Psoriasis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and increased risk for metabolic syndrome

An interesting connection exists between psoriasis, an autoimmune skin condition, and the occurrence of weight gain and metabolic syndrome. Psoriasis affects roughly 1-3% of the population and because it is an autoimmune condition, it is more common in patients suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that often affects the elbows and knees but can affect many other spots. It is a chronic condition that can be controlled by medications, but there is no cure for it.

As for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and many other autoimmune conditions, the immune system attacks the skin through inflammation chemicals, and as in most autoimmune conditions, a wide range of inflammation chemicals produced by the immune system promote body inflammation. This is one of the explanations why patients with psoriasis, as patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

It is the systemic body inflammation related to immune system reactivity that explains the connection between psoriasis and the occurrence of metabolic syndrome. Research has shown that patients with psoriasis become afflicted by metabolic syndrome more often than people without psoriasis. In fact, the more severe the psoriasis, the higher the chances for the patient to develop metabolic syndrome. This illustrates that body inflammation caused by the immune system is an important underlying mechanism for the occurrence of insulin resistance, weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, and even Type 2 Diabetes.

To minimize the likelihood of significant weight gain and metabolic syndrome related to inflammation, patients with psoriasis as well as patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis should focus on reducing immune system reactivity. To do so, I highly recommend to these patients to embrace my Thyroid Wellness Program which includes: taking adequate supplementation (i.e. ThyroLife Optima, probiotics, omega 3), correcting vitamin D deficiency, avoiding foods that the immune system might be reactive to such as gluten, dairy, and possibly other foods, getting adequate sleep, and practicing mind body techniques in addition to receiving the proper therapy for the autoimmune condition.

About the Author:

Dr. Ridha Arem is board certified in endocrinology, and metabolism. He is the author of over 40 peer reviewed articles in the fields of thyroid disease, endocrinology, and metabolism.