Dr Aly Cohen on Psoriatic Arthritis and Emotional Health with Everyday Health

6 Things You Should Know About Psoriatic Arthritis and Emotional Health

In addition to achy joints, stress and anxiety can also be part of living with psoriatic arthritis. Here’s what you need to know to cope.

Psoriatic arthritis can take a toll not only on your skin and joints, but also on your emotional health. In fact, people with psoriatic arthritis often struggle with emotional distress and don’t feel clinically prepared to deal with it, according to a study published in the journal Rheumatology in March 2016.

“In some people with psoriatic arthritis, depression and anxiety are temporary and related to lack of control of pain, but in others it becomes chronic,” says Stanford Shoor, MD, a rheumatologist at Stanford Health Care in California.

Here are six things you should know about psoriatic arthritis and how it may affect your emotional health. A better understanding of these facts and skills can help you cope with the condition and the emotions that can come with it.

1. The same processes that trigger inflammation in psoriatic arthritis also may create changes in the brain that affect emotions.

Stress is implicated in flares of all autoimmune diseases,” says Aly Cohen, MD, a rheumatologist and integrative medicine practitioner in private practice in Monroe Township, New Jersey. A review published in June 2013 in the journal Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery found that stress is a trigger for psoriasis. In addition, another review published in the journal Current Psychiatry in June 2013 found that depression and inflammatory disease are often linked.

During inflammatory episodes, the body releases proteins that set the immune system into response mode, releasing inflammatory proteins that are also associated with symptoms of depression, the review author wrote.

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