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Atlantic Gastroenterology

Doctor in Brooklyn, NY, discusses the link between problems with liver health and psoriasis in patients

Doctor in Brooklyn, NY, discusses the link between problems with liver health and psoriasis in patients

The function of your liver is incredibly complex, so it may come as no surprise that your liver can play a role in a wide array of diseases. Throughout history, psoriasis has been looked at and treated as strictly a skin problem. However, recent research now shows a connection between psoriasis and more complicated causes, including liver health. It is one topic that Dr. Shapsis and the team at Atlantic Gastroenterology have focused on because it is now being said that psoriasis may have a strong link to liver damage, and addressing liver damage can effectively treat psoriasis.

What is psoriasis?

A chronic inflammatory disease, psoriasis is a skin disorder that results in skin cells that multiply up to 10 times faster than skin cells that do not suffer from this disorder. This excess buildup in skin cells results in skin covered in bumpy red skin patches covered with white scales. Psoriasis can grow anywhere on the body but is most commonly seen on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be transferred from person to person, although it can occur within members of the same family. Psoriasis typically develops in early adulthood and will usually only affect a few areas of the body. However, it is not unheard of (in severe cases) to cover large parts as well.

The link between psoriasis and liver disease

Studies conducted recently have shown that psoriasis is not merely a condition of the skin. But there are links between the development of psoriasis and other comorbid conditions, including obesity and metabolic syndrome (both of which are risk factors for the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).

Studies conducted over the last decade have shown that the development of psoriasis can be linked to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The spectrum of NAFLD includes conditions ranging from simple fatty liver (which is considered benign) to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. NASH, unlike NAFLD, can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and even end-stage liver disease. Cases of psoriasis, which are considered moderate or severe, have shown a high prevalence of this chronic liver disease. Hypothetically it has been supposed that components of metabolic syndrome could likely be the basis for the pathogenic development and manifestation of NAFLD and psoriasis.

The benefit of a healthy diet

Further studies that have been conducted indicate that psoriasis patients could benefit from a healthy diet supplemented with eicosatetraenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. Recommendations for a diet rich in the consumption of cold-water fish, including salmon, herring, and mackerel, as well as extra virgin olive oil, vegetable, fruits, nuts, and whole grains, can show great benefit to those individuals who have psoriasis.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the link between psoriasis and liver disease, please reach out to Dr. Shapsis and the team at Atlantic Gastroenterology in Brooklyn, NY today at 718 521-2840.

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