Psoriasis is a chronic auto-immune condition that is currently without a known cure. The condition presents itself on the skin, forming plaques of sore, dry, red and crusty skin – these patches of skin are also often accompanied by unattractive looking silvery colored scales.
As Psoriasis primarily affects the skin of the sufferer, it can do a lot of damage to a patient’s self-esteem if it isn’t kept under control – especially if it affects the face and hands. Aside from its cosmetic impacts, the condition itself can be incredibly uncomfortable to live with. Affected patches of skin can become sore, red and incredibly inflamed causing significant discomfort to those living with the condition. If that wasn’t enough, auto-immune conditions such as Psoriasis can cause inflammation elsewhere in the body – people suffering from Psoriasis can often also suffer from arthritis like pains in their joints.
Regardless of whether you’re a man or woman you stand the same chance of developing Psoriasis, the condition doesn’t discriminate based on gender! In most cases the condition presents itself initially in adults under the age of 35, however the condition has been seen to present itself for the first time in older patients. Sadly, Psoriasis isn’t a particularly rare condition, with roughly 2-3% of the United States’ population suffering from the condition it’s actually quite common.
Can I Treat Psoriasis Naturally?
It’s important to acknowledge once again that Psoriasis is a life-long, chronic condition with no known cure yet available. Nevertheless, for many people suffering from Psoriasis or a number of other auto-immune conditions, there are various treatment options and psoriasis creams available. Sufferers often notice specific events, foods or times of the year that correlate with a flare-up or reduction in the symptoms of the condition.
Although this cyclical nature remains poorly understood in the study of auto-immune diseases, it does mean that external factors are important in the course of the disease – and we can experiment with these external factors. By experimenting with a number of different and natural approaches, you may discover a multitude of possibilities you can try to reduce the impact of the symptoms and improve your well-being.
Dietary Recommendations & Remedies for Psoriasis
Shift Some Weight
Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition, and although we don’t know much about the specifics, we do know that being over-weight is really not helpful when managing these sorts of conditions. Therefore, by losing unnecessary weight, you’ll be improving your overall health and putting your body in the best possible position to begin combating the condition. By taking strain off of your body you’ll be inadvertently strengthening your immune system, a system that is obviously having problems if you have an auto-immune disease.
Modify Your Diet
Auto-immune conditions such as Psoriasis can often be affected by the dietary choices of the afflicted patient. Accordingly, it’s important to eat as cleanly as possible if you are suffering from an auto-immune disease. Try to increase your intake of lean proteins and foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids – these can often be found in fish and nuts. Recent research into the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids seems to indicate that they have been found to help reduce inflammation in the body, this means they will help tackle the inflammation associated with Psoriasis.
Eating large quantities of foods high in saturated and trans fats are also not ideal for auto-immune conditions such as Psoriasis. Most of these foods are often processed and mass-produced, which means that they’re full of chemicals, additives and preservatives – all of which don’t tend to occur naturally in most food products. Perhaps your body’s inflammatory response is a result of a food allergy to one of these additives, could that not explain why your immune system is attacking itself?
If you think that your Psoriasis may be exacerbated by your dietary choices, why not consider starting a food diary? A food diary is a fantastic tool for monitoring your health condition alongside your diet – using one will help you to correlate if your flare-ups coincide with changes in your diet.
Avoid Foods Known to Trigger Psoriasis
As just mentioned, a food diary is a brilliant way to begin to identify and avoid foods known to trigger your Psoriasis flare-ups. Auto-immune conditions are very specific to each individual and so you will often have to experiment with your diet to know what affects your condition. Some well-known foods that trigger flare-ups of Psoriasis in people include:
- Red Meat & Processed Meat
- Refined Sugars
- Saturated Fats
- Processed Foods
- Dairy Products
Try to Reduce or Give-Up your Alcohol Intake
It has been known for a long time that alcohol and auto-immune conditions are not the best of friends. Alcohol is a known poison, and when consumed, can trigger an immunological response by your body. If your immune system is triggered, you are more likely to see a flare-up in your condition – that’s why alcohol tends to increase the chance of a flare-up in those suffering from auto-immune conditions.
With that being said, if you think you might have an alcohol problem it’s important that you don’t go cold turkey on the booze – get in contact with your doctor and come up with a treatment plan to help you safely stop.
Add some Turmeric to your Cooking
Evidence suggests that the bright yellow herb that shows up in many eastern-cuisines might be able to help your Psoriasis out! Turmeric, it turns out, is a brilliant anti-inflammatory spice, try adding it to some of your favourite dishes; or if you don’t like the taste all that much, take it as a supplement.
Lifestyle Changes that can Help Treat Psoriasis
Emotional Health, Stress & Psoriasis
The impacts of stress and poor emotional health on auto-immune diseases are well establish. The calculation goes a little something like this: Stress + Auto-Immune Disease = Flare-up. It should therefore be a priority for you to get your stress levels under control if you’re intending on treating your Psoriasis effectively. Learning how to manage and cope with the stresses in your life, will directly affect how Psoriasis impacts your life. The following activities are routinely suggested by doctors to help manage stress:
- Painting, Drawing or Writing
- Breathing Exercises
Additionally, it’s important to acknowledge that living with a chronic, lifelong health condition such as Psoriasis can have significant mental health implications for the sufferer. It should therefore also be a priority that you ensure you have a stable support network around yourself, in order to insulate you from the knock backs the condition will inevitably send your way. If you don’t have a support network available, consider speaking to a mental health expert or reaching out to a Psoriasis support group.
Take Regular Exercise
Participating in regular exercise will help your body enormously. This is because exercise helps the body regulate itself more efficiently, allowing it to burn unnecessary fat stores whilst purging the body of any lingering toxic bi-products. Making sure you take part in regular exercise will also help you to maintain a stable weight which will boost your overall health and well-being.
Furthermore, as we’ve just seen, there’s a significant and well-studied link between stress and flare-ups in people suffering from auto-immune conditions such as Psoriasis. Exercise is a fantastic way to manage stress levels in the body, which will in turn act as a bulwark against flare-ups of Psoriasis.
You should make sure your skin is always moisturized if you suffer from Psoriasis. The condition is well-known for drying out patient’s skin! There are plenty of brilliant unscented moisturizers available that you can use to help protect your skin from further damage. Moisturizing affected areas of skin can also help to reduce the dry and unpleasant silvery scales that are synonymous with the condition.
With that being said, if you are currently using any other topical psoriasis creams that have been prescribed to you, it may be wise to make sure that the moisturizer you’re planning on using is okay with the health care professional who’s responsible for your care.
Get Out in the Sun
For years sufferers of Psoriasis have reported that when they vacation in warmer sunnier climates their condition improves. This is because the UV rays given out by the sun help to kill the body’s white blood cells near the surface of the skin; these white blood cells are responsible for attacking your healthy skin cells, which is what causes the plaques to develop. However, if you do choose to go out in the sun, remember to wear sunscreen and keep your head covered during the hottest parts of the day.