Severe Psoriasis and Diabetes: How Are They Related?
As many know, diabetes is a condition that affects the creation of insulin that the body produces. However, at times, diabetes can also cause red, scaly and raised patches accross the skin that can develop along any part of the body. These patches are most often seen along someone's scalp, knees and elbows, and they are also a common symptom of a skin condition called psoriasis.
Individuals living with psoriasis are at a higher risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes. A study done in the University of Pennsylvania even revealed that the risk for diabetes increases with the severity of the skin condition.
Psoriasis is known as a programmed inflammatory ailment that affects about 3% of the individuals living in America. In this case, the skin cells of an ailing individual multiply at a faster rate than what is required. After some time, these cells get into the skin surface, which is why they eventually form red plaques enclosed by white scales.
While it is not contagious at all, psoriasis can definitely affect how someone looks at themselves because of this difference in appearance to everyone else. Up-to-date, scientists cannot tell what exactly causes psoriasis. However, they do have their ideas. As of right now, two causes that they believe have a direct effect on the development of psoriasis are the dysfunction of the immune system and someone's genetic make up.
Both medical researchers and scientists believe psoriasis is a type of autoimmune disease. An autoimmune ailment occurs when the immune system of a body attacks the tissues of the same body. Researchers believe that psoriasis occurs when the skin cells of a body are mistakenly attacked by the white blood cells.
In a normal human body, white blood cells have the duty of fighting infections and destroying invading bacteria. However, when these cells attack the skin cells mistakenly, red and inflamed areas on the skin surface arises.
When someone inherits genes associated with psoriasis, his or her chances of suffering from the ailment increases. In other words, for people with close family members suffering from this ailment, their chances of suffering from the ailment are also high. According to statistics, the percentage of individuals with psoriasis and also genetic predisposition is generally small. Only about two to three percent of the individuals with the gene develop this ailment.
What triggers psoriasis?
- Stress: High stress can trigger flares, and people who engage in activities that reduce stress or know how to manage stress have minimal chances of suffering from flares.
- Medications: Medications such as high blood pressure medications, antimalarial medicines, and lithium can trigger this ailment. People who do not take these medications have minimal chances of suffering from the disease.
- Infection: Psoriasis is believed to be an example of autoimmune disease. When someone is suffering from the ailment, there are high chances of his or her immune system attacking the body tissues hence psoriasis. One infection that is a common trigger is strep throat.
- Alcohol: Heavy alcohol consumption can also initiate psoriasis flares. Individuals suffering from the disease are advised to talk to their doctors before consuming alcohol.