Dr Eric Pugliesi
Is there a link between Psoriasis and Obesity?
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects multiple systems: our skin, joints, cardiovascular system, brain, and metabolism.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, in which the body's defense system mistakes its own healthy tissues as foreign and attacks them. It's not clear what makes this happen, but scientists believe that most people with Psoriasis inherit one or more genes that can affect their immune system.
Genetic predisposition in association to environmental triggers will start a Psoriasis flare up. The most common environmental factor is stress. No different to stress, weight gain is also a risk factor with rising importance. Both triggers cause the body to release chemicals that boost the inflammatory response.
Recently, it has been shown that the microbiome -which stands for the entire microorganisms that live on human outer and inner body surfaces- exerts a strong influence on human autoimmune diseases. This is another important link between weight gain and Psoriasis given that Obesity and nutrition affect the microbiome.
One can minimise the flare ups of Psoriasis with simple lifestyle modifications. Addressing excess weight and managing stress levels are paramount. Also, psoriatic patients benefit from low energy diets and reduced saturated fatty acids.
Don’t forget… we are what we eat and food is medicine.