Can Weight Loss Help Psoriasis?
Though we’re still in the early stages of research, an important question is beginning to be resolved: can weight loss help psoriasis? And thus far, it appears that the answer is yes!
A recent study in San Francisco has shown that patients who suffered from psoriasis before their bariatric surgery have shown improvement of their symptoms post-op. Considering how common psoriasis is, and its effects on people’s health and well being, these results can have significant implications.
Battle of the Bulge
“It’s a very interesting observation,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, board certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas. “There are actually a number of variables involved here.” Dr. Mamelak explains that we must consider that a person’s weight may not directly affect their skin disease. But rather, some additional contributing factors. “If a person is severely overweight and takes a high blood pressure medication, some of these medications can make their psoriasis worse.” Often, when those overweight individuals lose a great deal of weight, they may no longer need medication or can take a reduced amount.
Recent studies have also linked people’s diets to psoriasis outbreaks. “Chances are that if you have undergone bariatric surgery, your diet has to have been totally revamped as well,” says Dr. Mamelak. Food consumption and alcohol is often limited after these surgical procedures. By removing certain foods, you can avoid those triggers that could cause your psoriasis to flare up.
Experts Weigh In
After years of studying the numbers, researchers determined that after six years, 55% of patients diagnosed with psoriasis (and 62% of patients with psoriatic arthritis) experienced subjective improvements. While a small number reported worsening, the bigger trend was overwhelmingly positive. “Although there is still much more research to be done, the general trend is that weight loss will help with your psoriasis,” says Dr. Mamelak. “As we learn more about this relationship, as well as the association between psoriasis and metabolic syndrome, we will be better able to recommend different treatments and interventions that can not only improve patients’ psoriasis, but also improve their overall health.”