Comorbidities of Psoriasis
So why is talking about related health conditions or comorbidities, as they are called, a concern for those of us dealing with psoriasis? If you do not know the term comorbidities you should, especially if your psoriasis is severe. Research shows a link between body surface area affected by psoriasis and other related health conditions. These other health conditions can start at 3-10% of body area affected by psoriasis and increase dramatically if it is greater than 10%. Chances are you will have at least one of the conditions I am about to tell you about. Some may be general knowledge but there has been a new one listed which few people know about including a lot of the doctors. For this reason, knowing everything about psoriasis and the other health-related conditions is important.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition meaning it affects not only the outside of the skin but it also affects the inside of the body. Psoriasis can put a strain on the joints leading to psoriatic arthritis. Once the joints start being affected the damage done can be permanent. The problem with psoriatic arthritis is there is no test that automatically diagnosis you with it. The good news is that current research is being done to develop such a test. The bad news is until the test is developed getting diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis is a huge ordeal unless your doctor knows about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Chances are you probably do not know the term Metabolic Syndrome. It is a combination of conditions that can lead to heart disease. Conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes are three of these. In my case, I have high blood pressure and just developed high cholesterol. When my blood pressure runs great it averages 121/77. Anything over 140/80 is high. You really should know your average blood pressure number if you have high blood pressure. High cholesterol is a type of fat. I have to admit that I am overweight. Seems like nothing I do brings the weight down but I keep trying. I am now on medication to control both conditions especially since heart disease runs in my family. I also have my sugar level checked each time I have blood drawn. So far I have been lucky in not needing medication to control it but the levels have gotten borderline. I have been able to keep it under control by not eating certain foods. So for me, I have 2 of the 3 types of Metabolic Syndrome which could lead to heart disease. Scary stuff I know.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Maybe you do not know the term Inflammatory Bowel Disease but what about Crohn's Disease? Crohn's Disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Crohn's is a condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue, and weight loss are things you can experience with Crohn's. It also can affect other areas of your body such as your eyes, skin, and joints as well as causing vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For this reason, if you are experiencing any of the things listed then it is something you need to talk to your doctor about.
I had eluded in the opening paragraph that there is a new comorbidity that is not widely known by everyone and even some doctors. Chronic pancreatitis is that comorbidity. To be chronic pancreatitis, it is described as inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve over time. It can cause pain in your abdomen or in the back. Chronic pancreatitis impairs a person's ability to digest food. Psoriasis and early onset diabetes put you at a risk for chronic pancreatitis. I know a lady that had unknown weight loss. The doctor had run tests to try to determine why. After being in my online support group where I was talking about comorbidities, she went back and told her doctor that I had talked about chronic pancreatitis. He tested her. Sure enough, that was her problem. She is now on medication to treat chronic pancreatitis. She is even gaining weight. This is why learning about comorbidities is so important. You have to take charge of your health. Hopefully all of these conditions that I listed will help you have more knowledge about comorbidities.
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