Symptoms and severity of psoriatic arthritis can be alleviated with an anti-inflammatory plant-rich diet and healthy lifestyle changes, this has even led to clinical reversal of the condition.
It affects approximately 30% of patients with psoriasis 1 .
Around 2.4 million people in the US have psoriatic arthritis.
Increases the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS), hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and diabetes compared with those who have only psoriasis.
Dr Yashoda on the power of plant-based diets for arthritis.
If you're looking for a powerful and inspiring story about how changing your diet can improve your health, then you'll want to check out the recent interview with Dr. Micah Yu. Dr. Yu is a plant-based integrative rheumatologist who was diagnosed with gout as a teenager and later with psoriatic arthritis. When he first switched to a plant-based diet in 2017, he was able to stop all the pain he was experiencing and dramatically reduce his medication usage. In addition, Dr. Yu talks about everyday sources of toxins and how to avoid them, as well as the difference between autoimmune and rheumatic diseases. He shares his own journey of how changing his diet has transformed his health, and provides valuable insights for anyone looking to improve their own health through a plant-based diet. Anyone who is interested in learning more about how a plant-based diet can improve your health, then be sure to listen to the interview with Dr. Micah Yu!
This case study is of a 40-year-old woman who after adopting a whole-foods plant-based diet was able to stop taking methotrexate for her psoriatic arthritis, was discharged from the rheumatology clinic, and remained symptom-free from that dietary change onwards 2.
This study looked at the adherence to the mediterranean diet (a plant forward diet) in patients with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) and how this may impact on disease activity. The researchers found that participants that adhered less to the mediterranean diet had significantly higher levels of disease activity, and concluded that patients with psoriatic arthritis may benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of this diet 3.
Data from 14 combined studies suggests that weight loss following lifestyle interventions (diet or physical activity) can help manage psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and achieve a greater likelihood of minimal disease activity 4.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory joint disease that occurs mostly in people with psoriasis, a chronic skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin 3. Psoriatic arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, which can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the peripheral joints, spine, and fingers. It can also affect other parts of the body, such as the eyes, nails, and tendons. ‘Inflammatory arthritis’ means that there is inflammation present in the affected joints, rather than just wear and tear, which is seen in other types of arthritis.
The cause of psoriatic arthritis is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to the immune system. People with psoriasis have an immune system that is overactive and mistakenly attacks healthy cells, leading to the development of the skin condition. This immune dysfunction seen in psoriasis is likely to be the cause of inflammation in the joints in people with psoriatic arthritis.
Alongside psoriasis, other conditions that can often contribute to the inflammation seen in psoriatic arthritis include atherosclerosis, obesity, and metabolic syndrome 3.
High severity of psoriatic arthritis and an increased risk of heart disease in these patients have also been explained by unhealthy lifestyles and nutritional aspects such as a lack of plant foods that provide essential anti-inflammatory nutrients 5.
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can be very similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis, mainly causing joints to become painful and warm to the touch.
Specifically, psoriatic arthritis can cause:
Psoriatic arthritis can also lead to devastating health complications; PsA patients show a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and diabetes compared with those who have only psoriasis 5.
Psoriatic arthritis can be difficult to diagnose as currently there are no conclusive tests and symptoms can overlap with other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Currently, your healthcare provider will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, medical history, and by ruling out other conditions. This may include:
Following a plant-based diet and maintaining a healthy weight through diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management may improve the management of psoriatic arthritis. Indeed, an individual has even documented clinical reversal of her psoriatic arthritis using a whole-foods plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet is rich in anti-inflammatory properties which may combat the inflammation seen in psoriatic arthritis and explain why it can help to manage and in some cases reverse the condition.
Atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and obesity may all contribute to the inflammation seen in psoriatic arthritis. This science is clear that a plant-based diet and healthy lifestyle changes significantly reduce the risk of, and can reverse, these risk factors 3.
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