Some of the more well-known symptoms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects about 30% of people with the skin condition psoriasis, are swollen joints and body pain.

Being overweight can aggravate the disease and reduce your response to treatment. The number on the scale, on the other hand, is only one piece of the puzzle. Here's what you need to know about PsA and weight.

1. Medications work better at a healthy weight
It's not just about looking good at your next high school reunion. A few trials have shown that if people lose weight, their medications work much better and they can achieve a more profound state of disease remission. Excess fat cells, according to experts, promote inflammation in the body. Excess weight also puts more strain on your muscles and bones, potentially exacerbating symptoms.

2. The scale can’t tell you everything
Your scale reading is only one indicator of your overall health. Instead of concentrating on your weight, focus on living a healthy lifestyle. Keep your joints moving and your muscles strong by exercising. Working out can also reduce the risk of PsA-related depression and cardiovascular disease. According to research, as little as 20 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking on a treadmill, can have anti-inflammatory effects.

3. Strong muscles can keep your joints healthy
One number to consider: how many reps of strength exercises you complete each week. The stronger your muscles are, the less wear and tear your joints will experience. By relieving pressure on your joints, you'll be able to move more comfortably and safely. Not sure where to start in the gym? Check out our guide to the dos and don'ts of PsA exercise.

4. A healthy weight may reduce your pain
Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do when your joints are stiff and swollen. This sets in motion a vicious cycle in which you become more sedentary, lose muscle mass, gain weight, and feel even worse. Avoiding this downward spiral is critical to your overall health. Your goal is to keep pain under control, which means sticking to your treatment plan and staying fit.

5. Staying fit can decrease your risk of developing Diabetes
Did you know that having psoriatic arthritis increases your risk of diabetes by 50%? Inflammation in your body may be one cause, but lifestyle factors such as poor diet and inactivity may also play a role. Consider it another nudge to stay active, or consult your doctor if the pain is preventing you from exercising.

6. A healthy diet is essential
The same inflammation that wreaks havoc on your skin and joints and raises your risk of diabetes may also harm your heart. Some proteins associated with inflammation may have an effect on the fatty deposits known as plaque that can form inside blood vessels. This causes the vessels to narrow, requiring your heart to work harder to move blood. When the plaque breaks off, it can cause a clot, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Regular exercise, as well as a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, can help lower the risk.

7. Don’t ignore gastrointestinal problems
People with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have similar genetic changes, also known as mutations, to those with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Certain PsA medications can either cause or worsen IBD. That is why it is critical to consult your doctor if you experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain or bloody stool.

8. Your weight can affect your mental health
Living with a chronic illness inevitably comes with some bad days. But feeling down occasionally is different from depression, a serious illness that negatively affects the way you feel, think, and act for ongoing periods of time. Patients with PsA are twice as likely to be depressed as those with psoriasis alone. And being overweight is also correlated with feelings of depression. If you can’t lose weight on your own, visit a weight loss clinic to fix the problem.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.