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The Science Behind Fish Oil for Psoriatic Arthritis

Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on November 22, 2021

Psoriatic arthritis causes painful, stiff, swollen joints. About 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis get psoriatic arthritis. However, you can develop this type of arthritis without having any skin symptoms. 

You’ll likely feel pain in your hands and feet. Psoriatic arthritis still needs to be treated with medications, but you can try some alternative treatments. 

One popular alternative option is fish oil supplements. You can try adding these supplements to your regular treatment routine. Fish oil is supposed to help reduce the inflammation in your body that’s causing all the pain. 

Fish oil has been shown to reduce tender joints and lower how much nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication you may need to take. The optimal amount of fish oil, or omega-3s, is 400 mg daily. Whether you get this in supplement form daily or by eating 3.5 oz of fatty salmon a week, you should start to see changes. 

Another benefit of taking omega-3s per day is improved heart function from affecting your arterial pressure, central blood pressure, and heart rate variability. These reduced risks can help keep your psoriatic arthritis from flaring up. 

Talk to your doctor if you’re currently taking blood-thinning medication. Potential side effects of fish oil supplements in high dosage include: 

  • A fishy aftertaste in your mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Problems with blood clotting

It would be best if you talked to your doctor before starting an omega-3 supplement. They’ll be able to confirm the correct dosage and let you know if the supplement could interfere with other medications you’re on. 

If your prescription medication isn't working for you as you need it, taking additional supplements with the doctor's approval can help you manage a significant amount of pain. Psoriatic arthritis has flare-ups that come and go, but you should keep taking it daily if you see improvement while taking the supplement.

Show Sources

SOURCES: 

HSS: “Alternative Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Psoriasis treatment: “Can fish oil supplements reduce symptoms?”

Reumatologia: “The place of omega-3 and omega-6 acids in supplementary treatment of inflammatory joint diseases.”

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