Psoriasis and Diabetes


Psoriasis and Diabetes

Is There a Type 2 Diabetes Risk With Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is thought to be a skin condition as its defining hallmark is the flaky plaques that form on the skin’s surface.  However, it can do damage internally as well.  It has been found in studies that it can increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes in many patients.  The worse the psoriasis, the higher the risk becomes.  Even if the patients do not have a family history of diabetes or they are not obese, the risk remains. Therefore, it is important that these patients be screened for diabetes.

Both psoriasis and diabetes have an inflammatory response occur in the body.  Researchers believe that the inflammation from psoriasis can bring on type 2 diabetes by causing insulin resistance. Since there is an increased risk for heart problems and stroke with diabetes, screening is very important for psoriasis sufferers.

How Do I Know If I Have Diabetes?

If you have severe psoriasis, you should be screened for type 2 diabetes.  Signs of hyperglycemia or high blood sugar are:

  • Constantly thirsty; drinking fluids frequently
  • Frequent bathroom visits to urinate
  • Hungry all the time
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Increased irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Wounds that heal slowly
  • Tingling sensation or numbness in hands or feet
  • Frequent infections

Sometimes people with diabetes Type II will not display any symptoms.  This is why even though you don’t have signs of hyperglycemia, you should get checked.  You can purchase a glucometer at any pharmacy or drugstore for $10 to check your blood glucose.  Check it first thing in the morning before you eat.  If it reads about 100, you should see your doctor.  It is best to have lab work done so that you can have your A1c done, which is a reflection on your blood glucose levels for the past 3 months prior to the blood test.  You can also have your blood pressure checked and other blood work like your cholesterol readings done.  Diabetes can be damaging to your heart, kidneys, and other organs, so an annual checkup is advised.

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If You Are Diabetic

You will need to watch the amount of carbohydrates you consume and begin an exercise program if you are diagnosed as a diabetic.  Your doctor or dietician will discuss with you how many carbohydrates you should consume for each meal to keep your blood sugars stable.  Label reading will be taught to you in diabetic management classes as well as what types of foods are the better choices for your meal are planning.  Exercise will help burn calories and keep your blood glucose in check.  If diet and exercise do not bring your A1c down, medications may be prescribed to assist in managing your blood sugars.  Your doctor will know what type of medication works best in your situation.

Resources

WebMD (Psoriasis Linked to Diabetes)

National Psoriasis Foundation (Psoriasis Tied to Higher Risk for Type 2 Diabetes)

Yvonne BanksYvonne Banks

Yvonne is a licensed practical nurse who has a passion for helping people to improve their health conditions. Practicing since 2001, she has worked with both geriatric and pediatric patients during the course of her career.

Jan 28, 2015
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