In our Youtube series Ask the Doc, Dr. Rand was recently asked the question if performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) could help with psoriatic arthritis.
Q: I’m 32 and I have been diagnosed 6 years ago with psoriatic arthritis and was feeling really weak and full of pain in the beginning. Going to the gym was simply not an option anymore because of the pain. Thanks to proper medication methotrexate and piroxicam, I’m feeling great again and good enough to train. I hope to do a bodybuilding show where of course I have to take the necessary performance enhancing drugs. Will it affect my joints in a negative way and are there any types of PEDs that I definitely should avoid?
For some context, we should explain what psoriatic arthritis is and the performancing enhancing drug definition. Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints where tendons and ligaments connect to bone. It can cause psoriasis (plaques on the skin) and joint pain. About 30% of people with psoriasis are affected by psoriatic arthritis.
Performance enhancing drugs are defined as any substance taken in non-pharmacological doses used to improve any form of activity performance in humans. Examples of PEDs include anabolic steroids, designer steroids, Androstenedione, human growth hormone, and Erythropoietin.
Dr. Rand states that performance enhancing drugs “could help and hurt. Performance enhancing drugs could stabilize the joint by stiffening up the muscles around it or it could hurt the joint by decreasing mobility.”
When it comes to inflammation, Dr. Rand advises that “inflammation is not a simple process that everyone thinks it is. It’s not just one thing that causes it. There’s different interleukins and cytokines that can cause all kinds of issues.” Interleukins modulate growth, differentiation, and activation during inflammatory and immune responses. Cytokines are small proteins that are crucial in controlling the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells.
A More Natural Solution
Dr. Rand suggests the use of more natural substances like curcumin to help with inflammation and psoriatic arthritis pain management. “Curcumin which is a derivative of turmeric may not react immediately in an acute situation as well as piroxicam but you could use that too.” Dr. Rand suggests a curcumin dosage of 1 gram twice a day. Curcumin side effects can also be beneficial, as “it’s a polyphenol that can actually help prevent pancreatic cancer and can reduce inflammation.”
Dr. Rand is neither for or against the use of PEDs for psoriatic arthritis. He doesn’t think there’ll necessarily be negative effects but doesn’t think there will necessarily be a positive effect. It could be relatively inconsequential or not but there’s not going to be a direct effect on the joint.
Dr. Rand suggests looking for ways to reduce inflammation to help with psoriatic arthritis pain relief that aren’t going to come with nasty side effects that accompany some PEDs. “There are other natural substances out there that can help reduce inflammation so I would look into other natural inflammation fighters and do what you can to get stronger in the gym,” said Dr.Rand.
To watch the full video of Dr. Rand’s interview, check out our Youtube channel.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not to be substituted for the advice from a physician or health care professional. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, as well as prescribe medications. Most importantly, always talk to your doctor before making health decisions.