Treating psoriasis with the right diet
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterised by lesions of red, scaly and itchy patches of skin. Psoriasis is one of the most common chronic skin diseases, affecting about 2% of the general population.
Normal skin cells have a 28-day cycle before being shed, while psoriatic skin can complete this process in just 3 or 4 days, resulting in an enormous build-up of inadequately matured skin. Psoriasis can affect virtually the whole body, although the most commonly affected areas are the scalp, elbows, nails and knees.
Although some people are genetically predisposed to psoriasis, many environmental factors are proven to trigger the actual clinical signs of the disease, with some studies revealing that stress and poor diet can trigger psoriasis.
Patients with psoriasis often have a poor diet and can suffer from:
? Being overweight
? High blood pressure
? Poor liver and kidney function
? Poor digestive system
? Low immunity
It is therefore advisable to take a long-term approach to relieve symptoms of psoriasis through dietary and environmental changes.
Foods to eat to help treat psoriasis
? Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, as these contain omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce itching and scaling.
? Beta-carotene, found in trout, tuna, carrots, mangoes, green leafy vegetables and apricots. The body turns b-carotene into vitamin A, an essential vitamin for healthy skin.
? Flax seeds are a plant source of omega-3 that can help to reduce inflammation.
? Brazil nuts; a good source of selenium.
? Folic acid, found in green leafy vegetables, breads, cereals, yeast extracts and supplements. Psoriasis patients are shown to have low folic acid levels.
? Shellfish and wholegrains are good sources of zinc, which is essential for the immune system and skin.
? Dietary fibre to help improve digestion and eliminate accumulated toxins in the body.
? Gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye, has been shown to improve skin lesions in some psoriasis patients.
Foods to avoid (or limit) to help treat psoriasis
? Meat and dairy products contain arachidonic acid, a fatty acid that can aggravate inflammation in psoriasis, although red meat and dairy can be eaten in moderation for protein and calcium.
? Opt for a low fat diet and swap animal fat for vegetable fat when cooking.
? Alcohol will dehydrate the body easily, causing more skin irritation and exacerbate symptoms of psoriasis.
? Spices; some psoriasis sufferers may display allergic symptoms to cumin, paprika, chilli, mustard, curry, pepper and cloves.
? Citrus fruits and juices.
? Sugar – a low sugar diet can help to reduce weight gain and fungal infection, which is common in psoriasis patients.
All patients are advised to seek the advice of a health professional or a nutritionist/dietician before they consider making any changes to their diet and lifestyle.
The Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic is different to other skin specialists in that it takes a completely natural and comprehensive inside-out approach to psoriasis, to harness the body?s own immune system and healing potential.
Uniquely, the Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic assesses each patient?s condition on an individual basis rather than using generic methods. The clinic?s main aim is to investigate the underlying cause of your psoriasis to therefore treat the source of the symptoms, rather than just treating the symptoms alone. Click here to make an appointment enquiry at the Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic.