Tag: psoriasis

04 Sep 2018

Eat to Calm Psoriasis

Most people with psoriasis will have some degree of symptoms for life. But this doesn’t mean that improvement can’t happen. Medications help keep this skin disease under control and combining medication with certain dietary choices can also have a positive effect on both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (which is a joint condition related to the skin disease).

The Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation recently reviewed the current body of scientific research so they could share the latest understandings about how diet affects psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Their review included 55 studies – which covered more than 77,000 people both with and without psoriasis.

The biggest take-away from this National Psoriasis Foundation project relates to overweight or obese patients with psoriasis. It may not be the most popular news to hear, but the evidence shows that a low-calorie diet with the goal of losing weight leads to significant improvements in the severity of psoriasis symptoms, as well as (obviously) weight loss and an improved “dermatology quality of life.” Losing weight improves both skin and joint symptoms of psoriasis, which is why this dietary change earned the Medical Board’s strongest recommendation.

People with psoriasis are known to have a higher risk of also developing celiac disease, which is why gluten-free diets tend to be popular with psoriasis sufferers. According to this Medical Board, gluten-free diets have shown some benefit, but only in patients who test positive (based on a blood test) for gluten sensitivity. In these situations, a three-month trial of going gluten-free can make sense.

In terms of dietary supplements, the strongest evidence emerged for vitamin D supplements, but this recommendation was geared specifically to overweight/obese patients with psoriatic arthritis.

One final thing that’s important to keep in mind: all of these dietary changes are recommended to be done in combination with a medication plan of care – not in place of one.

Sources

Ford AR, Siegel M, Bagel J, et al. Dietary recommendations for adults with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis from the medical board of the National Psoriasis Foundation: A systemic review. JAMA Dermatol 2018;154(8):934-50.

04 Sep 2018

Psoriasis: Can Sleep Troubles be a Red Flag?

The calling card of psoriasis is uncomfortable skin symptoms, such as red patches of dry, cracked skin. However, the more researchers look into this disease, the more they discover that psoriasis affects many different areas of the body, beyond the skin. Conversely, health conditions affecting non-skin parts of the body may also affect the risk of psoriasis.

Specifically, several preliminary studies have noted a connection between people who have sleep apnea and an increased risk of later developing psoriasis. This has the potential to affect many people, since 18 million Americans experience sleep apnea. The latest research reported on this connection, in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, noted that those with psoriasis are four times more likely to experience sleep apnea, than people without psoriasis.

The apnea-psoriasis connection is thought to trace back to inflammation as the common denominator. The current theory is that sleep apnea increases levels of certain cytokines (inflammatory proteins), which in turns ups the chances of psoriasis in those who are predisposed to this condition.

It’s good practice for health practitioners who treat psoriasis to screen patients for sleep apnea. It’s very common for a sleep partner to be the first to note sleep apnea symptoms, since it often causes chronic snoring and paused breathing followed by a gasp or choking sound. What is amazing about all of this latest research is that getting screened and treated for sleep apnea may indirectly serve as a way to manage (or even prevent) psoriatic disease. In the meantime, know that BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy is here to serve patients and their doctor offices with the latest information and medications for psoriasis treatment.

Sources

Gupta MA, Gupta AK. Psoriasis is associated with a higher prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome: A possible indication of autonomic activation in psoriasis. J Clin Sleep Med 2018;14(6): http://dx.doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.7194

Papadavid E, Dalamaga M, Vlami K, et al. Psoriasis is associated with risk of obstructive sleep apnea independently from metabolic parameters and other comorbidities: a large hospital-based case-control study. Sleep Breath 2017;21(4):949-958.

01 May 2018

Beyond Skin: Psoriasis and Health Risks

More than 7 million Americans experience psoriasis, the skin condition that creates dry, scaly, painful, and itchy patches of skin. Typical locations for psoriasis include the joints, face, neck, trunk, arms, hands, feet, and scalp.

The problem with psoriasis does not end at the skin. One in every three people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, in which joint pain adds to the misery of this condition. Several studies also indicate that psoriasis can be associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This unfortunate association seems to be stronger in those with more severe cases of psoriasis. This means that people with psoriasis (and their health care providers) should be particularly alert to signs of cardiovascular disease, as well as work to minimize other cardiovascular risk factors.

Similarly, new research has found that people with more severe psoriasis – such as psoriasis covering more than 10% of their body area – are at an increased risk of also developing type 2 diabetes. This association holds true in the research, even after adjusting for other diabetes risk factors, such as age, gender, and body weight. As with cardiovascular disease, people with more severe psoriasis should aim to reduce their other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Psoriasis is known to have a genetic component, as well as to be worsened by stress, infections, certain medications, and cold weather. Medications to treat psoriasis include:

  • topical corticosteroids
  • vitamin D analogues
  • topical retinoids
  • phototherapy
  • oral retinoids
  • methotrexate
  • cyclosporine
  • immune-mediating biologics (e.g., Enbrel, Remicade, Humira, Stelara, Otezla, Cosentyx, and Taltz)

BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy is here and ready to help psoriasis patients access medications to improve their quality of life.

Sources

Jindal S, Jindal N. Psoriasis and cardiovascular diseases: A literature review to determine the causal relationship. Cureus 2018;10(2):e2195.

Wan M, et al. Psoriasis and the risk of diabetes: A prospective population-based cohort study. J Am Acad Dermatol 2018;78:315-22.