Living with psoriatic arthritis has its challenges. The pain, stiffness, and fatigue get talked about a lot.
But there's an emotional side to the disease, too. It's not unusual to get frustrated as you try to find relief from your symptoms and struggle with simple tasks that used to be easy. You may worry about the cost of your treatment. It might feel like you're letting others down or becoming a burden to them. And depending where your skin plaques are, psoriasis might feel embarrassing to you...
Some proteins related to inflammation may affect the fatty deposits, called plaque, that can build up inside blood vessels. Your heart has to work harder to move the blood. This can lead to heart disease and heart attacks.
Obesity is widespread in people with psoriatic arthritis. That's when you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Some medications that can treat psoriatic arthritis, such as corticosteroids, can lead to weight gain and heart disease. When you have a lot of pain and can't move easily, you probably don't like to exercise, and that can make it hard to stay at a healthy weight, too.
About 1 in 5 people with psoriatic arthritis also have diabetes, a life-long disease related to high blood sugar. Being obese puts you at risk for both. Some drugs that can treat psoriatic arthritis make you more likely to get diabetes, too.
Someone with psoriatic arthritis is also five times more likely to get gout.
What You Can Do
Work with your doctor to limit your chances of getting these conditions.
Exercise regularly. Ask your doctor how to do that safely.
Researchers are working on ways to treat and control psoriatic arthritis, taking into account the risks for other diseases. For example, one treatment may be better than another for someone who already has diabetes.