Friday, April 17, 2009

Make 'em laugh, doc!

We all know psoriatic arthritis is no laughing matter, but it appears that if we can find the funny side of our disease, we'll do better.

The Bio-Medicine website has a great article today about a research study showing that laughter can affect your disease course. Researchers took a group of diabetics, put them all on the same medication, but made only half of the diabetics watch a humorous video (of their choice) for a half an hour each day. The other half were not prescribed humor.

The folks who watched the funny videos:
had lower epinephrine and norepinephrine levels by the second month, suggesting lower stress levels. They had increased HDL (good) cholesterol. The laughter group also had lower levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-6 and hs-CRP levels, indicating lower levels of inflammation.
Crazy cool - laughter may reduce inflammation. Now I have to figure out what TV show makes me laugh for 30 minutes straight... finding one may be harder than giving myself that methotrexate shot!

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