Diet and Psoriatic Arthritis: Can Diet Changes Help?

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory disease that can lead to joint color in addition to plaques on the skin.

Although a person’s diet cannot cause or prevent PsA, some evidence suggests that certain dietary changes may help reduce the severity of the condition.

Read on for more information on how diet can affect PsA.

A person’s diet can play a role in the severity of their PsA symptoms. However, individuals should consider changing their diet as part of an overall treatment plan rather than as a substitute for standard treatments.

According to a 2018 review of over 50 studies, researchers found that diet may play a role in reducing the severity of PsA.

In another study, the researchers looked at the effects of the Mediterranean diet on PsA. They found that certain elements of the diet – like consuming more extra virgin olive oil, fruits, and vegetables – can help manage symptoms.

However, not all research agrees on the extent to which diet can help. One study looked at the diets of more than 80,000 women over a period of 4 years. It found that diet did not significantly affect the incidence of PsA in women or other similar conditions.

The Global Healthy Living Foundation states that despite some conflicting findings about diet and PsA, consuming anti-inflammatory foods can help prevent other comorbidities associated with PsA.

Some research shows that PsA may be linked to the following conditions:

  • diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • obesity
  • Autoimmune disease of the eye
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • osteoporosis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • depression
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver

When combined with exercise, a low-inflammatory diet can help a person lose or maintain their weight. A person may consider adding spices like turmeric to their meals for additional anti-inflammatory effects.

Although a healthy diet may not prevent PsA or other conditions, a person may find that their diet can help reduce their symptoms and lower their risk for other conditions.

There is limited and sometimes conflicting research on which diets are beneficial for PsA. Researchers currently know that.

Mediterranean cuisine

In a 2015 study, researchers found evidence that the Mediterranean diet might be helpful in managing PsA symptoms.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), this diet consists of:

  • Olive oil as the main source of fat
  • Mostly vegetables, fruits, potatoes, beans, nuts, bread, grains and seeds
  • a small to medium amount of eggs, dairy products, fish, and poultry

The Mediterranean diet has other benefits as well. In another study, researchers found that this could reduce the risk of conditions like obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Weight loss diet

The Global Healthy Living Foundation suggests that the best diet is one that will help a person achieve and maintain a moderate weight. This can help a person manage their PsA symptoms.

According to a 2015 study, people who are overweight or obese are less likely to remain symptom-free than those of moderate weight.

As a result, the Global Healthy Living Foundation recommends the Mediterranean Diet for its potential anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to aid in weight loss and maintenance.

The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that people who are overweight lose 1 to 2 pounds per week until they reach moderate weight.

It is recommended that you eat the following foods to maintain or lose weight:

  • fruit
  • fat free or low fat dairy
  • vegetables
  • full grain
  • lean proteins like fish or chicken

Gluten free diet

The National Psoriasis Foundation states that eating a gluten-free diet can help some people with psoriasis relieve their symptoms. Since many people with PsA also have psoriasis, this can be beneficial.

That said, following a gluten-free diet may not work for everyone. People with gluten allergies or sensitivities are most likely to notice a difference.

However, the Global Healthy Living Foundation states that a gluten-free diet is unlikely to have any effects on arthritis unless you also have celiac disease.

A person should speak to a doctor before switching to a gluten-free diet in hopes of reducing their PsA symptoms.

There are certain food groups that a person can avoid to potentially help reduce their PsA symptoms. Avoiding these foods can also help prevent some other diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends avoiding the following whenever possible:

  • saturated fats
  • Trans fats
  • processed foods
  • refined sugar
  • Foods with high cholesterol
  • salty foods

Before a person changes their diet drastically, they should speak to a doctor or treatment team. They may be able to make recommendations and advice about foods that should not be restricted for other health reasons.

A person should also be careful about dieting. Diets vary, but they tend to advertise amazing health benefits. If a diet plan sounds too good to be true, it can be.

A person should check with a nutritionist or doctor about diets they are not sure about so that they can make the best decision for themselves.

Diet can help manage PsA to some extent. While research doesn’t fully support this, an anti-inflammatory diet like the Mediterranean Diet can help reduce the severity of symptoms.

Following a diet that can help a person maintain a moderate weight can also help manage the condition.

People should always speak to a doctor before making changes to their diet.

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