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How Lifestyle Changes Can Help Manage Psoriasis Symptoms

How Lifestyle Changes Can Help Manage Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes rashes on people’s skin. It’s considered a chronic illness, which means it can’t be cured, but it can be treated with medications, lifestyle changes and symptom management strategies. Here are six ways lifestyle changes can help manage psoriasis symptoms.

  1. Seeing A Dermatologist Regularly Ensures Your Psoriasis Is Treated Appropriately

When you have a chronic illness or condition, it’s important that you see all your doctors regularly. You should be seeing your primary care physician for your annual exam and your dermatologist at whatever frequency he or she thinks is best. You should also see any specialists your dermatologist recommends or for other conditions you’re experiencing regularly, such as an opthalmologist. You may see your dermatologist and other specialists more frequently when you first begin treatment as finding the most effective treatment type and dose can involve some trial and error.

  1. Paying Attention To Your Health Makes Catching Related Conditions Early More Likely

If you have one autoimmune disease, you’re at higher risk of developing other autoimmune diseases. Because of this, you should carefully monitor your health and get screened for any diseases that run in your family, may be related to psoriasis or that you or your physician thinks you may be at risk of developing. Discuss your screening options and level of risk with your dermatologist and your primary care physician.

  1. Limiting Smoking And Drinking Can Alleviate Symptoms And Reduce Risks

Flare-ups of psoriasis and alcohol use and smoking are inextricably linked. Consumption of alcohol and tobacco are associated with worsening symptoms, fewer or shorter remission periods and medication losing its effectiveness. You may choose to quit entirely or to limit your consumption of these substances. Avoiding or reducing your consumption of alcohol and quitting smoking are related to fewer flares, longer or more frequent remission periods and reduced risk of developing related conditions. If you’re planning to quit smoking, work with your doctor to determine the best method to do so without causing a flare-up.

  1. Eating Healthily Reduces Your Risk of Flares

While medication is the most effective method of treatment for psoriasis, there are also dietary changes you can make to help alleviate and manage symptoms. There are certain foods you should avoid or reduce your consumption of and other foods that would be beneficial for you to introduce to your diet or eat more of. Avoid food items that include refined carbohydrates and added sugars, as well as dairy, gluten and foods that contain high amounts of trans fats and saturated fats. All these foods can contribute to increased inflammation in the body, which is a major contributing factor to flare-ups. By contrast, anti-inflammatory foods such as olive oil, whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, lean and plant-based proteins and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can help reduce symptoms and flare-ups.

  1. Improving Your Mental Health Can Relieve Stress

Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis can be frightening and stressful, and these very feelings can actually lead to flare-ups of the disease and worsening symptoms. It’s important to find ways to manage stress and the inflammation it can cause. You can start practicing meditation, take up yoga or tai chi and cultivate hobbies such as painting, reading or gardening. Make time in your day to get some fresh air. Practice mindfulness techniques for acute stress, such as breathing exercises.

  1. Exercising Regularly Supports Your Physical And Mental Health

Another way you can relieve and manage stress is through regular exercise. Depending on the type and severity of your symptoms, you may need to modify your exercises so they’re low-impact, so you should discuss some options with your doctor before beginning. Exercising regularly can also help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your joints and tendons healthy and limber to reduce your risk of developing psoriatic arthritis and lower your risk of developing diseases related to psoriasis, such as heart conditions, other autoimmune diseases or fatty liver disease.

Always talk to your doctor about your diagnosis and your symptoms. Psoriasis affects everyone a little differently and can have different levels of severity. Your treatment plan and symptom management methods should be tailored to your needs and what’s best for your body.


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