psoriatic arthritis

Behind the Pain

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects both the skin and joints. It occurs in some people who have psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches. Understanding this condition is crucial for managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Additionally, certain dietary choices, particularly beverages, can impact arthritis symptoms. Here’s a closer look at psoriatic arthritis and a list of drinks to avoid to help manage this condition.

Drinks to Avoid for Arthritis

Certain drinks can exacerbate inflammation and worsen arthritis symptoms. Here’s a list of beverages to avoid if you have psoriatic arthritis:

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol can increase inflammation and interfere with medications used to treat arthritis.

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Drinks like sodas and sweetened teas can contribute to inflammation and weight gain, putting extra stress on joints.

Energy Drinks

These are often high in sugar and caffeine, which can lead to increased inflammation and negatively affect sleep.

Processed Fruit Juices

Many fruit juices contain added sugars, which can increase inflammation. Opt for whole fruits instead.

Artificially Flavored Drinks

Beverages with artificial sweeteners and flavors can trigger inflammatory responses in some people.

Diet Sodas

Although low in calories, diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that can potentially increase inflammation.

Certain Herbal Teas

Some herbal teas may contain ingredients that can interact with medications or exacerbate symptoms. It’s best to consult with a healthcare provider before consuming them.

Excessive Caffeinated Beverages

While moderate caffeine consumption is generally fine, excessive intake can lead to dehydration and increased inflammation.

Drinks with High Fructose Corn Syrup

These can contribute to inflammation and should be avoided.

Sports Drinks with Artificial Colors and Preservatives

These additives can trigger inflammatory responses and are best avoided.

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This results in inflammation that can cause joint pain, stiffness and swelling. The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental and immune system factors.

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Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can vary from person to person but often include:

  • Joint pain and swelling: Typically affects the fingers, toes and lower back.
  • Stiffness: Especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
  • Red, scaly skin patches: Commonly found on the elbows, knees and scalp.
  • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or weak.
  • Nail changes: Such as pitting or separation from the nail bed.
  • Reduced range of motion: Difficulty moving joints freely.
  • Eye inflammation: Redness and pain in the eyes.

Managing Psoriatic Arthritis

While there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, various treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These include medications, physical therapy and lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet and staying active.

Treatment Options

Treating arthritis involves a combination of approaches tailored to the type and severity of the condition. Here are some common treatments for arthritis:


Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Help reduce pain and inflammation (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen).


Pain relievers that do not have an anti-inflammatory effect (e.g., acetaminophen).


Reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system (e.g., prednisone).

Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)

Slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and protect joints and other tissues (e.g., methotrexate).

Biologic Response Modifiers

Target specific parts of the immune system to reduce inflammation (e.g., TNF inhibitors like adalimumab).

Topical Agents

Creams, gels and patches that can be applied directly to the skin over the affected joint.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

Exercises to improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints.

Occupational Therapy

Techniques to make daily activities easier and advice on assistive devices.

Psoriatic Arthritis Unveiled

Understanding psoriatic arthritis and its symptoms is essential for effective management. Along with medical treatments and physical therapy, lifestyle changes, particularly in diet, can play a significant role in reducing symptoms. Avoiding certain drinks that contribute to inflammation can help manage psoriatic arthritis more effectively. If you or someone you know is struggling with this condition, consult with a healthcare provider to create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to individual needs.