Do you suffer from psoriasis?
Did you know there are scientifically backed ways to improve it with nutrition and lifestyle?
💦Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder where inflamed thickened patches form on the skin - plaque psoriasis is the most common, but there are other types such as guttate, pustular, and flexural
💦It can also damage nails, and less commonly, cause arthritis and joint damage
💦Psoriasis is usually treated with topical medications or occasionally oral immunosuppressants or UVB light, these can all be helpful, but can also have side effects
💦Triggers for psoriasis include genetics, certain medications, stress, obesity, excess sun exposure, and vitamin D deficiency
💦Nutritional interventions can significantly help psoriasis yet are often not widely known about - however as they are simple and tend to improve all aspects of health they can be worth exploring if you are interested!
💦There is a strong link between psoriasis and poor heart risk markers (high 'bad' cholesterol levels (Triglycerides and LDL), low 'good' cholesterol (HDL) and high CRP/homocysteine)
💦Diets that improve these markers also significantly improve psoriasis symptoms - suggesting a common trigger of chronic inflammation (see post on this)
💦These diets are high in whole plant foods, high in omega 3, low in refined carbs, and high in fibre - plant based diets and Mediterranean style diets both help psoriasis in clinical trials
These diets are also known as 'anti-inflammatory diets', and have wide ranging health benefits in addition to improving psoriasis - they can also help other auto-immune issues, as well as mental health, gut health, brain health, heart health, and metabolic health (ie diabetes and high cholesterol)
💦Arachidonic acid and AGEs (advanced glycolic end products) can also aggravate psoriasis, these are found in red meat, some dairy products, margarine, seed oils, and processed /fried foods and are generally avoided with an anti-inflammatory diet
💦There is a link between coeliac disease and psoriasis (over 2x higher risk of coeliac disease in people with psoriasis), and some people find gluten free diets help psoriasis symptoms, although trials are mixed. Biggest benefits are in people with antigliadin antibodies. If you have negative antibodies and negative coeliac tests, then a trial off gluten for 4-6 weeks can be useful - if no improvement is noted then you dont need to be glutenfree
💦Omega 3, oily fish, and olive oil all have good evidence for improving psoriasis, and are part of a Mediterranean heart and brain healthy diet, omega 3 helps to reduce inflammation and immune function
💦Some small trials have shown curcumin (Tumeric extract) can help psoriasis, this is also used as an anti-inflammatory
💦Several studies link low selenium and vitamin E with psoriasis, one RCT found supplementing selenium, vit E (50mg/d) and Coq10 improved psoriasis symptoms - this can be worth trialling if dietary changes dont help
💦Reducing weight (if obese) and avoiding alcohol can also significantly help psoriasis, these both increase inflammation
💦As stress can trigger psoriasis, stress reduction techniques such as exercise, mindfulness, yoga, breathwork etc can all be beneficial as well 😊