Can psoriasis affect your breathing?
Psoriasis may raise risk for diseases of heart, lungs, kidneys. Living with psoriasis can be difficult enough, but new research suggests sufferers may be at a higher risk for other serious diseases affecting vital organs like the heart, lungs and kidneys.
The inflammation associated with psoriasis can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Most people know psoriasis is a condition that affects the skin, but its impact can be felt much deeper than that. That's because inflammation can damage arteries.
- Muscle or joint pain can occur without joint inflammation (swelling). Tendonitis and bursitis may be prominent features. Swelling of the fingers and toes can suggest a "sausage-like" appearance, known as dactylitis. Psoriatic arthritis usually affects the distal joints (those closest to the nail) in fingers or toes.
- If you've been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, it can be reassuring to know that effective treatments await. The next step in psoriatic arthritis treatment is a family of drugs called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These include methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and leflunomide.
- PsA causes swelling. So do certain foods, like fatty red meats, dairy, refined sugars, processed foods, and vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. Avoid them and choose fish, like mackerel, tuna, and salmon, which have omega-3 fatty acids.
Research suggests that people with psoriasis have a much higher risk of lymphoma, but researchers are puzzled as to why. Some studies suggest that having psoriasis increases your risk for developing certain cancers, including nonmelanoma skin cancers and lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
- In SS, most or all of the skin is affected, instead of just patches of skin. People with SS typically have a very itchy, scaly red rash that can look like a severe sunburn. The skin is often thickened. Lymphoma cells, called Sezary cells, can be found in the blood (as well as in the lymph nodes).
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk factors include:
- Age: Most cases occur in people older than 60.
- Exposure to certain chemicals, including benzene and some herbicides and insecticides.
- Previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
- Radiation exposure.
- Immune system deficiency and HIV infection.
- Signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may include:
- Painless, swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin.
- Abdominal pain or swelling.
- Chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing.
- Persistent fatigue.
- Night sweats.
- Unexplained weight loss.
Updated: 2nd October 2019