6 Unusual Diseases Associated With Psoriasis

by Alisha Bridges Patient Advocate

For those living with the condition, psoriasis is known to be more than skin deep, associated with numerous physical, mental and emotional side effects. But psoriasis also is known to be associated with a number of other comorbid conditions. If you have psoriasis, or know someone living with psoriasis, here are eight diseases that have been linked to the skin disease.

X-ray of foot joint.
Thinkstock

Gout

It’s no secret that 30 percent of those who suffer with psoriasis will also have arthritis. But some will acquire a unique form of arthritis called gout. The form of arthritis most of us are familiar with is due to a faulty signal within the immune system. However, Gout is caused by a metabolic issue due to high levels of uric acid in the blood that crystallize in the joints and cause pain.

X-ray of the abdomen.
Thinkstock

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA)

A study found that those with psoriasis have an increased risk for abdominal aortic aneurysms which is a disease which causes the aorta to become severely inflamed. The study also concluded that a large number of people with AAA suffered from mild to severe psoriasis. Although there has not been much research on the correlation of the two diseases, findings prove that psoriasis is NOT a just a “skin issue.”

Woman experiences neck pain.
Thinkstock

Fibromyalgia

As of now, fibromyalgia is a misunderstood disease that causes unexplained pain of the body. Some have categorized it has a mental disorder, but studies are still being conducted to better understand the disorder. Clinical research found patients with psoriatic arthritis had a high frequency of fibromyalgia. Coincidently, many of the symptoms from fibromyalgia are similar to those with psoriasis.

Man experiences intense pain from Crohn's disease.
Thinkstock

Crohn's disease

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, the mechanism responsible for Crohn’s disease is similar to psoriasis, “Dr. Abrar A. Qureshi, a dermatologist at Harvard… noticed a number of patients had both psoriasis and Crohn’s, leading him to wonder whether he could find a connection and, if he did, why that was the case...” It was found that 10 percent of women with psoriasis also had Crohn's disease.

Doctor measures large waist of patient with metabolic syndrome.
Thinkstock

Metabolic syndrome

The most common feature of the disease in those with psoriasis is obesity, which is also a known feature of metabolic syndrome. Research found that 40 percent of people with psoriasis had metabolic syndrome compared to just 23 percent of the general population. According to the Mayo Clinic, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Woman's eye.
Thinkstock

Uveitis

Both uveitis and psoriasis are auto-immune diseases, with uveitis characterized as an inflammatory eye disease. In an interview with the NPF, Dr. James T. Rosenbaum, an Oregon Health & Science University rheumatologist specializing in autoimmune diseases that affect the eye, noted that, "Patients with psoriasis are slightly more likely (than the average person) to get uveitis..”

Alisha Bridges
Meet Our Writer
Alisha Bridges

Alisha Bridges has dealt with psoriasis since 7 years old after a bad case of chicken pox triggered her disease to spread on over 90% of her body. For years she hid in shame afraid of what people would think of such a visible disease. She has suffered from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks due to psoriasis. Years ago Alisha wrote a letter entitled “My Suicide Letter.” The letter was not about actually killing herself but killing parts of her like low self-esteem, fear, and shame so she could truly live to her fullest potential. This proclamation catapulted her into psoriasis and patient advocacy. Following this letter she created a blog entitled Being Me In My Own Skin where she gives intimate details of what it’s like to live with psoriasis. Alisha is a community ambassador for the National Psoriasis Foundation and has served her community in countless ways to help give a better understanding of what’s it’s like to live with psoriasis. Her life motto is the following: “My purpose is to change the hearts of people by creating empathy and compassion for those the least understood through transparency of self, patient advocacy, and dermatology.” Alisha is also a Social Ambassador for the HealthCentral Skin Health Facebook page.