If you suffer from psoriasis, I don’t need to tell you that this is a rough season for your skin. I’m sure you’re already well aware…
I also don’t need to point out that the problem goes way beyond your typical wintertime itching, flaking, and cracking. Because a full-blown psoriasis flare-up isn’t a problem you can fix with a little extra lotion. It’s a life-altering inflammatory condition, marked by the abnormal reproduction of skin cells.
And the unsightly plaques it causes are about the least of the problems associated with it.
In fact, psoriasis is linked to an alarming number of lethal consequences — including a higher risk of heart disease, liver disease, and early death. And you can include diabetes on that already jaw-dropping list, too.
You may not know it, but psoriasis and diabetes share similar inflammation pathways — which means that the mechanisms leading to a flare-up are the same ones which promote insulin resistance. (They also share genetic mutations, which may further explain some of the connection between the two conditions.)
This means that simply having psoriasis raises your risk of developing diabetes — a link that research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shed a startling new light on just last month.
This study used body surface area (BSA) — that is, the percentage of the body covered in psoriasis plaques — to assess the severity of disease in more than 8,000 psoriasis patients. They weighed data from this set against data from more than 75,000 adults without psoriasis.
Results showed that patients with psoriasis covering just two percent of their body face 21 percent increase in diabetes risk. But the news gets worse. Because in cases covering ten percent of the body, patients’ diabetes risk increased by a whopping 64 percent.
And for every ten percent increase in BSA beyond that, risk continued to rocket… more than doubling among patients with psoriasis covering 30 percent of their body. (And yes, that’s after accounting for traditional diabetes risk factors, like obesity and age.)
In other words, the researchers conclude, more than 125,000 cases of diabetes are directly attributable to psoriasis every year.
I have to say, the timing of this study is especially relevant, now that we’re all smack dab in the middle of the winter holidays. This season lays out a minefield of hazards that make psoriasis flare-ups all but inevitable without proper precautions.
In the end, minimizing those flare-ups could save your life. Which is why I devoted an entire article to battling psoriasis — through the winter and beyond — in this month’s issue of my newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives.
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