Psoriasis can lead to various complications, including mouth issues, IBD, celiac disease, and psoriatic arthritis. It can also cause significant psychological distress.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes obvious skin symptoms. As a systemic condition, it can also affect other parts of the body.

This article discusses some related health problems that people with psoriasis may experience.

In a 2017 review of literature, researchers suggested that several conditions common in people with psoriasis may indicate a link with the gastrointestinal system.

Celiac disease

People with psoriasis are more likely to have antibodies for celiac disease, suggesting there may be a link between the two conditions.

Celiac disease affects around 1% of the general population, but it may be present in up to 4.3% of those with psoriasis.

People with celiac disease can experience a severe reaction when they consume gluten. Some people find that avoiding gluten helps to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. People should talk with a doctor before cutting out gluten from their diet.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Scientists have looked at possible links between psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC).

People with psoriasis are more susceptible to these conditions. For example, the risk of UC is 1.6 times higher in people with psoriasis than in the general population.

A 2022 article suggests that an imbalance of gut bacteria may play a role in both psoriasis and IBD. However, more research is necessary to understand this connection.

Psoriasis and IBD also have various genetic factors in common.

The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that research indicates up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which usually appears between the ages of 30 and 50 years.

While 85% of people with this condition first have skin symptoms, it can occur before or without dermatological symptoms.

Symptoms of PsA include:

  • fatigue
  • pain and swelling over the tendons
  • swollen fingers and toes
  • reduced mobility
  • stiffness and pain in one or more joints
  • pitted nails that may look as if they have a nail fungus
  • uveitis, a type of eye inflammation

Anyone with psoriasis who has joint pain or stiffness should talk with a doctor. Early treatment can reduce the risk of permanent joint damage.

Eye problems, such as uveitis, are associated with psoriasis.

Research suggests that 7–20% of people with psoriasis have uveitis. People with psoriasis may be more likely to experience other eye issues, such as conjunctivitis and dry eye.

Scheduling regular checkups with an eye doctor is important for people with psoriasis.

Living with psoriasis can be difficult and can adversely affect people’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

People with visible lesions may feel embarrassed by their appearance, which can lead to isolation, depression, and anxiety. This may affect a person’s relationships, working life, and social life.

It is recommended that anyone with psoriasis who is experiencing signs of depression or low mood talk with a doctor about their concerns.

To find support from people who understand what it is like to live with psoriasis, the National Psoriasis Foundation offers a peer support service. They also offer free assistance for anyone living with psoriasis through their Patient Navigation Center.

Psoriasis may increase the overall risk of cancer, especially specific cancers, such as oral, esophageal, liver, and pancreatic cancer.

A 2019 research review involving 58 studies indicated that people with severe psoriasis had a higher risk of dying from cancer than people with less severe psoriasis.

One reason for the increased risk may be the use of systemic medications in treatment. These drugs affect the whole body. Other underlying reasons may include genetic factors and the impact of psoriasis on the individual’s lifestyle.

More research is necessary to confirm a link.

People with psoriasis also experience a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes heart problems, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and obesity.

Experts do not know specifically what might link these conditions with psoriasis. There may be common genetic factors, they may share environmental triggers, or a combination of factors may play a role.

It is important that people with moderate to severe psoriasis undergo testing for these conditions to receive a proper diagnosis and receive preventive treatment if necessary.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the brain. This disease causes chronic inflammation in the neuronal tissue, eventually causing gait issues, balance problems, and tremors.

A 2022 study indicated that psoriasis increases the progression of Parkinson’s disease in people with the condition. It also increases the risk of depression and dementia. This is likely related to inflammation in the neuronal tissue, but more research is necessary to explore the link.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is more common among people with psoriasis.

A 2023 study found that people with psoriasis had a higher risk of developing CKD and end stage renal disease than those without the condition. The researchers also found that people with the most severe psoriasis had the highest risk.

Although the connection is unclear, it may be due to vascular damage caused by inflammation and other health conditions people experience alongside psoriasis.

In addition, the medications people use for psoriasis may have a toxic effect on the kidneys.

Although rare, people with psoriasis may be more likely to develop problems with mucous membranes in the oral cavity, such as fissures in the tongue and lesions in the gums and cheeks. However, the reason for this link remains unclear.

Research indicates that psoriasis and mouth problems could stem from similar genetic factors, or they might result from exposure to similar triggers, such as stress and alcohol.

Psoriasis is a complex condition with many possible complications and comorbidities.

People can talk with their doctor about their risk of other health conditions, symptoms they may experience, and testing that may help detect problems early.

Treatment can help reduce some symptoms and limit possible complications of psoriasis.

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