What Not to Eat with Psoriatic Arthritis

Ask a Doctor

I’ve just been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I wonder if I can change my diet to prevent flare-ups? Is there a list of foods to avoid with psoriatic arthritis?

Doctor's Response

Specific dietary restrictions or supplements other than a well-balanced and adequate diet are unimportant in the management of plaque psoriasis. Vitamin D supplementation has been effective in reducing the severity of symptoms, in some cases, however.

Alcohol is considered a risk factor for psoriasis in young to middle-aged men. Avoid or minimize alcohol use if you have psoriasis.

You should also avoid environmental factors that trigger psoriasis, such as smoking, sun exposure, and stress, may help prevent or minimize flare-ups of psoriasis. Sun exposure may help in many cases of psoriasis and aggravate it in others.

Various medications can cause psoriasis to worsen. Try to avoid these medications to minimize flare-ups. Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) and withdrawal from systemic corticosteroids (a steroid treatment that affects the whole body) both are well known to cause flare-ups. Beta-blockers, antimalarial drugs, and NSAIDs may also cause flare ups.

For more information, read our full medical article on psoriatic arthritis.

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Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.