The Relationship between Psoriasis and Weight
Working out regularly not only helps you shed extra pounds, but can also improve your psoriasis. Wondering about this rather unusual connection between psoriasis and weight?
Studies found that psoriasis sufferers tend to have weight troubles, being on average 7% heavier than those who don’t have this condition. Being overweight or obese causes an increased inflammation in the body, which further promotes skin inflammation and aggravation of the skin lesions. Furthermore, this inflammation triggers a reaction from fat cells, and they start to increase in number, making your attempt to lose weight even harder.
On the other hand, exercise decreases the levels of the inflammation in your body in the long run. A randomized controlled study featured in the “Journal of Dermatology” further shows the benefits of exercise in improving psoriasis. The results: an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise (leading to weight loss) can significantly reduce psoriasis severity.
The intervention group ate three low-calorie meals and exercised three times weekly, while the control group simply attended some information session on weight loss. The participants who followed the diet and worked out experienced a 48% decrease in the median score of Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (or PASI), while this score dropped just by 25.5% in the control group.
The scientists also noted that the subjects who lost the most pounds experienced the larger improvement in psoriasis.
Why Being Overweight Aggravates Psoriasis
- One of the most important reasons losing weight is beneficial is the inflammation factor. Being overweight or obese means that there is an increased level of inflammation in your body, including your skin. Inflammation also increases the risk to develop heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, some forms of cancer and other conditions.
- Some anti-psoriasis drugs- i.e. biologics appear to work better for those who have average weight compared with obese patients, according to Dr Goldenberg from Icahn School of Medicine, New York.
- Your skin lesions improve when you lose weight. A 2013 study featured in the JAMA Dermatology found that the participants who lost weight (an average 34 pounds over 16 weeks) experienced an improvement in psoriasis lesions compared with those who did not lose weight.