Comorbidity refers to diseases that we may have as a consequence of another disease.
In severe psoriasis, there is an increased risk of serious co-morbidities that are important to know about.
Early detection will allow appropriate and early treatment of these diseases, preventing their progression to more severe forms.
And in this regard, the primary care physician plays an essential role from a privileged position in detecting these comorbidities.
Psoriasis comorbidities are worth paying attention to. Psoriasis is a systemic disease that involves more than skin lesions; more organs than just the skin can be affected.
As co-morbidity is quite common, psoriasis patients and their healthcare providers need to be aware of symptoms that may indicate other diseases such as cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal problems, diabetes (type 2), and inflammatory eye diseases.
Recent evidence also suggests that psoriasis increases the likelihood of the phenomenon of restless legs.
What causes these associations have not yet been identified, nor are there differences in the relationships’.
As psoriasis is a genetic disease, genes likely determine who is at risk of developing any co-morbidity.
A dream scenario might be to use a simple test to see who might get which diseases in the future, which is partly possible with some diseases today; now, there is no way to determine exactly how psoriasis and co-morbidity affect individuals.
Genetic inheritance is strong, and we can influence what we do with the conditions we have been given to live our lives.
Perhaps knowledge of an increased risk of co-morbidity can help motivate lifestyle choices that lead to better overall health and help to at least reduce the risk of co-morbidity.
Above all, it is important to have an effective and adequate treatment for one’s psoriasis and reduce inflammation in the body.
There is a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, an umbrella term for the risk factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, impaired blood lipids, increased cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.
Psoriatic Arthritis and Joint Disorders
Psoriatic arthritis is the most common form of comorbidity and has been known for the longest time.
Many people living with psoriasis report joint pain, and studies suggest that up to 40% are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is twice as common in individuals with psoriasis, and particularly if you have a more severe form of psoriasis.
Having type 2 diabetes in itself puts you at risk for other serious diseases and conditions.
Today we know that there is a link between inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.
The diseases that belong to this group are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The risk of cardiovascular disease is higher in psoriasis patients than in healthy people.
The link seems to be particularly strong in severe psoriasis, where the risk is twice as high.
Young people with severe psoriasis appear to be at even greater risk, with some studies suggesting that the risk could be as much as four times higher.
A lot of research is being done in this area today, and more knowledge is coming.
Eye inflammation is common in psoriasis, so be sure to tell your doctor if you have problems with your eyes.
You may need to be referred to an ophthalmologist for assessment, but it may also be that your treatment needs to be adjusted.
High Blood Pressure
In particular, people with severe psoriasis have an increased risk of hypertension.
It is 3 times more common in people with psoriasis with severe disease than in healthy people.
The risk does not seem to be increased for newcomers or people with mild psoriasis.
Sadly, depression is also common in psoriasis, especially when the disease is widespread.
Psoriasis can significantly impact the quality of life, and many people can feel both lonely and isolated by their illness.
Recent research also points to a link between inflammatory disease and depression, which, if true, makes it all the more important for people with psoriasis to receive effective treatment to reduce inflammation in the body.
If you are feeling down or depressed, it is important to discuss this with your doctor.
Co-morbidity in psoriasis is something to be taken very seriously and it is therefore also important that you, as a psoriasis – and psoriatic arthritis – sufferer, contact your doctor when you suspect that you may be affected by other diseases.
Evidence increasingly suggests that there is a link between psoriasis and several co-morbidities.
Therefore, a proper diagnosis must be made of psoriasis and its existing comorbidities to achieve long-term control of the disease and improve cumulative quality of life.
Early and aggressive treatment of severe psoriasis and associated comorbidities can influence the well-being and probably the longevity of patients.