Psoriatic Arthritis and Comorbidities

Our illness is a gift that keeps on giving and giving. As if the pain of living with psoriatic arthritis wasn’t enough, a lot of us with psoriatic arthritis are at risk to develop linked conditions, more clinically called comorbidities.

Let’s have a look at some common comorbidities...

For all those who are not aware of comorbidities, think of them as co-occurring medical conditions. For example, if a person has psoriatic arthritis and then also goes on to develop diabetes, then diabetes will be considered comorbidity. So, let’s have a look at some common comorbidities.

Trust me, there are many, but I'm only going to discuss a few today.

Taking a look at obesity

Obesity is not just a risk factor of psoriatic arthritis. It is comorbidity that interferes with proper management and the effectiveness of our medication. But the good thing is that the ball is in our court with this one because you don’t have to be obese forever. 

You have the power to make different lifestyle choices and say goodbye to obesity. I lost over forty pounds it was not an easy road to travel.

Is gout a comorbidity?

Inflammation occurring in psoriatic arthritis causes rapid skin cell turnover and high uric acid levels in turn and this is where gout comes in. But don’t worry because this condition can be managed by taking uric acid-eliminating drugs.

How about depression?

Now this one is kind of obvious, isn’t it? If the general population suffers from depression, we as psoriatic arthritis warriors are at an even higher risk. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We have been soldiering on with this condition and it isn’t exactly easy breezy if you ask me.

There’s fatigue and chronic pain and then there are those skin plaques that make you feel bad sometimes. So, all the folks out there with PsA give yourself some credit for making it this far. Get some emotional support if you need to, I did.

Heart disease

There’s a strong link between psoriatic arthritis and cardiovascular disease and it is considered one of the main comorbidities of PsA. The villain here is atherosclerosis or the hardening of artery walls which ultimately damages them.

So, what can we do to prevent this nasty outcome? Of course, the answer is simple my friends, risk factor reduction. I know, I know, easier said than done.

What we can control

We can’t make these conditions disappear, so let’s focus on the things we have control over. Like making lifestyle changes which we may thank ourselves for in the future. Eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and working on losing weight if we have to.

I don’t think we can stop comorbidities, but we can help control them. I have a few more thoughts that I will share at a later time. There are some things we can’t control, but some we can. One of the most important things to remember? You are not alone on this journey.

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