If you have PsA or psoriasis, you may be at greater risk for several other chronic conditions like gastrointestinal diseases.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints. It typically occurs in people who have skin psoriasis, but it’s possible to have PsA without skin involvement.
Some treatments for PsA like antitumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) medications may lead to liver diseases like autoimmune hepatitis, but this is rare.
Treatments for PsA often overlap with treatments for bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Psoriatic arthritis doesn’t directly cause bowel problems. But there are some bowel conditions that you’re more likely to have if you also have PsA.
While PsA is most closely linked to IBD, psoriasis is associated with a greater number of bowel conditions. If you have PsA and psoriasis, these might affect you.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)
Research shows that IBD and psoriatic disease have a close association. A
The 2022 analysis authors concluded IBD may cause psoriatic disease, but not the other way around. Crohn’s disease, in particular, may cause psoriasis or PsA, according to the authors.
There’s not yet enough research to support a link between PsA and celiac disease, although some studies show celiac disease and psoriasis may be connected.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
A 2017 cohort study found that people with psoriasis or PsA were more likely to have a new diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This risk went up if people were taking systemic therapy, such as a disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like methotrexate.
Living with PsA can come with a number of complications besides bowel conditions such as:
- cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke)
- type 2 diabetes
- nonmelanoma skin cancer
- eye inflammation (uveitis)
- arthritis mutilans
A PsA treatment plan may help you manage the condition itself and minimize risk for these other conditions.
Some of the same drugs treat both bowel conditions and PsA. There are also additional treatments for each.
Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors
These small molecule therapies are a relatively new treatment. They
JAK inhibitors may be particularly effective for people with IBD who
Biologic drugs target specific cells or proteins that are part of the immune system. Many of the same biologics are prescribed for IBD and PsA, such as infliximab and adalimumab. Some biologics are specific to IBD, such as vedolizumab, which prevents inflammation by stopping white blood cells from going into the gut.
Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medications. They’re used to treat flare-ups in both IBD and PsA, but in different forms. If you have swollen joints from PsA, your doctor may inject steroids into the joints to reduce inflammation and pain. For IBD, your doctor may
Other treatments for PsA
You can help manage PsA with other treatments including:
- physical therapy
- massage therapy
- occupational therapy
- splints and braces to support joints
- exercise to maintain mobility
- surgery to repair damaged joints
You may use a variety of PsA treatments to reduce symptoms and keep flare-ups under control.
Other treatments for gastrointestinal conditions caused by PsA
Treatments for gastrointestinal conditions depend on what condition you have.
If you have psoriasis or PsA, the National Psoriasis Foundation recommends seeing a doctor regularly to screen for other conditions like IBD. Early detection may make treatment easier and more effective.
Psoriatic arthritis doesn’t directly cause bowel problems, but having PsA may put you at great risk for bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Seeing a doctor for regular screening can help identify these other conditions early.