Vitamin K boosters.
- Fatty fish: Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids are the key in fatty fish. Try trout and salmon as part of your psoriatic arthritis diet.
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A Lighter Load Gives Your Joints A Break
Being heavier puts more strain on your joints and could lead to more joint pain and injury. Doctors have also found that people who have psoriatic arthritis and carry extra weight are more prone to developing osteoarthritis the wear-and-tear joint disease than those without inflammatory arthritis, says Joseph Merola, MD, a dermatologist and rheumatologist, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and co-director of the Center for Skin and Related Musculoskeletal Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. And every pound lost can make a difference: Losing one pound takes four pounds of pressure off your knees.