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The Psoriasis Diet

Can certain foods cause psoriasis? There appears to be no short answer to this question. However, it is a question well worth pondering. There are various factors which are believed to trigger psoriasis and aggravate the flare up of rash like psoriasis symptoms. One such factor is believed to be inflammatory reactions, caused by certain foods such as those containing dairy and gluten. Although there are anecdotal accounts of food causing aggravation of psoriasis symptoms there is very little scientific study investigating the direct relationship between diet and psoriasis.

The relationship of diet and psoriasis

The more holistic approaches to treating psoriasis on the other hand take diet into account and for a very good reason. For instance, it has been observed time and again that people who suffer from celiac disease and other allergies to gluten, have also displayed a flare up of their psoriasis symptoms upon consuming gluten rich food. There are also reports of a study where psoriasis patients were put on a diet eliminating all processed foods (although grains were included). After being on this diet they all showed improvements in their psoriasis symptoms. There are also other studies that indicate leaky gut syndrome as a key factor in development of psoriasis.

So does psoriasis start in the stomach?

Psoriasis is usually described as a health disorder which is mediated by a person's immune system and sometimes with factors like a person's genetics playing a role as well in the onset of the disease and aggravation of the symptoms.

However, it has also been put forward that the eating habits of a person can have a serious effect on combating psoriasis. If you are constantly putting in inflammatory foods such as highly processed junk food, refined white sugar and flour, chemicals, additives, trans fats and artificial sweeteners into your body, these will act as poison in the body. They will inflame your gut causing the stomach lining to become thin and permeable. When this happens, larger particles may escape into the body instead of being eliminated through your digestive tract. As your skin is also designed to eliminate unwanted substances, your skin will then work frantically to remove these particles from the body. Your skin will erupt to eliminate what it considers as "toxic" to the body. As the natural sloughing process will be sped up it will increase growth of skin cells, building layers upon layers of skin, forming a whitish, flaky crust. Blood vessels will then increase their flow to the skin in an attempt to nourish this skin, which leads to redness and swelling. These are the classic symptoms of psoriasis -- reddened, inflamed patches of skin with a flaky layer of dead cells on top which are commonly called psoriatic plaques.

The role of gut barrier dysfunction and immune dysregulation in skin diseases is an evolving concept, but nevertheless and an important one judging by the number of reports from psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis sufferers who report that their skin conditions were greatly improved upon making dietary changes.

What is the psoriasis diet?

The most important step in planning the right diet for treating psoriasis is to identify allergenic foods and eliminate them altogether from your diet. This is because consuming allergy causing foods puts undue stress on the immune system which can lead to worsening of the psoriasis symptoms. These may include foods like gluten rich food, dairy products, foods with chemical additives etc.

Include optimal amounts of foods rich in antioxidants in your diet as they protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. If you suffer from inflammation related autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, this aspect of your diet will be extremely important.

If you can consume organic foods that are free of chemicals (insecticides and pesticides), this will greatly boost your chances of fighting psoriasis.

A fructose-free diet will also be helpful as fructose is linked to aggravation of inflammatory responses.

It will also be helpful to reduce the intake of fatty foods that contain saturated fats as they increase cholesterol levels in the blood as well as weight gain, which can negatively impact on fighting psoriasis.

Keep your body well hydrated - drink sufficient amounts of water and other healthy beverages. This will help in flushing out toxins and waste materials from your body, as accumulated toxins are known to exacerbate psoriasis symptoms.

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