Weight Loss Could Mitigate Symptoms Of Psoriasis, Study Finds

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Jan 17, 2017 05:56 AM EST

A recent Danish study found that a 10-15 percent weight loss in obese persons with psoriasis could significantly lead to long-lasting improvement with the condition. Psoriasis is a chronic disease that causes red, itchy and scaly patches on the skin. However, the severity of the condition varies from one person to another.

The study was conducted on obese psoriasis patients. The researchers found that the participant experienced a huge relief in psoriasis symptoms, thus, making them to conclude that weight loss may help mitigate psoriasis symptoms.

The participants lost an average of 33 pounds in 16 weeks and those who were still up to 22 pounds below their weight at the beginning of the study maintained their improvements in psoriasis symptoms and quality of life, a year later.

Psoriasis is more than just a skin condition, as increased weight can overburden the heart and other organs, which can trigger psoriasis, according to a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Dr. Doris Day.

Food that contributes to weight gain can be inflammatory and since stress can cause a person to eat more, which can also trigger psoriasis. Persons with more weight exert more pressure and stress on the major organs, which can lead to variety of conditions that worsens psoriasis symptoms.

"Psoriasis is associated with obesity, but also with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease." the lead researcher, Dr. Lone Skov of the department of dermatology and allergy at Gentofte Hospital at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, says.

Day continued to explain that psoriasis is a genetic disease. Although genetics cannot be controlled, other factors, including diet, weight gain and activity level can be controlled, according to Medicine Net.

The recent study is a follow up of a previous trial where obese psoriasis patients were randomly assigned to a weight-loss diet. The trial was conducted on 56 patients who participated in a 64-week weight loss program.

The researchers monitored the patients for an additional 48 weeks of a weight-maintenance diet. The participants were evaluated using the Psoriasis Area, Severity Index and the Dermatology Life Quality Index.

The average weight of the participants at the beginning of the trial was 235 pounds. The researchers found that the average weight loss during the first 16 weeks was 33 pounds among the 32 patients who completed the study and the scores on both symptom tests improved, according to WebMD.

The average weight loss was about 22 pounds after 46 weeks and the improvement in test scores was maintained. The researchers published their findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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