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Having one chronic illness is difficult enough, let alone numerous. But that is exactly what many patients with hidradenitis suppurativa face. Learn about the most prevalent conditions associated with HS.
Anyone who has hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) understands how difficult the disease is, both physically and mentally. When you add another chronic condition to the mix, managing your symptoms and caring for your general health can seem impossible. And this is exactly what many HS patients must cope with because hidradenitis suppurativa is frequently accompanied by other physical and mental health disorders known as comorbidities. Furthermore, according to recent research published in Dermatology and Therapy, when HS advances from mild to more severe types, the burden of comorbidities increases dramatically.
It’s terrifying news, but knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your health and getting the finest care available. Which medical issues are frequently associated with HS? They come into five categories:
- Cardiovascular and associated disorders – Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.
- Inflammatory diseases – Crohn’s disease, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Hormonal diseases. – Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid abnormalities.
- Skin problems – Psoriasis, acne, dissecting cellulitis of the scalp (a rare ailment characterized by pus-filled lesions), pilonidal cysts (which form at the tailbone and include hair and skin debris), and pyoderma gangrenosum (which produces painful ulcers on the skin).
- Psychological illnesses – Depression, anxiety, poor sexual health, and social isolation.
According to research, depending on the diagnosis or condition, these comorbidities are two to twelve times more likely in people with HS than in their HS-free contemporaries. Notably, pilonidal cysts are 35 times more common in patients with severe HS than in people without HS.
Why Are There So Many Comorbidities in HS?
Some of the links between situations make intuitive sense. Because HS is a follicular occlusion disorder, which means it involves inflammation of the skin’s hair follicles, it’s not surprising that acne or pilonidal cysts may accompany it. These, too, arise when blockages build in various areas of the skin. Similarly, because HS may be such a painful, incapacitating, and humiliating condition, psychological side effects like anxiety and sadness are acceptable. It’s difficult.
The cardiovascular and hormonal comorbidities, on the other hand, are more perplexing. “Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory disease that goes beyond the skin—there’s systemic inflammation as well,” says Dr Adil, Lead Ayurveda Skin Specialist, EliteAyurveda. “Inflammation is a driver for some of these other conditions.” This is especially true for heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Furthermore, HS appears to have a hormonal component. “The hair follicle is very sensitive to the sex hormone androgen,” says Dr Adil. (Androgen production begins throughout puberty and is the hormone responsible for hair growth on the genitals and under the arms.) Women with PCOS, a disorder characterized by numerous ovarian cysts and dysfunction, also have higher-than-normal testosterone levels.
Monthly hormonal variations may also be at work. “A lot of my patients say their HS flares up with their periods,” Dr Adil observes. (Numerous research have looked into the exact involvement of androgens and estrogen in HS, but the results have been mixed.)
To make matters worse, it’s not uncommon for people with HS to have more than one comorbid condition. A woman with HS, for example, may also have PCOS and metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, low HDL (the “good”) cholesterol, high triglycerides, and excess abdominal fat. These conditions frequently coexist and increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. A lady with HS may additionally have arthritis and depression, while a guy with HS may also have hypertension and inflammatory bowel disease.
While HS is more common in women, certain related illnesses like acne, type 2 diabetes, and Crohn’s disease are more likely in men with HS, according to Dr Adil. Indeed, according to a study published in the Journal of Academy of Dermatology, while the overall prevalence of type 2 diabetes was 24.8% among patients with HS, compared to 15.6% among patients without HS, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes was somewhat higher (28.2%) among men with HS.
HS: Taking Care of Everyone
The takeaway message: “It’s important to recognise that skin inflammation symptoms, such as those from HS, are what bring people into the doctor’s office, but that other inflammatory conditions could be going on in the background,” says Dr Adil.
Obviously, co-occurring illnesses must be detected and treated as soon as possible, before they cause permanent damage or consequences. “With some of these comorbidities, we have medicines that can treat all of the conditions by looking at the root cause of the conditions,” Dr Adil explains.
If you have HS, you are aware of how difficult it may be to obtain a diagnosis for this frequently misdiagnosed skin condition. So, if you’re finally visiting a dermatologist that understands HS, make sure to request screening for these common HS comorbidities as well. You can collaborate to create a treatment plan, which may entail assembling a team of additional specialists to assist you in managing both your physical and mental health.
At EliteAyurveda, a multispeciality clinic – we have a complete panel of Ayurveda doctors specializing and with expertise in various autoimmune, cardiology, neurological, etc. Connect with us to know more.
Our Outlook –
According to Ayurveda, hidradenitis suppurativa is a cause of Kapha and Pitta dosha. When the digestive fire (Agni), or Pitta, is out of balance, the Kapha Dosha becomes vitiated, which slows down metabolism. Due to the disruption of fat molecules, they start to build up in muscles and impede bodily passageways, causing painful, swollen sores in the groin, buttocks, thighs, and armpits.
In Ayurveda, hidradenitis suppurativa Treatment is to restore the body’s natural equilibrium by detoxifying it with potent herbal therapies.
The treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa at Elite Ayurveda comprises balancing the Kapha and Pitta doshas, as well as providing harmony to the metabolism. The treatment comprises body detoxification, internal drugs to balance doshas, and external applications to heal scars.
The treatment involves combinations of herbs created based on individual Prakruti and Vikruti analysis. Visit our website to know more
Connect with us to get our patient testimonials and also to speak with our patients directly about their experience in getting their disease treated by us and by Ayurveda as a whole.
Medically reviewed by Dr Adil Moulanchikkal, Lead Ayurveda Specialist at EliteAyurveda Clinics. With over 15 years of experience in treating Neurological, Skin & Autoimmune Diseases.
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