There is a link between high blood pressure and psoriasis
Research results showed that the more severe the psoriasis, the higher the blood pressure.
In a population-based study in the United Kingdom that is considered the first of its kind, a team led by Junko Takeshita, MD. PhD, found a significant and increasing likelihood of uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure) among patients with more severe psoriasis. This result was independent of other risk factors for poor blood pressure and balanced out the hypertension characteristics of alcohol consumption, smoking, diabetes, kidney and cardiovascular disease.
The hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140mm Hg or higher and a diastolic blood pressure of 90mm Hg or higher based on the blood pressure recorded closest in time to the psoriasis severity. The study used an electronic database of medical records of 1322 patients with psoriasis between the ages of 25 and 64 years and were compared to 11,977 patients without psoriasis – all patients had a diagnosis of hypertension.
What this means to the psoriatic
The study raised the question whether an improvement in hypertension affects the severity of psoriasis. For those of us with psoriasis we can raise our own two conclusions from this research:
- Monitor and manage our blood pressure closely
- Reduce hypertension through relaxation and slow breathing
How can we use this information to help with psoriasis?
Even a single session of mental relaxation or slow breathing can result in a temporary fall in blood pressure.
Both mental relaxation and slow breathing result in a fall in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and electromyographic activity with increase in peripheral skin temperature and skin conductance.
A study published in Complimentary Therapies in Medicine, (June 2006 Volume 14, Issue 2, 120–126) shows the benefits of slow breathing and mental relaxation. One hundred patients with hypertension either receiving antihypertensive drugs or unmedicated were selected randomly.
- Their blood pressure parameters were recorded during the resting state and then during mental relaxation. The tested patients performed slow breathing for 10 minutes, followed by a quiet period of 15 minutes.
- All parameters were recorded again after mental relaxation and slow breathing.
After the changes in the parameters were compared following the mental relaxation and slow breathing, the results give us psoriatics some clear steps about how we can manage psoriasis related hypertension:
- slow breathing caused a significantly higher fall in heart rate (p<0.05), respiratory rate (p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (p<0.05) and diastolic blood pressure (p<0.01).
- mental relaxation increased peripheral skin temperature (p<0.05) and a reduction in electromyographic activity (p<0.05)
The tested patients performed slow breathing for 10 minutes, followed by a quiet period of 15 minutes. We know their hypertension improved and therefore we can expect a similar result for ourselves.
By setting aside increments of 25 minutes throughout the day for ourselves for this slow breathing and quiet period routine, and also monitoring our blood pressure, we can reduce high blood pressure associated with psoriasis and give ourselves so many other benefits. Most importantly, were are so busy making skin that we deserve this time out!
Love and wellness
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(2):161-169. Effects of Psoriasis Severity on Hypertension Control
Complement Ther Med. 2006 Jun;14(2):120-6. Effects of mental relaxation and slow breathing in essential hypertension.