How Weight Loss Can Help with Psoriasis Symptoms

Weight loss may not seem like something that would affect your psoriasis, but research has found that maintaining a healthy weight may make it easier to manage symptoms. Conversely, being overweight or obese can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms and even increase the risk of developing chronic disease.

But how exactly can shedding a few extra pounds help with psoriasis? Let’s take a closer look.

How Weight Loss Can Help with Psoriasis Symptoms

Weight loss can help with psoriasis in many ways, including:

Help with Inflammation and Improve Symptoms

Weight loss may help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of psoriasis. In addition, research has shown that diet and exercise can help improve PASI scores in patients with psoriasis as well as overall health. 

According to The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance, weight loss can lead to lower inflammation levels and improve joint pain.

The more fat you have on your body, particularly around the waist, the greater the number of inflammatory molecules circulating in your body.

Reduce Your Risk of Psoriatic Arthritis

An estimated 18-42% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain and other symptoms. 

Losing weight may help reduce your risk of developing this disease. A study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found a connection between obesity and a higher risk of psoriatic arthritis. Researchers collected data over 15 years and found that higher BMIs were linked to higher rates of psoriatic arthritis.

May Improve Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

If you already have psoriatic arthritis, weight loss may improve your symptoms. However, excess weight can put extra strain and pressure on your joints, leading to pain and inflammation that can impact the quality of your life.

Research has found that obesity or being overweight can make it harder to manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms. In this study, the heaviest patients were less likely to see a sustained improvement in their symptoms.

Improve the Effectiveness of Medications

If you’re taking medication for your psoriasis, losing weight may make them more effective.

One study looked at the effects of weight loss on 138 patients who were overweight or obese with psoriatic arthritis. Researchers found that 45% of those who lost 5-10% of their body weight and 60% of those who lost over 10% of their body weight experienced minimal disease activity.

May Lower Your Risk of Other Diseases

Losing weight can benefit your overall health and well-being by potentially reducing your risk of other diseases. 

In fact, just losing 5-10% of your body weight can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. In addition, weight loss can help improve cholesterol, blood pressure and circulation.

Maintaining a healthy weight may reduce your risk of:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Kidney disease
  • Some types of cancer
  • Pregnancy complications

So, losing weight can not only help with your psoriasis symptoms but also help reduce your overall risk of disease. 

Getting Started with Your Weight Loss Journey

Losing weight can help improve your psoriasis symptoms, but getting started may feel overwhelming. Starting off slowly and making minor changes is the best way to achieve sustainable weight loss.

Here are some tips:

Talk to Your Doctor

Before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to recommend a diet to follow or connect you with a nutritionist who can help. 

Lean protein, fruits and vegetables can have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help with your psoriasis symptoms.

Incorporate Fitness Gradually

Exercise can help you burn more calories, tone your muscles and improve your heart health. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, try adopting one gradually. Start with just a few days a week and work your way up to 4-5 days for 60 minutes.

Find an activity that you enjoy. If you enjoy your exercise routine, you’ll have a much easier time sticking to it.

Set Realistic Micro Weight Loss Goals

When you start your weight loss journey, it’s essential to set realistic, micro weight loss goals. Maybe your ultimate goal is to lose 20 or 50 pounds or more. It will take time to lose weight, and not seeing results quickly may cause you to lose motivation. Set small goals, like losing 1-2 pounds per week, to stay motivated and feel rewarded for your efforts.

Losing weight may help with your psoriasis, but even if you don’t notice much of an improvement in your symptoms, you’re taking big steps to improve your overall health and well-being.

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