From being sedentary to having high stress levels, people may wish to consider adjusting these lifestyle habits to help with psoriatic arthritis management.
An important part of managing psoriatic arthritis involves making lifestyle choices that can help reduce symptoms. Along with taking medications, it is equally important to know what lifestyle habits it is best for people to avoid to help relieve symptoms and improve their overall outlook.
Certain habits, such as being sedentary, can cause symptoms to worsen or stay the same, even with aggressive treatments. Here are some of the top habits a person may wish to consider changing to help manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
Lack of movement can cause joints to feel stiff. It can also have a negative impact on a person’s overall health, leading to obesity or an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
To change this, a person may consider:
- consulting a doctor to determine a healthy level of exercise for them
- starting slow
- choosing low impact activities
- alternating activities to keep an exercise routine interesting
Processed foods provide limited nutritional value and are often high in calories, fat, salt, and sugar. It is best to avoid processed foods and eat more nutrient-dense foods.
Though no diet can cure psoriatic arthritis, eating more anti-inflammatory foods may help decrease inflammation and improve overall health.
Some anti-inflammatory foods to include in a balanced diet include:
- fatty fish
- olive oil
- colorful vegetables
- lean proteins
Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
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Alcohol can also contribute to inflammation in the body, which can make psoriatic arthritis worse.
People can talk with a doctor about their drinking habits and whether cutting back may help with psoriatic arthritis management.
Obesity and overweight are known risk factors for psoriatic arthritis.
Experts recommend maintaining a healthy weight when living with psoriatic arthritis. Having less weight can help reduce stress on the joints and alleviate some pain.
Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help with weight management.
Smoking can increase a person’s risk of developing various health conditions, including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
A person can consult a doctor about smoking cessation aids that may help with quitting.
Stress and psoriatic arthritis have a cyclical relationship.
Stress releases inflammatory hormones and chemicals into the body. The longer a person Is exposed to these high levels of inflammation, the more negative effects it can have. As a result, stress can trigger a psoriatic arthritis flare.
However, managing a chronic condition like psoriatic arthritis can also be stressful, especially when it flares up. This can create a cycle of stress and flares.
People can try taking steps to help reduce their stress levels. Stress management techniques include:
Sleep can affect several areas of a person’s health.
Trouble sleeping can lead to fatigue, weight gain, changes in the ability to think clearly, and mood fluctuations. It can also negatively affect a person’s joints. A lack of sleep may increase inflammation in the body and contribute to psoriatic arthritis joint pain.
Improving sleep quality may help manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms. A person can try the following strategies:
- Darken the room and eliminate all sources of light when sleeping.
- Avoid eating large meals before bed.
- Make the room temperature a bit cooler.
- Create a comfortable space to sleep.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones, tablets, and TV while in bed.
- Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sexual activity.
Treatment plays an important role in managing psoriatic arthritis. If a person does not adhere to their treatment regimen, whether that means skipping doses or stopping the medication altogether, it can lead to worsening symptoms.
It is important that a person does not stop taking medications without first talking with their doctor. Factors such as side effects or routes of administration may cause a person to want to discontinue therapy. However, a doctor may be able to recommend a different treatment approach to help minimize these effects.
There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. It is a progressive condition that can cause irreversible joint damage and lead to disability when left untreated.
The right treatment plan can help prevent psoriatic arthritis from getting worse. It can also help with reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. A person who has psoriatic arthritis can check in with their doctor regularly to monitor how well treatment is working.
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory form of arthritis. It requires both treatments and lifestyle changes to help prevent it from getting worse.
Certain lifestyle factors, such as being sedentary, smoking, and having high stress levels can worsen symptoms and potentially interfere with treatment. Taking steps to avoid or adjust these factors where possible may help a person adhere to treatment, find symptom relief, and avoid possible complications.