Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an autoimmune condition that causes joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Often it occurs in people with psoriasis, an inflammatory autoimmune condition that affects the skin. Many people with PsA have high levels of cytokines, which are small proteins that play a role in immunity and inflammation.

Lowering cytokine levels can help enhance immunity and reduce inflammation, which may slow the progression of PsA. You can do this by taking cytokine inhibitor medications and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Read on to learn more about cytokines and their role in inflammation and psoriatic arthritis.

Cytokines are small signaling proteins that influence blood cell growth and cells related to immunity and inflammation. Your immune cells release cytokines, which act as inflammatory messengers and stimulate the immune system to fight diseases and infections. They can relay messages that:

  • Help to repair damaged tissues.
  • healthy cells to live longer
  • destroy abnormal cells

The overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines may lead to a cytokine storm, which is an exaggerated immune response that causes inflammation and overactive immune cells. Cytokine storms can have several causes, including immunotherapy, infections, and There are conditions that are related to the autoimmune conditions..

Inflammation helps your body fight off infections. It is important to remember that releasing too many inflammatory cytokines or continuing the inflammatory response after the healing process is complete can harm your health.

Inflammation can cause the immune system to attack itself, destroying healthy cells and tissue. This could lead to symptoms or conditions.

People with chronic inflammatory There are conditions that are related to the autoimmune conditions. such as rheumatoid arthritis and PsA often have high levels of inflammatory cytokines.

According to research from 2017, cytokine imbalances may play a role in causing psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, which are both inflammatory There are conditions that are related to the autoimmune conditions.. These findings may help scientists learn more about the genetic similarities of these two conditions and develop treatments for both.

Research has also shown that cytokines may play a part in the four “pathologic events” (or causes) in psoriatic disease, which are:

  • Joint erosion.
  • Pannus are formed in the joint.
  • New bone growth.
  • There is a plaque on the skin.

Living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA)

Living with PsA can be challenging. If you want to find psoriatic arthritis support, you may want to connect to a support group or check out some mental health resources. Ask your doctor about support groups or other resources near you.

The National Psoriasis Foundation provides PsA information and connects you to an online community.

The Arthritis Foundation also provides Live Yes! Connect Groups, which allow you to join in-person and online groups.

Since PsA is linked to high levels of inflammatory cytokines, lowering them may help to alleviate symptoms. Some medications may target or block specific cytokines to treat the condition.

According to 2018 research, some biologic and small-molecular drugs that target particular cytokines and signaling pathways may help delay disease development and enhance the quality of life in people with PsA.

More than 40 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis do not respond to these treatments.

Other research from 2021 points to the effectiveness of cytokine inhibitors to treat PsA. These medications block specific cytokine pathways linked to autoimmune inflammation, which may help reduce gut, skin, and joint inflammation.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a good diet can help you lower cytokines naturally.

It’s important to try to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week and get lots of quality sleep and rest. Engaging in calming activities like having a massage, spending time in nature, and practicing deep breathing can also be beneficial.

Following a nutrient-rich, balanced diet can help reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Here are some steps you can take to maximize your dietary benefits:

  • Include plenty of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Some plant-based foods contain polyphenols, which may help prevent the release of inflammatory cytokines.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including grass-fed beef, cold-water fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
  • Drink beverages that support your health such as green tea, which contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a flavonoid that may help to prevent inflammation and lower cytokine production.
  • Include anti-inflammatory herbs like ginger, turmeric, and garlic.

Reduce foods that can promote inflammation.

Always talk with your doctor about changes to your diet

Before making changes to your diet, make sure that you talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional to make sure that the changes are safe and compatible with your current treatment plan.

Your doctor can also make additional suggestions for your unique situation or recommend a dietitian or nutritionist to help.

The immune response and inflammation are caused by small chemical messengers called cytokines.

High levels of inflammatory cytokines are often linked to There are conditions that are related to the autoimmune conditions., including PsA, which causes joint pain, swelling, and inflammation.

Researchers are learning more about drugs that block the production of inflammatory cytokines, a process that may help alleviate symptoms of PsA and other conditions.

You can reduce your cytokine levels by eating a diet that supports your healthy, reducing stress, and exercising regularly.