According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the United States. It can develop at any age, but usually occurs in people between 15 and 25 years old. The main symptoms include itchy, red patches of thick skin with silvery scales on the elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms, and feet. Psoriasis can be irritating, stressful, and embarrassing. Creams, ointments, medications, and light therapy may help. However, some research suggests diet may help.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues in the body. This reaction leads to swelling and a quicker turnover of skin cells. With too many cells rising to the surface of skin, the body cannot slough them off fast enough. They pile up, forming itchy, red patches. Scientists don’t know what causes the immune system to malfunction in the first place. That makes treatment difficult.
Current treatments focus on taming the symptoms of psoriasis, which tend to come and go. Creams and ointments help reduce inflammation and skin cell turnover, reducing the appearance of patches. Light therapy has been found to help reduce flare-ups in some patients. For more severe cases, doctors may use medications that dampen the immune system, or block the action of specific immune cells.
However, medications can have side effects. If you’re looking for alternative treatments, some studies show promising results with certain types of diets.
Can Diet Help?
So far, research on diet and psoriasis is limited. Still, some small studies have provided clues into how food may affect the disease. As far back as 1969, scientists looked into a potential connection.
Some recent research shows that a low-fat, low-calorie diet may reduce the severity of psoriasis. In a 2013 study published in JAMA Dermatology, researchers gave participants a low-energy diet of 800-1,000 calories a day for eight weeks. They then increased it to 1,200 calories a day for another eight weeks.
Participants not only lost weight, but experienced a decrease in the severity of psoriasis. Researchers speculated that obesity increases inflammation in the body, making psoriasis worse. Therefore, a diet that results in weight loss may be helpful.
What about a gluten-free diet? Could it help? According to some studies, it depends on the person’s sensitivities. Those with celiac disease or wheat allergies may find relief by avoiding gluten.
A 2000 study found that patients with gluten sensitivities on gluten-free diets experienced improvement in psoriasis symptoms. When they returned to their regular diet, the psoriasis worsened. A2005 study also found some people with psoriasis had an elevated sensitivity to gluten.
Though fruits and vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet, it may be especially important for patients with psoriasis. A 1996 study, for instance, found an inverse relationship between an intake of carrots, tomatoes, and fresh fruit and psoriasis. All of these foods are high in healthy antioxidants. Another study published a year later found that patients with psoriasis had lower blood levels of glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found in garlic, onions, broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, and cauliflower. Scientists speculated that a diet rich in antioxidants may help.
A 1993 study showed that men who abused alcohol experienced little to no benefit from psoriasis treatments. An earlier 1990 study compared men with psoriasis to those without the disease. Men who drank about 43 grams of alcohol a day were more likely to have psoriasis, compared to men who drank only 21 grams a day. An earlier 1986 study also found a relationship between heavy drinking and severe psoriasis. Though we need more research on moderate alcohol consumption, cutting back may help ease psoriasis symptoms.
Healthy Diet, Healthy Weight
Dermatologists have long-recommended that a healthy diet is best for those with psoriasis. That means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight may provide significant relief. A 2007 study found a strong connection between weight gain and psoriasis. Having a higher waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio were also associated with an increased risk for the disease.
So eat clean and stay lean to reduce psoriasis flare-ups.
HOMEOPATHY AND PSORIASIS
Treating psoriasis with homeopathy one needs to have an accurate history of the patient. There are many remedies in homeopathy which can treat and cure psoriasis completely.
A 22 years boy visited due to psoriasis on his knees in June 2015. It had started a year ago. Appearance of lesions: there were scaly dry eruptions with red inflammatory spots in between. Itching was prevalent.
Physical appearance: Healthy, masculine physique. Body well toned from exercise. Restless while sitting.
Mental: Very irritable. He was completely obsessed with the thought of developing good muscles and projecting himself as a well built person. He was constantly eating high proteins in order to form well built muscles. His mother was reluctant have him eat such high proteins but he was upset with her opinion and was very stubborn.
He reported feeling lethargic and lacking motivation in life. There was lack of emotional attachment towards his family members. He was not excited at any pleasant phenomenon in life and neither was he crying over things that upset him. His emotions were standstill.
He felt completely confused about focusing on a career. He was overworked mentally thinking about his career. He went for physical workout daily and said he feels better when he works out. His mind is diverted. So he was undergoing more and more work out and at the end of the day he was fatigued.
Craving: non-veg, especially poultry and eggs
Stools: constipation often
Thermals: chilly patient with profuse sweat.
Assessing the case
Overall his ailment appeared to be worse from over strain and over stress. Looking at the mentals and chief complaints it pointed towards the king of psoric remedies, Calcarea carb. Pathologically increased protein intake might have aggravated his skin ailments. His eruptions were too dry and itchy.
The remedy picture:
- Headstrong, obstinate
- Craving eggs
- Ailments from excess straining
- indifference, apathy
Prescription: 3 doses of Calcarea carb 200 with an interval of 8 days. This resolved the psoriasis completely. As of October 2015 there was no recurrence. I have been continuously in touch with this patient and as of February 2016, he is still free of eruptions.