What Foods Make Psoriatic Arthritis Worse?

Reviewed on 6/8/2021

Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are triggered by foods that cause inflammation. These include high-sugar foods, fatty red meat, refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, and white rice), soda/sugary beverages, processed foods (meats, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates), salty food, dairy products, and more.
Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are triggered by foods that cause inflammation. These include high-sugar foods, fatty red meat, refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, and white rice), soda/sugary beverages, processed foods (meats, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates), salty food, dairy products, and more.

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can develop in patients who have psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin condition that causes rapid skin cell growth and renewal. Psoriatic arthritis is not the same as other forms of arthritis because it involves the skin and it affects the joints differently. 

Foods that can trigger or worsen psoriatic arthritis are foods that promote inflammation. Foods to avoid include: 

  • Foods high in sugars, such as soda, candy, chocolate bars, cookies, cakes, juices, sweetened cereals, and corn syrup
  • Fatty red meats
  • Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and white rice
  • Soda and sugary beverages
  • Processed foods, such as processed meats, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates
  • Cured meats
  • Salty foods
  • Dairy products
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye
  • Casein, a milk derivative
  • Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) 
  • Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame
  • Nightshade vegetables (such as potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant), beans, and soybeans

In addition, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is important because being overweight or obese can make symptoms of psoriatic arthritis more difficult to control. 

  • Fatty tissues in the body release proteins that cause inflammation, which can worsen symptoms of inflammation from psoriatic arthritis
  • Obesity can make some psoriatic arthritis treatments, including disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs) and biologics, less effective, which may reduce a person’s chances of achieving low disease activity or remission
  • Excess weight impacts the joints and can aggravate joint symptoms

What Are Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?

Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Skin rash (psoriasis)
  • Skin warmth and redness
  • Red patches of skin with silvery scales (plaques)
    • Commonly appears on the scalp, elbows, knees, and around the ears
  • Skin itching 
  • Thickening skin
  • Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness
    • Often on one side of the body
    • Pain is worse in the morning or after resting
    • Usually affects large joints of lower extremities such as the knees and ankles but can affect any joint
  • Pain and stiffness in the lower back and neck 
  • Hip, back, and shoulder pain
  • Reduced range of motion in the joints
  • Fatigue
  • Heel and foot pain 
  • Swelling of fingers and/or toes
  • Nail problems
    • Pitting
    • Crumbling
    • Separating from nail bed
  • Eye inflammation such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) and other infections

QUESTION

What is psoriatic arthritis? See Answer

What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?

The cause of psoriatic arthritis is not known, but it is thought that genetic, immunologic, and environmental factors play a role. 

About 40% of people with psoriatic arthritis have family members with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. 

Environmental factors may include infection, stress, physical trauma, and other factors. 

How Is Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosed?

Psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed with a patient history, physical examination, and tests. These tests include: 

What Is the Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis?

There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but treatment can help relieve symptoms and prevent further joint damage. Treatment for psoriatic arthritis depends on the severity of the condition and how many joints are affected. 

For mild psoriatic arthritis, medications to treat pain and inflammation may be used such as:

Treatment for more severe cases of psoriatic arthritis may include: 

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 6/8/2021
References
https://www.psoriasis.org/

https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Psoriatic_Arthritis/default.asp

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/psoriatic-arthritis-beyond-the-basics

https://creakyjoints.org/

https://www.arthritis.org/