Maintaining a healthy weight plays an important role in managing psoriatic arthritis. Obesity causes low-grade inflammation, as fat tissue churns out inflammatory proteins, including cytokines, chemokines, and adipokines. Being overweight or obese has been linked to an increased risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory condition, and making it more difficult to manage.
Excess weight puts more pressure on your joints, which can lead to injury and inflammation. What’s more, excess weight can interfere with medications that treat psoriatic arthritis, so they don’t work as well. A review published in May 2018 in the journal PLoS ONE found that obesity was linked to a 60 percent greater chance that a class of biologic drugs commonly used to treat psoriatic arthritis, called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, wouldn’t work.
The link between obesity and psoriatic arthritis is “very complex and not adequately understood,” says John Davis, III, MD, a clinical rheumatologist who specializes in psoriatic arthritis at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “We believe that [obesity] drives inflammation, providing the link to the joint disease.”
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