Being overweight or obese is more common among people with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) compared to the general population. It is also a risk factor for developing psoriasis. Studies have shown there is a link between increasing body weight and severity of psoriasis. This link is true for both adults and children. Being overweight or obese is part of a collection of health issues, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, known as the "metabolic syndrome". This syndrome increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The good news is that a drop in weight can improve both joint symptoms and psoriasis. It can also reduce your health risks from metabolic syndrome and help your medications to work better.
Research suggests that fatty tissue makes certain proteins that lead to inflammation. Ongoing inflammation can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases such as PsA. Being in the heavier weight range can also put pressure on your joints and tendons, particularly the hips, knees, ankles, and feet. This can lead to increased risk of injury and joint pain.
It is important to stay active to help maintain a healthy weight. This can be challenging for people with arthritis due to pain and stiffness. Pain and stiffness can make you less motivated to keep active, but not moving can make your symptoms worse.
People with PsA who are overweight or obese tend not to respond as well to some of the medicines used to treat their disease. Weight loss has been shown to improve the effectiveness of these medicines, which in turn helps to reduce disease activity in PsA.
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