Psoriatic arthritis is arthritis caused by inflammation and swelling from psoriasis. Studies have shown that up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.
This condition can be mild or severe and even a relatively minor case of psoriasis can cause significant arthritic symptoms, which typically occur during flare-ups.
Because psoriatic arthritis flare-ups can be incredibly intense, it’s critical to know potential triggers. We’ve outlined 13 of the most common causes of psoriatic arthritis so you’re prepared before your next flare-up!
Intense and persistent stress taxes our bodies’ natural defenses. Psoriasis, the condition that causes psoriatic arthritis, is currently thought to be an immune system disorder, and unfortunately, the immune system is one area of the body that is most interrupted by stress. It’s the wide-ranging impacts of stress that make it so impactful to our overall health.
Stress isn’t limited to emotional pain; it can also manifest physically…
12. Physical Stress
Physical stress aggravates the body. Repetitive physical strain can irritate joints, which are also impacted by psoriatic arthritis. Just like with mental stress, physical stress is incredibly specific to individuals and learning which things cause you stress is a great way to improve your health.
Psoriatic arthritis is often complicated by other things going on in our bodies, such as the following…
11. Weight Gain
Psoriatic arthritis has been shown to be a more severe problem in people with weight concerns. This is because obesity can cause strain on various body systems and eventually contribute to psoriatic arthritis.
Individuals who are overweight can face more frequent and severe flare-ups, too, especially because excess weight causes stress on the joints.
This next cause can be extremely serious if left untreated…
When the body suffers an injury, swelling, stiffness, and mobility problems can occur as the body heals. These symptoms, especially the swelling, can cause a psoriatic arthritis flare-up. The added strain on the joints aggravates this condition and sometimes leads to more frequent outbreaks.
When it comes to psoriatic arthritis, it’s all about how much strain you place on the following part of your body…
9. Joint Strain
Too much strain is dangerous for our joints, as we all know. Joints are sensitive locations on the body, and overworking them, whether from a repetitive movement or lifting too much weight, can cause a flare-up, especially in people with psoriatic arthritis.
Stopping joint strain from causing a flare-up is all about knowing your physical limits. This kind of self-knowledge also helps with the next cause…
8. Lack of Sleep
A lack of sleep links to worse health outcomes overall. Our bodies need regular, reliable sleep in order to stay healthy. When your sleep becomes irregular and interrupted, your health can start to decline. This can also create secondary medical conditions, such as stress, that also trigger flare-ups.
There are steps you can take to correct poor sleep habits, though. Another easy change to make that helps with psoriatic arthritis involves…
Smoking contributes to poor health outcomes in a variety of ways. Smoking can also aggravate the immune system and contribute to flare-ups in that way.
All in all, smoking is bad for our health. Just like with our diets, it’s all about controlling what we bring into our bodies…
Alcohol can trigger a psoriatic arthritis flare-up for a variety of reasons. When you consume too much alcohol, you can dehydrate your body, which leads to flare-ups. Alcohol consumption also leads to problems that lower our overall quality of life and health.
Staying in control of what we eat and drink can go a long way to making psoriatic arthritis flare-ups more manageable…
5. Dietary Problems
Certain foods, like greasy, salty or fatty foods, can exacerbate psoriatic arthritis flare-ups, which is another reason why maintaining a healthy diet is so important.
Psoriasis is commonly believed to be an auto-immune disorder which means that any strain on our immune system can cause a flare-up…
Infections are a potential cause of psoriatic arthritis flare-ups, too. When the body is busy fighting off infection, it often makes other medical conditions worse, as it’s usually intensely focused on getting rid of the sickness. And, psoriatic arthritis is heavily related to our immune systems, so it makes sense why infections can exacerbate psoriatic arthritis flare-ups.
As our bodies change with age, we might have greater trouble dealing with health problems, including psoriatic arthritis…
3. Your Age
Psoriatic arthritis typically doesn’t set in until a person has reached at least 30 years of age. This is also linked to the development of psoriasis and the increased health problems our bodies face with age.
Age-related health issues are something we are all going to have to face in time. Another universal is watching out for sunburn…
Overexposure to sunlight usually causes sunburn, which can result in swelling, open wounds, and other injuries that aggravate psoriatic arthritis. Extreme sunburn, known as sun poisoning, is a serious condition on its own, but it also represents a considerable trigger for psoriatic arthritis flare-ups.
Our exposure to the sun is strongly linked with another flare-up risk…
There is a lot to say about how our climate impacts our health. When the weather changes, our health can change with it. Psoriatic arthritis is particularly sensitive to a variety of climate conditions.
We mentioned earlier how sunburn can trigger flare-ups, but regularly and safely catching some rays is thought to actually help this condition. This means that the winter months can cause flare-ups, as dry climates can dehydrate the skin.
This condition can be treated through a combination of help from your doctor and getting to know what causes your flare-ups. Steroids are one of the most common treatment options for psoriatic arthritis.
You can also do simple things at home that can make big changes. Keeping a journal that tracks your flare-ups can help give you a good idea of what causes them and what steps you can take to make them more manageable.