Around 10% of the population of the United States suffers from diabetes, with around 90-95% of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. While there are many contributing factors that lead to the development of the disease, it isn’t something to take lightly. After all, you cannot reverse diabetes with modern medicine and a diagnosis of diabetes automatically means your medical expenses are 2.3 times higher than people without the disease.
There are many characteristics that put you at greater risk of developing diabetes including being overweight, smoking, ingesting an excessive amount of caffeine, having blood pressure issues or depression. It can also be hereditary.
But now, having this skin condition can put you at a higher risk for diabetes. Keep reading to learn more, below.
Psoriasis can put you at higher risk for diabetes
Psoriasis, which is already linked to anxiety‚ could indicate a higher probability of diabetes diagnosis, or be a precursor to the disease. The skin disorder — which results in skin cells replenishing at a rate much higher than it should, resulting in uncomfortable, discolored scales and patches on the skin — affects about 7.5 million people in the United States. The average sufferer is between the ages of 45 and 64.
According to recent research regarding a link between psoriasis and diabetes, there is, consistently, a 21% or higher risk for patients diagnosed with psoriasis to develop type 2 diabetes. Based on the information provided, in fact, it seems that the more severe psoriasis on your body, the more likely your chances to develop type 2 diabetes.
Study participants who had only 2% of their body covered in psoriasis patches were deemed 21% more likely to develop diabetes, while those who had 20% coverage were estimated to have an 84% higher risk of developing it.
Explains study author Joel M. Gelfand, MD: “The type of inflammation seen in psoriasis is known to promote insulin resistance, and psoriasis and diabetes share similar genetic mutations suggesting a biological basis for the connection between the two conditions we found in our study.”
For the evaluation, researchers collected information from over 8,120 adults with psoriasis and 76,600 similar test subjects without the skin condition over the course of 4 years. The information was then analyzed in comparison.
What can you do to help yourself?
The good news? Diabetic research over the last two decades has increased our awareness and knowledge around the topic. While it isn’t known to be reversible, modern science has allowed for methods to decrease the severity of type 2 diabetes over time. Developing healthy habits can help to combat your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other serious chronic health issues.
- Develop healthy eating habits. While maintaining a well-rounded diet that works with your body’s particular chemistry might not seem like an easy solution, it is much easier to develop healthy dietary habits without the looming risk of diagnosed diabetes dramatically affecting your body’s ability to function. Consuming largely plant-based fats and proteins, as well as low glycemic carbohydrates, is beneficial for preventing diabetes and reversing related symptoms.
- Eat within a certain window of time. While intermittent fasting isn’t a proven health solution, research overarchingly supports the fact that it is beneficial to limit your eating times. Keeping your meals inside a limited 10-hour window during your day — which is, admittedly, a large amount of time — can help with metabolic function, reducing your chances of becoming obese and developing diabetes.
- Sleep well. Not getting the recommended amount of restorative sleep is actually linked to blood sugar level issues, particularly higher blood sugar than normal. Maintaining a regulated sleep schedule, and making sure to reduce noise pollution and other distractions for your time asleep, can dramatically reduce your chances of developing diabetes. Sleep is also known to reduce stress and tension that can help cause psoriasis flare-ups.
Creams and ointments can help to reduce inflammation and pain experienced with psoriasis. Keeping your skin hydrated is key, so treating it in cold weather conditions, and perhaps investing in a humidifier, are great options.
As always, working closely with your medical practitioner can help you identify any precursors or symptoms you may have to chronic disease, as well as different methods of treatment to consider.