Monday, May 24, 2010
The title of this entry must have made you think about the worldwide hit song of Celine Dion "My Heart Will Go On" from the movie Titanic. This post is neither about the movie nor the song. It has something to do with the link between psoriasis and heart disease. Is that news to you?
A number of studies in the last decade have already shown that psoriasis patients are also found to have or to develop cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure or hypertension, high blood cholesterol level, heart failure, atherosclerosis and diastolic dysfunction. One of the theories postulated is that heart disease like atherosclerosis and psoriasis are both inflammatory conditions. The degree of inflammation in skins with psoriasis can be on a titanic scale, as in severe cases which cover the whole body of the patient.
In a 2005 study at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, it was shown that the risk of dying of heart disease for people in the 40-59 age group is 91 percent higher for those with severe psoriasis. For people over 60 with severe psoriasis, the risk is 37 percent greater. Those with mild to moderate psoriasis cases like me should not be complacent because the chance of developing any of the cardiovascular diseases is still there.
Researchers recommend that psoriasis patients must adopt a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet. The probability of developing cardiovascular disease is substantially minimized when a psoriasis patient practices healthy living.
On the personal note, I remember in early to middle 2008 when I noticed that something was no longer right with my body although my psoriasis at the time was still manageable. During the first half of that year, I put on an additional 20 pounds to my weight at end-2007. I thought that maybe the reason for my weight gain was due to hypothyroidism which can also be seen in some psoriasis patients. And so I went to see a doctor specializing in internal medicine.
After undergoing a series of blood testing, it was found out that I only had the so-called subclinical hypothyroidism. There were other conditions that were diagnosed, however. These were cardiovascular-related diseases — high blood pressure (which soared as high as 140/100 at some point) and also high blood cholesterol level. I vowed to correct these risk factors — and finally got rid of them in a matter of 90 days after the diagnosis. I was also able to shed 40 pounds. From that time up to now, I have maintained my ideal weight. I still want my heart to go on and function well despite my psoriasis.
Photo credit: Mykl Roventine(flickr.com)