The skin disorder psoriasis appears linked with artery inflammation, raising the odds for heart disease, a new study says.
“As the amount of psoriasis increases, the amount of blood vessel inflammation increases,” said senior investigator Dr. Nehas Mehta, a clinical investigator with the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
His team also found that even mild psoriasis may indicate an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Just one psoriasis skin patch, or plaque, “might be biologically active, causing low-grade inflammation and starting a cascade, speeding up their blood vessel disease,” Mehta said.
“People really should know that psoriasis is not just a cosmetic disease,” he added.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that affects about 3% of U.S. adults. It occurs when skin cells grow too quickly, causing thick, white or red patches of skin.
Blood vessel, or vascular inflammation is most likely the direct result of psoriasis, not treatment, Mehta said. Treating psoriasis may lower the risk for heart attack and stroke, he said. Mehta advises people with psoriasis to lower their risk of heart disease by controlling traditional risk factors.
“Avoid smoking, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including moderate exercise and a balanced diet,” he said. “You should also have your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar checked. Try to do that, because psoriasis itself might be a risk factor.”
“Even mild psoriasis carries a risk for heart problems,” said Michael Siegel, director of research programs at the National Psoriasis Foundation. Although it is not yet proven that treating psoriasis reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, there is enough evidence to suggest that patients should have their disease treated, Siegel added.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, most commonly autoimmune in nature. Any inflammatory process can stimulate systemic inflammation driving metabolic syndrome. Note that a majority of the factors associated with metabolic syndrome were mentioned as “traditional risk factors”.
This is another example of why inflammation is the first issue we address in the office. Reducing inflammation will resolve up to 80% of the patient’s symptoms and has huge benefits for longevity and general health. Virtually all chronic disease processes begin with inflammation.
Psoriasis generally responds very well to supplementation of the omega 3 fatty acids, like fish oil and flax seed oil. Of course the omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help control prostaglandin inflammation, the most common inflammatory pathway in the body.
However, you must also reduce any autoimmune factors and heal the gut to resolve this condition.
The Bottom Line:
If you suffer from psoriasis, please seek professional nutritional support, your life may depend on it.
Source: October 8, 2015 National Institutes of Health