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Psoriasis – Causes & Natural Therapies To Help

Psoriasis - Causes & Natural Therapies To Help

Greetings friends. Today I am going to be talking about psoriasis as it is a condition I am seeing more of. Psoriasis is an autoimmune chronic skin disease that causes inflammation and scaling of the skin that affects many people world wide. Normal, healthy skin experiences cell turnover about once a month, but when you have psoriasis, the skin cells rise way too fast and actually pile up on top of each other creating plaques. Thankfully, you can help combat this condition with by following a proper psoriasis diet treatment plan. We know that psoriasis begins in the immune system and involves a type of white blood cell called a T cell.  When you have psoriasis, the T cells are put into action by mistake and become overly active, leading to unhealthy swelling and fast turnover of skin cells. Psoriasis symptoms can vary according to the form of psoriasis. You might be thinking psoriasis is just an annoying skin condition, but it can also result in psoriatic arthritis, an inflammation of the joints that affects approximately 30 percent of all psoriasis patients. Conventional psoriasis treatment might work, but it often doesn’t or is only a temporary fix that doesn’t get to the heart of the issue. There are many natural remedies for psoriasis, with a psoriasis diet making the very top of the list.
Why is a psoriasis diet so important? Multiple studies have shown that intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome is very common in psoriasis patients. Making the right food choices can make a world of difference when it comes to psoriasis.

Psoriasis Symptoms and Causes

The most common psoriasis symptoms, especially those seen in people with plaque psoriasis, include:

  • Plaques of red skin, sometimes also covered with a crust of scales that tend to be silver or white loose skin or lesions that can be sensitive, itchy and painful
  • Dandruff on the scalp
  • Cracked, discolored skin that easily bleeds and bruises
  • Discoloration in the finger and toenails or growth of toenail fungus
  • Nails that detach from the nail beds and can be painful or bloody
  • Many people with psoriasis also suffer from emotional problems due to feeling embarrassed and hopeless about their skin

Psoriasis is most often found on the elbows, legs, scalp, lower back, face, palms and soles of the feet. However, it can also occur in other locations, such as the fingernails, toenails, genitals and inside the mouth. Scalp psoriasis affects about 50 percent of people with psoriasis, making it one of the most obvious concerns in people with the condition. Most doctors are unsure about what causes psoriasis, but many natural physicians have found contributing factors. Psoriasis causes include:

  • Overactive immune system (psoriasis is an autoimmune disease)
  • Poor diet and lifestyle habits
  • Abnormal small intestine permeability
  • An increased number of T cells in the blood, dermis and epidermis
  • Difficulty digesting protein
  • Emotional stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Genetics
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Poor liver function and antioxidant process

If you want to overcome psoriasis, you can see great improvements by following a healthy and healing psoriasis diet.

Natural Treatment Options for Psoriasis

Natural and more holistic treatments aim to get at the root of the problem. For many people, anti-inflammatory foods and herbs combined with a healing psoriasis diet is one of the best ways to naturally treat psoriasis. Multiple studies have been looking at the link between intestinal structure and function in the development of psoriasis for decades. Some experts believe that psoriasis is actually caused by intestinal permeability, specifically in the area between the duodenum and the jejunum. As a result of this, the body seeks to eliminate the toxins through the skin. From this view point, psoriasis represents the body’s desperate attempt to cleanse itself.
Here are some natural ways to help combat psoriasis:

1. Reduce Stress – Stress is a well known to play a big role in psoriasis, which is why mind-body therapies and stress management can really help naturally heal psoriasis. Prayer, meditation and hypnosis can all help. Studies actually show that people who meditate before receiving light therapy have better outcomes than people who had light therapy alone.

2. Exercise and Drink Water – It may sound just too simple, but exercise and drinking plenty of water are two easy and effective ways to help heal psoriasis.  Water is the great cleanser after all. When it comes to bathing, soaking in a lukewarm bath containing dead sea salts, Epsom salt or oats for around 15 minutes can help remove scales and calm itching. Be sure to apply moisturizer to your skin as soon as you get out of a bath or shower — this way you can seal some water into your skin, which can help to calm and heal psoriasis patches.

3. Apply Nature-Based Topical Remedies – There are three nature-based topical remedies that have shown positive effects on psoriasis: Oregon grape (10 percent) cream, avocado and vitamin B12 cream, and aloe (0.5 percent) cream. Research has shown that using a homeopathic cream containing Oregon grape extract, is effective and well-tolerated in patients with mild to moderate psoriasis. Early research suggests that a proprietary cream containing avocado oil and vitamin B12 may decrease psoriasis symptoms. Several studies have shown that a cream containing 0.5 percent aloe vera extract is superior to a placebo with no negative side effects.

4. Try Homeopathy and Other Alternative Treatments – Homeopathy is another natural remedy shown to improve psoriasis. Studies have shown that homeopathic treatment of psoriasis patients results in improved symptoms and overall quality of life. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine may also help some people with psoriasis. In Chinese medicine, psoriasis is viewed as a health issues caused by the stagnation of blood. Some herbs a Chinese medicine doctor may prescribe include turmeric, zedoria (similar to ginger), dang gui, red peony and sarsaparilla. Dittany, sophora and tribulus may also be prescribed to relieve psoriasis-related itching.
If you’re a fan of Ayurvedic medicine, you may want to try Panchakarma therapy, which involves plant-based remedies and dietary changes aimed at detoxifying the body. A vegetarian diet is often recommended as well. The Panchakarma treatments include consuming ghee and medicated enemas.

