Friday, January 27, 2017

Weight Loss May Ease Psoriasis Symptoms

Danish researchers are reporting that obese people with the skin condition who lose 10-15% of their weight may see significant and lasting improvement in their symptoms.

The study participants lost an average of 33 pounds over 16 weeks. A year later, those who were still about 22 pounds below their weight from the start of the study maintained their improvement in psoriasis symptoms and quality of life, the study authors said.

“Psoriasis is more than just a skin condition,” said Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Increased weight can stress the heart and other organs, and that stress can trigger psoriasis, she said.

“We know that weight and psoriasis together and independently increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease and diabetes. Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition – it’s not just a skin condition – it can affect any organ,” Day added.

Foods that make you gain weight can also be inflammatory, and since stress can make people eat more, that can trigger psoriasis. When you have increased weight, you also have more stress on major organs, which can also cause a cascade of effects that lead to psoriasis symptoms, Day explained.

The report was published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that is characterized by red, itchy and scaly patches of skin. The severity of the condition varies from person to person.

The study’s senior researcher, Dr. Lone Skov, said, “Psoriasis is associated with obesity, but also with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.” Skov is with the department of dermatology and allergy at Gentofte Hospital at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

“Doctors should tell their patients with psoriasis about the association between obesity and psoriasis and, in obese patients, advise weight loss,” Skov said.

My Take:
First – Doris Day? Most of the time I struggle to type the names of these researchers. Spell check constantly wants to change the spelling and I surely could never pronounce their names properly. But Doris Day? I think her parents were cruel and she was teased well into adulthood.

This study emphasizes the whole concept of metabolic syndrome. A general health decline is associated with obesity, especially central obesity. This leads to or is a result of hypothyroidism and insulin resistance. Ultimately, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease develop.

It’s all about reversing these trends early and (unfortunately) repeatedly. The human body has marvelous mechanisms for self-repair and maintenance. However, time and poor health habits often overcome even the best systems. Health is a continuum not a destination.

Clinically, psoriasis responds readily to supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil and similar oils form prostaglandin 3 (PG3) which has strong anti-inflammatory effects. Typically, the red, itchy, scaly patches of skin improve by 80-90% in just a few weeks. However, unless the patient improves their diet and lifestyle, the improvement slow fades.

The Bottom Line:
If you have psoriasis take a good look at your general health. Ultimately, improving diet and lifestyle is the key. In the meantime, start taking some fish oil.

Source: January 5, 2017 National Institutes of Health

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