Psoriatic arthritis flare-ups can make it difficult to work, play, and care for your family.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of chronic inflammatory arthritis that affects about 1 in every 10 people with psoriasis. It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissue. The joints, tendons, ligaments, and skin are affected in psoriatic arthritis.
You might have recognized some of your triggers if you have been living with psoriatic arthritis for a long period. However, they may differ from person to person. Triggers that cause flare-ups of inflammation in some people may have little or no effect on others.
You are recommended to maintain a journal if you are unaware of what triggers your flare-ups. This will help you recognize psoriatic arthritis triggers.
How to prevent psoriatic arthritis flare-ups
Psoriatic arthritis flare-ups can make it difficult to work, play, and care for your family. However, certain things can help you reduce your risk of flare-ups in the future.
Focus on the following to help avoid psoriatic arthritis flare-ups:
- Taking your meds exactly as directed
- Quitting smoking
- Controlling stress
- Getting sufficient sleep
- Keeping up with prescribed immunizations to avoid illnesses that might cause flare-ups
- Avoiding all known possible triggers
- Recommended exercise and physiotherapy sessions
9 triggers of psoriatic arthritis
Nine common triggers of psoriatic arthritis include:
- Stress: When you are stressed, your body releases substances (proinflammatory proteins) that might trigger psoriatic arthritis or worsen existing psoriatic arthritis. A counselor or therapist can assist you in developing stress-reduction measures. Yoga, meditation, music, and going for a stroll are some stress-reduction techniques. The support of friends and family may be quite beneficial when dealing with the hardships of psoriatic arthritis.
- Infection: Psoriatic arthritis can be triggered by anything that affects your immune system. Infections, in particular, can trigger your immune system to go into overdrive, resulting in a flare-up. Strep throat, ear infections, pneumonia, tonsillitis, and other respiratory illnesses are examples of common infections. You may not even notice you have an infection until your psoriatic arthritis starts to flare up. In any case, if you feel you have an infection, you should consult your doctor.
- Lack of sleep: Some studies have reported a correlation between poor sleep and aggravating psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Flare-ups have been connected to a lack of sleep and fatigue. Moreover, improper or lack of sleep increases your stress levels, which can trigger a flare because stress causes your body to generate chemicals that promote inflammation. Consult your doctor about how to alter your sleeping patterns so that you can get more rest. Getting up and going to bed at the same time every day can assist. Keeping your bedroom cool and comfy and avoiding caffeinated drinks too close to bedtime might help. Exercise and meditation can help reduce stress.
- Skin injury: When the skin is wounded or irritated, psoriatic arthritis can flare-up. This is known as the Koebner effect. An injury to the skin, vaccines, sunburns, or even scratches can trigger the Koebner phenomenon if you have existing psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis. Fortunately, early detection and immediate medical care can help with the Koebner phenomenon.
- Medications: Certain drugs used to treat other illnesses can cause psoriatic arthritis. It is crucial to notify your doctor who treats your psoriatic arthritis about any existing drugs you are taking and any new medications you begin.
- Diet: Weight gain and overall poor health might result from a bad diet. Weight gain can put additional strain on your joints, and poor general health might induce flare-ups. Foods heavy in sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, and processed carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, pastries, and some cereals may induce weight gain and inflammation. It is essential to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. Green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are examples of healthy foods that can help reduce inflammation and improve your overall health.
- Smoking and alcohol intake: Psoriatic arthritis can be triggered by alcohol and smoking. Frequent drinking has been shown to worsen psoriatic arthritis flare-ups, particularly in women. This occurs because smoking and drinking alcohol both lead to poor overall health and can increase inflammation throughout the body. Alcohol can potentially cause drug interactions. This implies that it may increase the negative effects of your psoriatic arthritis medicine or reduce its efficacy. Alcohol and smoking may impair your body's ability to respond to psoriatic arthritis medicines. Thus, quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol use will help keep your psoriatic arthritis under control.
- Environmental factors: Psoriatic arthritis symptoms may be exacerbated by cold weather and reduced sun exposure. According to research, there may be a link between vitamin D insufficiency and psoriasis. A study conducted on 25,871 people with psoriatic arthritis reported that vitamin D consumption is connected to a decrease in any inflammatory illness. Cold temperatures may aggravate your psoriatic arthritis aches and symptoms. Lower air pressure can induce joint expansion and discomfort. In the cold, synovial fluid in joints can thicken, causing stiffness.
- Physical stress: Mechanical tension is likely to be the cause of a flare after moving to a new place or performing deadlifts. Physical trauma and mechanical stress can start a chain reaction of events that leads to inflammation in psoriatic arthritis, they include: