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Triggers That Can Worsen Your Psoriatic Arthritis

Your journey with Psoriatic Arthritis will have its share of ups and downs. Many factors are known to impact Psoriatic Arthritis symptoms, often making them worse. These factors are called ‘triggers’. The consequence of a trigger can be called a ‘flare-up’, which is a period of time when your symptoms worsen. Although it is difficult to predict when a flare-up will occur, it may be possible to reduce it’s occurrence by avoiding potential ‘triggers’.
In this blog, we will discuss about the various triggers of Psoriatic Arthritis.

Psoriatic Arthritis flares often have specific environmental triggers. These may vary from person to person and often change over time.[1]

Here are some common Psoriatic Arthritis triggers and simple ways to side-step them:

Stress

Stress is a known trigger for Psoriatic Arthritis. It releases chemicals in your body that cause swelling, thereby, adds to inflammation. Practice stress-relieving activities like meditation, exercise, or yoga and indulge in hobbies that keep you happy.[2]

Psa triggers stress
Skin injury or bumps and bruises

Cuts, burns, bruises, scratches, or infections can trigger painful Psoriatic Arthritis flares. Stay alert to prevent small injuries or bruises. Wash your hands often to prevent infections.[3][4]

Skin Injury
Irregular treatment

Not sticking to your medication routine or skipping doses for any reason might prevent your treatment from working effectively. Adhere to the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor and let him/her know if you have any side effects or concerns regarding the treatment.[2]

Irregular Treatment
Joint strain

Long term joint stress can damage your joints, thereby acting as a trigger to Psoriatic Arthritis flares. If your job or lifestyle includes physical activity that impacts your joints, ensure that you get enough time to rest.[4]

Joint Strain
Alcohol

Consuming excessive alcohol can not only trigger your Psoriatic Arthritis, but can also impact the effectiveness of the medication you are taking for the condition. It can weaken the immune system and affect the other organs of your body such as the liver, brain, heart, and pancreas. Ask your doctor about the impact alcohol consumption can have on your Psoriatic Arthritis symptoms. It’s best to limit your alcohol intake or cut it out completely to reduce the risks.[2]

PsA Alcohol
Smoking

Smokers are known to experience more Psoriatic Arthritis pain than non-smokers. In addition, smokers do not respond well to the treatment and are more likely to experience flare-ups. If your are a smoker, giving up on smoking can greatly reduce your chances of triggering a flare-up.[5]

PsA Smoking
Weight gain

Being overweight adds unwanted pressure on joints, worsening pain and leading to restricted movement. Also, overweight and obese people may not respond to the Psoriatic Arthritis treatment very effectively.[5]
Losing weight, if you are overweight or obese, can help reduce the possibility of a flare-up.

PsA weight gain
Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep and the resultant fatigue can add to the stress, making it a trigger for symptom worsening, caused due to a release of chemicals that lead to inflammation. Ensure that you are getting a good night’s rest.[2]

PsA lack of sleep

Not all triggers can lead to flares. Yet recognising them, understanding their impact on your symptoms and taking active measures to prevent your exposure to triggers will go a long way in reducing the risk of flare-ups. It is important that you share information about triggers you have identified with your Dermatologist/Rheumatologist. S/he may suggest ways to avoid or control  them. A combination of treatment and a healthy lifestyle routine can improve the possibility of living well with Psoriatic Arthritis.

Talk to your Dermatologist
about biologics for clear* skin

*No plaque elevation, erythema or
scaling, hyperpigmentation maybe present.

References

  1. What causes psoriatic arthritis? Medical News Today. Available [online] at URL: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316841#triggers. Accessed on 4 January 2022.

  2. What Makes Psoriatic Arthritis Worse? WebMD. Available [online] at URL: https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis/what-makes-psoriatic-arthritis-worse. Accessed on 2 December 2021.

  3. Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis, Plus Risk Factors and Triggers. Healthline. Available [online] at URL: https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriatic-arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis-causes. Accessed on 2 December 2021.

  4. Psoriatic Arthritis Triggers That Can Make Flare-ups Worse. WebMD. Available [online] at URL: https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis/ss/slideshow-psoriatic-flare-triggers. Accessed on 4 January 2022.

  5. 7 Top Psoriatic Arthritis Triggers and How to Avoid Them. Everyday Health. Available [online] at URL: https://www.everydayhealth.com/psoriatic-arthritis/living-with/top-psoriatic-arthritis-triggers/. Accessed on 2 December 2021.