5. Eat a Psoriasis Diet (see more below) – A psoriasis diet is crucial. If you have a leaky gut, then partially digested protein and fat can seep through your intestinal lining, making their way into your bloodstream and causing allergic (autoimmune) responses. If left unrepaired and allowed to worsen, it can lead to more severe health issues like psoriasis as well as depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, muscle pain and chronic fatigue. Studies have shown a link between abnormal small intestine permeability and psoriasis. A psoriasis diet can heal your gut, which in turn can end your suffering with psoriasis as well as psoriatic arthritis.

A General Psoriasis Diet

When it comes to natural treatment for psoriasis, these are some of the best foods you can consume on a regular basis. I also recommend these food choices for anyone looking for a psoriatic arthritis diet. The more you consume healing, anti-inflammatory foods, the more improvement you will see in your skin’s health.

  • Probiotic foods — These are essential. Consuming foods high in probiotics supports digestion, reduces inflammation and boosts immunity. Look for organic, raw, cultured dairy like kefir, yogurt (only if lactose is tolerated) and cultured vegetables. There have been many, many personal accounts of probiotics clearing up stubborn psoriasis that did not respond to conventional treatment. One sufferer had psoriasis on his heels for about 10 years that did not respond to topical treatment. He started taking probiotics for a different condition, and his heels cleared up and stayed clear.
  • High-fiber foods By upping your intake of high-fiber foods you can help to keep your digestive system healthy, which helps avoid constipation and keep your natural detoxification processes on track. Fruits, vegetables, beans and seeds are all rich in fiber.
  • Foods high in antioxidants — Similar to the lineup for fiber-rich foods, foods high in antioxidants include vegetables, fruits, herbs, beans and nuts. Some choices that top the list when it comes to antioxidants include goji berries, wild blueberries, pecans, cilantro and kidney beans. Antioxidant consumption is especially important since psoriasis sufferers are at a greater risk for cancer and heart disease. Consider foods that support Glutathione production as glutathione is the master antioxidant. Glutathione supplements are also useful as is N-Atetylcysteine.
  • Foods high in zinc — Zinc is critical for keeping skin healthy. Some evidence shows that zinc helps reduce pain and joint swelling for psoriasis sufferers. Grass-fed beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, kefir and chickpeas are all great sources of zinc.
  • Foods high in vitamin A — Think orange, yellow and dark leafy green vegetables. By adding these winners to your diet on a daily basis, you will increase your vitamin A, which is critical for skin healing. Good sources of vitamin A includes cantaloupe, carrots, mango, tomatoes, kale, collard greens and watermelon.
  • Wild-caught fish — Fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines are excellent sources of vitamin D as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are both key to improving psoriasis. Vitamin D is clinically proven to help fight psoriasis. If you have psoriasis, fish should be the new leading protein in your life rather than meat and conventional dairy products. Studies have shown that eating fewer protein-rich foods, primarily meats and dairy products, may help ease psoriasis flare-ups.
  • Raw dairy — If you must have dairy then raw milk is a much healthier choice than conventional milk. Rich in vitamin D and enzymes, raw dairy products can be therapeutic to psoriasis.
  • Herbs and spices — Herbs and spices are anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants. Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice known as turmeric, is known for its potent health properties. A 2012 scientific review specifically notes turmeric’s ability to alter TNF cytokine expression, which are known to play an essential role in the start and continuation of psoriatic lesions. This is probably why patients find turmeric helpful in minimizing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flare-ups. You can liberally add this spice to your food, keeping in mind that the FDA considers 1.5 to 3.0 grams of turmeric per day safe.
  • Aloe Vera — Applied externally and taken internally, aloe vera is very soothing to the body, especially to the digestive system and skin.
When you’re on a psoriasis diet, you definitely want to avoid processed foods, simple sugars, alcohol, conventional dairy, conventional meats, hydrogenated oils and fried foods. You should also keep caffeine intake low. For some sufferers, a gluten-free diet helps improve symptoms. If you or your doctor think that you might have a gluten allergy or any other type of food allergy, then food allergy testing or an elimination diet can help guide you toward what to avoid in your diet.

Well friends I hope this has helped you find some useful natural ways to help ease this condition for you. As always I am available for consultations so if you need to talk to me about this in person, give me a call.

Until next time, be well, naturally.

Craig Hitchens – Natural Health Practitioner & Remedial Therapist

 

Changing Habits Herbal Formulas

 

Sources:

www.report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=61
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229247/
www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/alternative/diet-supplements
www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/basics/symptoms/con-20030838
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20590580
www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/psoriasis/psoriasis_ff.asp
www.jdsjournal.com/article/0923-1811(91)90057-5/abstract
www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/psoriasis
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16645428
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www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1911568/
www.psoriasis.org/advance/features/microbiome-how-your-bacteria-affects-psoriasis-psoriatic-arthritis
www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/zinc/evidence/hrb-20060638
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27447175
www.psoriasis.org/treating-psoriasis/complementary-and-alternative/herbal-remedies
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22473218
www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis
www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/related-conditions
www.draxe.com/psoriasis-diet-5-natural-cures/

 

Alternative & Natural Health Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of posting but may change thereafter. The information provided on the various natural health subjects from this website of www.craighitchenstherapies.com is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as any form of medical advice. The information in the article this disclaimer is linked from is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with your health professional before taking any products or following any advice that you believe may conflict with other forms of health care. Always consult your health care professional before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed. Certain herbs and holistic remedies are unsuitable to take if you are pregnant or nursing and must always be cleared by your health professional before use.

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