Psoriasis and CKD. These Two Things Go Together?

I have psoriasis.  There, I’ve said (written it).  I’m now out of the psoriasis closet.  Actually, it’s so latent that no one would know if I hadn’t just announced it – except for the thickening of one toenail – but there is a study that concerns me.

Last August, Dr. Joel M. Gelfand, Associate Professor (hey!  That was my former career.) of Dermatology and Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and his colleagues found that “…psoriasis was associated with an increased risk for nine diseases.”  One of them is Chronic Kidney Disease.  You can read the entire medpage TODAY article at

For those of you who weren’t sure, psoriasis is “a chronic (long-lasting) disease of the immune system. While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, scientists believe the immune system mistakenly activates a reaction in the skin cells, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells,” according to at

There are seven types of psoriasis.  The one you are probably familiar with – if you are familiar with any – is plaque psoriasis. WebMD at tells us,

“About eight in 10 people with psoriasis have this type. It is also sometimes known as psoriasis vulgaris. Plaque psoriasis causes raised, inflamed, red skin covered by silvery white scales. These may also itch or burn. Plaque psoriasis can appear anywhere on your body….”

My father had severe plaque psoriasis and I remember him asking me what electrolytes were (in 1988, I didn’t even know such a thing existed) just before he died of pancreatic cancer.  Hmmm, the pancreas is right near the kidneys – and that question must have referred to something his doctor told him.

The word psoriasis is from the Greek psora which, appropriately enough, means itch.  The outward manifestations are just that.  I know a fairly young man with a moderate case of the disease who feels his biggest problem is keeping himself from scratching these scaly patches.

sad faceI also remember my father taking treatments of ultraviolet light while his lesions were covered with a tar substance.  This was almost 30 years ago.  The current treatment is still timed exposure to ultraviolet light, but that’s only if topical treatment is not effective and before medication to ingest is prescribed.  I’m being a bit vague here since each of the seven types requires a different treatment and each of those treatments varies based upon the severity of the disease the specific patient is suffering.

So much for background material.  Now, about psoriasis and CKD.  Researchers have seen this connection for some time, but it was never made as clear as it was in Dr. Gelfand et al’s massive study which involved hundreds of thousands of all age adult patient records and questionnaires of those with mild and severe psoriasis, and controls (those without any psoriasis).  I do want to make sure you understand this has nothing to do with nephrotoxicity – drugs harming the kidneys – since some psoriasis sufferers do take drugs as part of their treatment.

What that means for us as CKD sufferers is that doctors now know they need to screen psoriasis patients for CKD, although it seems to be only those patients with over 3% of their bodies affected by psoriasis who have doubled their risk of CKD. With 60% of the population at risk for CKD, it could be that percentage may change once these routine CKD screenings for psoriasis are in place, especially since psoriasis is also so common among every ethnic group.  This, of course, also includes those populations we know are at high risk for CKD.

Wow!  Another way to save lives.  Maybe we can lower that 50% of CKD sufferers who don’t know they have it instead of allowing that percentage to rise.  I know it’s logical to think that more people who are screened will mean more people who have CKD (and that’s true), but these will be people who KNOW about their disease.kidney-book-cover

In other news, The Arizona Burma Ethnic Based Community Organization held their Technical Assistance Workshop Training Graduation this past Saturday.  While we couldn’t be there due to SlowItDown’s CKD education trainer coordinator’s vacation (having fun in Hawaii, Annette?) and my Landmark weekend (talk about a mind blower), we wish all the grads the very best.  We’re looking forward to being with the community for CKD education in the very near future.

Talking about SlowItDown, I wanted to make sure you understand it’s free and available to any community that wants CKD education.  All our educators are trained and, as a bonus, I come along for the ride!

Book sales are lagging a bit in the UK.  Wonder what that’s all about. I am considering updating and revising IF my family’s medical issues will just stop rushing at us in groups so I can have the time to learn the technology to do so.

GmM8B2ylPUP0lIuKR9OqrzOqFEOtJtRaf2Rpt6ncsBkDon’t be surprised if you find next week’s blog about foot surgery since that’s what Bear is having on Thursday and I usually take my inspiration from what’s happening in my life.  I promised him he’d be able to dance afterward.  Since he couldn’t dance before, he’s hoping that’s not true.  Can you just picture Bear at Sustainable Blue’s dance lesson?  Sorry, Abby, don’t think it’s going to happen.

Quite a few of you have asked what I mean when I say “Landmark is seen as the place to acquire the tools and answers for people being able to get what they want in life.”  Don’t worry about our not having had the time for that conversation yet.  I decided to host an introduction to Landmark on 12/7 at the Landmark center in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Dec. 7th, a Saturday, from 1 to 4. What do you have to do to attend?  Contact me via the blog or  I’ll be sure to have a seat reserved for you.

Apologies for the extreme lack of media this week.  Apparently my computer feels neglected with all the running around I’ve been doing this week and will not function as usual until she’s been slavered with love … or a malware scan in this case.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Psoriasis and CKD. These Two Things Go Together? ( […]

    • Thank you for the pingback, World Psoriasis Day!

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