People who fibromyalgia often don’t just suffer from fibromyalgia. There are a number of diseases that seem to go hand-in-hand with the condition. Fibromyalgia seems to be liked to things mood disorders, PTSD, arthritis, and IBS. Sometimes, you can even see the conditions that go along with fibromyalgia, like psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a tough condition to deal with, which is why it’s such a concern for people with fibromyalgia. So, what should you know about psoriasis? And how is it liked to fibromyalgia?
What Should You Know About Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a condition that causes scaly patches to form on the skin. These patches are usually red and inflamed. And they are often very sensitive to the touch and may be quite itchy. The issues with the skin usually come and go. Sometimes, you might experience small outbreaks. And other times, there may be major outbreaks that cover large areas of the skin.
There are a few different types of psoriasis. The most common form is called plaque psoriasis. This form causes the basic skin outbreaks that you might be familiar with, and it can occur anywhere.
Then, there’s inverse psoriasis. The major difference in this form of the condition is that the plaques seem to form from friction. So, the most common places to suffer from inverse psoriasis are the armpits and under the breasts. But anywhere where the skin rubs together can be vulnerable to outbreaks.
These are probably the most common form of psoriasis, but there are also other, less common forms. Those forms include nail psoriasis, which causes damage to the finger and toenails, and erythrodermic psoriasis, which creates a huge rash all over the body.
Finally, there’s psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that combines the skin problems of psoriasis with the joint pain of arthritis. This joint pain can sometimes make it hard to distinguish from fibromyalgia, which also causes pain near the joints.
Like other forms of psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In a healthy immune system, your body produces cells that target and destroy bacteria. It’s an important part of keeping you healthy. But sometimes, the immune system begins to target the body’s own cells instead.
When this happens, it produces an autoimmune disease. In the case of psoriasis, the immune cells attack the skin cells, which causes them to multiply rapidly. That explosion in the number of skin cells produces the scaly patches we associate with the disorder.
Psoriatic arthritis is especially interesting for people with fibromyalgia because the conditions can actually cause similar symptoms.
And there seems to be a strong link between psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia.
How Is It Linked To Fibromyalgia?
Both conditions can lead to fatigue and stiffness. But while a trained doctor can easily tell the difference between the two conditions when you go for a check-up, there does seem to be a link between the conditions. People with fibromyalgia often seem to develop psoriatic arthritis and vice versa.
That link can probably be explained by the fact that psoriasis is an autoimmune condition.
We know that people with fibromyalgia seem to develop autoimmune diseases at a higher rate than the rest of the population. For a long time, doctors assumed that meant that fibromyalgia itself might be an autoimmune disorder. But most researchers no longer think this is the case.
Instead, the link may simply be due to stress. Experiencing long periods of stress substantially raises your risk of developing autoimmune diseases. And of course, few conditions cause long-term stress like fibromyalgia. It could that the stress of fibromyalgia is actually making people more likely to develop autoimmune conditions like psoriasis.
And it turns out that stress might also play a role in developing fibromyalgia. So essentially, autoimmune diseases like psoriasis might be so stressful that it makes you more likely to develop fibromyalgia. It’s a horrible, self-reinforcing cycle that might just explain the link between the two conditions.
Both autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia are poorly understood by modern medical science. And until we know more about both conditions, it’s hard to say for sure what the link between them is. But chronic stress may be the best answer we have at the moment.
This may be another sign of how important it is to reduce stress when you’re living with psoriasis or fibromyalgia. It may prevent you from developing another, related medical condition. The good news is that both conditions can also be managed with medications. Always consult your doctor if you think are suffering from a serious medical problem and follow their advice.