Some of the possible complications of psoriasis can include:
Folate deficiency – Psoriasis sufferers are at a high risk to have folate deficiency. Folate is a B vitamin and is an important factor for normal nerve function. Folate is also essential in preventing birth defects as well as regulating the levels of homocysteine, a body chemical that in high levels increases a person’s likelihood for heart disease.
Cancers – Psoriasis patients who suffer from severe psoriasis and who take systemic drugs have a high likelihood of forming lymphomas and skin cancers.
Diabetes, obesity and heart problems – A large number of people who suffer from psoriasis have developed one or more of these three conditions. Medical researchers are uncertain if there is indeed a link between psoriasis and these conditions. Some researchers explain that psoriasis patients have fat cells that produce cytokines that increases the resistance of insulin in the muscle and liver. This eventually causes the death of beta cells that produces insulin in the pancreas.
High blood pressure – The World Health Organization suggests that physicians should check patients with psoriasis for hypertension. Some experts state that early treatment of psoriasis effectively lessens the risk of psoriasis patients for high blood pressure.
Abnormal body temperature regulation – Individuals suffering from erythrodermic psoriasis can encounter problems in their body’s power to properly regulate temperature.
Zumbusch psoriasis – This condition can come about when a person has both pustular psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis. Zumbusch psoriasis can arise all of a sudden and this it can lead to weight loss, muscle weakness, chills and fever. There may even be signs of electrolyte imbalances, protein loss and edema from this condition. A person with Zumbusch psoriasis should go to a hospital to correct his fluid and chemical imbalances and normalize his body temperature. This type of psoriasis is particularly dangerous in older people.
Psoriatic arthritis – The likelihood of psoriatic arthritis can likely increase in psoriasis sufferers. Psoriatic arthritis includes symptoms like:
- Arthritis mutilans – This is a type chronic rheumatoid arthritis albeit a rare one and it happens when the bones are reabsorbed by the body that can lead to the death of soft tissue. Sometimes arthritis mutilans affects the hands and when it does it causes a condition called telescoping fingers. It can also affect the feet. Besides psoriatic arthritis, people with rheumatoid arthritis in the joints of the fingers or osteoarthritis are also at high risk to get this condition. About 20%, at most of those with psoriasis will acquire psoriatic arthritis.
Emotional and psychological consequences – Some patients with psoriasis suffer from social and emotional problems. Their symptoms cause embarrassment and because of this they eventually become depressed. These make some of them to completely withdraw from society. Also some psoriasis sufferers who experience severe symptoms are forced to leave their jobs making them sadder, distressed and depressed. A national survey published in Psoriasis Uncovered showed statistics of people suffering from the most extreme forms of psoriasis. The statistics reveal that
- 20% of psoriasis sufferers have lost a job or was forced to resign because of their psoriasis
- A quarter of psoriasis sufferers blamed their psoriasis for ruining an intimate relationship
- 43% of those with psoriasis said that their condition had hindered their ability to make new friends.
- 83% of psoriasis patients said their current treatment has not satisfactorily addressed their problem.
Many health care professionals are aware that psoriasis plays a negative role in the psychological and emotional life of the patient. It is thus essential for the patient to talk to his doctor any anxiety and concern he has regarding his psoriasis. Psoriasis patients can also avail assistance from support groups that can help them mitigate feelings of isolation and get back their self-esteem among others.
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