THE LINK BETWEEN PLAQUE PSORIASIS AND OTHER DISEASES
The Common Link
Psoriasis is believed to be a disease of the immune system, but other conditions may occur at the same time, known as comorbidities. Comorbidities are when one or more additional conditions occur in a person who already has a chronic condition. However, psoriasis does not cause these other conditions, and vice versa.
Psoriasis Affects More Than Your Skin
Your doctor or dermatologist will screen you to identify potential comorbidities and may refer you to a different doctor for further care.
Some of the more common comorbidities linked with psoriasis are listed below.
Psoriasis is Associated With:
Symptoms: swelling, stiffness, and pain around the joints, in addition to nail changes and fatigue.
Psoriatic arthritis can be treated by your dermatologist or by a rheumatologist, who specializes in joints. If you’re experiencing any new symptoms, be sure to discuss them with your dermatologist at your next appointment. Early treatment is key to prevent further joint damage.
Symptoms: diagnosed when three of the five are present: obesity, elevated triglyceride levels/low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), high blood pressure, and diabetes or elevated fasting glucose levels.
A primary care physician can perform an evaluation to check for each condition.
Symptoms: apathy, loss of interest, fatigue, lack of concentration.
There can be a link between psoriasis and depression. People with psoriasis are twice as likely to have depression as the rest of the population. It can impact quality of life, so if you feel you might be depressed, it’s important to express this to your doctor.
Symptoms: chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, and numbness, weakness or pain in legs or arms, to name a few.
Psoriasis can also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, or disease of the heart and blood vessels. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor, call 911, or go to the hospital.
Symptoms: abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, mouth sores.
Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, causing inflammation in the digestive tract. Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
Knowing there are other diseases that may be associated with psoriasis means it’s even more important to be upfront and open with your doctor about symptoms. Even if you don't think these symptoms are linked, trust your dermatologist to identify and screen for potential risk factors, and refer you to another doctor if needed.
Recommended Topics & Resources
Psoriasis and Joint Pain
Psoriasis and joint pain? You may have psoriatic arthritis.
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