Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by it’s inflammation and it’s dry, itchy plaques or patches of skin. We see these plaques form when their is an excessive amount of skin cells built up on it’s surface. Often times it can be scaly and produce silver colored flakes. It affects roughly, 7.5 million Americans annually and there is no known definite cause or cure; however, many people have experienced a relief with their symptoms by making these dietary changes:
Gluten Free Diet
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Over the years you may have noticed a boom of products advertising that they are gluten free. It is likely, you may know someone who has adapted this style of eating. While gluten has benefits to eating a well balanced diet, there are many people that have a gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance is typically associated with celiac disease; however, there is a reported 25% of psoriasis sufferers that have experienced improvement by eliminating gluten from their diets.
Before making such a dramatic change in your diet, it is best to consult with your physician about the benefits you may experience from going gluten free. Psoriasis sufferers that have documented relief with their symptoms by eliminating it are typically dealing with cases of greater severity. Gluten is an irritant to your skin when applied topically. Beware of skin products that contain gluten as an active ingredient especially if you are living with eczema or psoriasis.
Another diet that has been attributed with alleviating symptoms is an anti-inflammatory diet. One food group that tends to cause inflammation is dairy. By eliminating high fat dairy products and replacing them with lower fat choices, you are likely to experience an improvement with your condition. It makes sense that by adhering to a diet that focuses on consuming anti-inflammatory foods you would see a change with your flare ups, as one of the characteristics associated with this skin disease is, inflammation.
Ensuring that you are eating your omega-3 fatty acids will likely help you to control your disorder. Omega-3 acids are typically found in fatty fishes including: mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna, herring and lake trout. It is best to consume at least two servings per week. If fish is not your forte, speak with your physician about implementing a fish oil supplement. Omega-3’s help to reduce inflammation.
While neither of these diets are acknowledged as being the definitive, Psoriasis Diet, they both have delivered results for more moderate to severe cases. Another aspect of diet that has been linked to worsening psoriasis is being overweight. In fact, being substantially overweight or obese can cause your flare ups to become more frequent and severe. It is important to exercise and make healthy diet choices at meal time. Be sure to take an immediate lukewarm shower after your work out, as sweat can trigger psoriasis flares to worsen.
As with any major changes you make to your diet, it is best to consult with your physician first. This will help you to explore all your options and make the best decisions based off your medical history and other factors that have relevance to achieving the results you are looking for. If you have any questions about psoriasis or either of these diets please visit our Community Forum and I will respond to them as quickly as possible.