5 Celebrities Share How They Manage Psoriatic Arthritis
Hearing others’ stories and what they do to manage their psoriatic arthritis can bring inspiration and hope, whether it’s someone you encounter in your day-to-day life or a big-name celebrity. Otherwise, it’s easy to feel alone or overwhelmed by your condition.
“Dealing with psoriatic arthritis-related joint pain is difficult,” says Deeba Minhas, M.D., a rheumatologist practicing in Brighton, Michigan. “When you add in adjusting your lifestyle to prevent the comorbidities frequently associated with psoriatic arthritis, such as depression, cardiac disease, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome, it can feel overwhelming.”
As many as 30 percent of people with psoriasis will also develop psoriatic arthritis, sometimes years or even decades later. In fact there are more than 1.5 million Americans living with psoriatic arthritis. And some of them are regularly in the spotlight.
Famous People with Psoriatic Arthritis
Luckily, some high-profile Americans have been open and vocal about their experiences with the condition, which has helped raise awareness and reduce stigma. Here are five stars who have revealed they have psoriatic arthritis—and a glimpse into how each of them manages the condition.
“Psoriatic arthritis is genuine enough to get your attention,” said Emmy winner Ted Danson at a recent press event, according to Grand magazine. “The difference between feeling victimized and being a victim is when you turn around and say, ‘I’m going to take care of myself. I feel empowered. I’m going to take care of it.’”
The star of The Good Place and Cheers revealed he has psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory condition that can cause joint pain and stiffness, as well as fatigue and nail problems. In the past, Danson has joked in interviews about having achy joints, but it wasn’t until 2020 that he first spoke specifically about living with psoriatic arthritis.
The now 73-year-old TV actor told Everyday Health that the condition primarily affects his hip and back and that he manages his pain through therapy and meditation. “If I’m in a period of consistency,” he said, “[the effects of meditation] are more evident. And even when I’m inconsistent, it’s still beneficial.”
World-famous golfer and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010. Just 40 years old at the time, Mickelson reportedly had a sudden onset of joint pain that left him unable to walk—and searching for answers. A swift diagnosis by a rheumatologist revealed the problem, but Mickelson was left with figuring out how to manage his condition so that he could continue his career.
The golf star began treatment with medication and, more than a decade later, in 2021, went on to become the oldest major championship winner ever when he captured the 103rd PGA Championship.
Mickelson credits treatment, along with a healthier lifestyle, for feeling more energized in recent years.
“I wasn’t educated,” he told Golf magazine. “I either wasn’t aware or didn’t want to know the things I was putting in my body, whether it was diet soda and how toxic that is, or whether it was the amount of sugar and how much inflammation it causes, or whether it was the quantity; all of those things, I just kind of shut my eyes to.”
Kim Kardashian West
After suspecting she had psoriasis like her mom, Kris Jenner, Kardashian West discovered she also suffered from a comorbidity of the disease that wasn’t visible to the camera lens: psoriatic arthritis.
In a personal essay penned on her sister Kourtney’s website, Poosh, the reality TV star explained that she learned she had the condition at age 25, after one particularly frightening sleepless night, in which she suddenly experienced pain and weakness in her hands.
“I was freaking out—I couldn’t even pick up a toothbrush, my hands hurt so badly,” she writes. “As the day went on, I got a bit more movement in my hands, but they really hurt from the inside—I felt it in my bones. Everyone assumed it was just [soreness from] my workout, but I knew this felt different.”
Initially misdiagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the mother of four had more testing done and found out she did indeed have psoriatic arthritis.
“I live a healthy life and try to eat as plant-based as possible and drink sea moss smoothies,” she writes. “With all the stress in life, I try to make sure I take time for myself so that I am centered and keep my stress to a minimum.”
Stacy London is perhaps best known for giving fashion advice in the long-running TLC series What Not to Wear and creating products for women who are going through menopause with her company State Of Menopause. She is also living with psoriatic arthritis. In fact, it was during her last season of WNTW that London learned she had the joint condition, after knowing for decades she has psoriasis, she told Parade magazine.
The 52-year old likened the condition to feeling like you’re a “tin man and you need oil” in the same interview. She added that she manages her painful symptoms through diet, gentler workouts, and more self-care through meditation and yoga. She’s also served as an advocate for others battling the autoimmune disease by working with the National Psoriasis Foundation.
While juggling his successful film and TV career, podcast, and family life with his wife, actress Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard is also working to manage his psoriatic arthritis through healthy lifestyle habits. He openly shared his journey with fans and listeners of his popular podcast, Armchair Expert. And he’s jokingly referred to it as a “very sexy disease” on the Laughing with a Leaky Gut podcast.
Shepard has said he avoids eggs, dairy, and gluten, as they seem to aggravate his condition. “I've known I had psoriatic arthritis for probably eight years, and once I got that diagnosis, I really started focusing on what I was eating," Shepard shared on the website Eat This, Not That! But he says avoiding his food triggers and focusing on his mental health helps him keep his symptoms at bay.
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