The Psoriasis & Diet Connection Explained
It is quite hard to fathom how a psoriasis dot suddenly appears on your skin for the very first time. As in my case, I was 14, so why did it happen and can we blame our diet at that age for the onset of psoriasis? In all honesty, I do not know but I have formed an opinion which you will read about later that finally pinpoints the reason.
A lot of things took place in my life when I was 14. I started smoking at 14, I experienced a death of a close relative at 14, I suffered bad bouts of tonsillitis at 14, I started chasing after, and stressing about girls at 14! I think all of these actually had a factor in my psoriasis development which I detail in the next chapter.
For the next 8 years of my life, I could see a direct correlation between my stress levels and my psoriasis. I would get a flare up at exam time, and I would get full remission during the summer holidays and usually all the way up until winter. I was very active in sports up until age 22 and I contribute this a lot to remissions during the spring and summer months also.
After graduating college and starting a full-time profession in a stressful environment, the remissions periods got shorter and shorter until I never had any more remissions and my psoriasis got worse, changed from guttate to guttate and plaque and had a more aggressive appearance.
During my twenties, I hated myself because of the skin condition and I turned to alcohol, nicotine and drugs to forget about my woes. As you can imagine this, in turn, did nothing for my skin and only made it worse.
There were two episodes during my 20’s where I saw a direct link to how diet affected psoriasis. I was unlucky enough to fracture my jaw in two places when I was 26 from a sporting incident. As it was a public holiday weekend I had to spend longer waiting for my scheduled operation to insert a plate and wire my jaw to fix the fracture.
This meant I was on an IV drip for 5 days. During those 5 days no food passed my lips and I could see huge improvements in my psoriasis in those days. Once I left the hospital and began eating my regular food (albeit blended!) my psoriasis returned worse than ever. I was taking strong medication so this also did not help my condition.
The other episode that occurred to me was when I was 27 I decided to travel through South East Asia for 3 months backpacking before travelling down to Australia for a year. After a month, my psoriasis was the best it had been in years, more or less disappeared. I believe it was a combination of daily sunshine, no stress, a minimal amount of doughy and processed food (i.e breads, pizzas etc), minimal amount of caffeine, liters of water consumed every day and constant sweating.
The psoriasis itself stayed in remission for about 4 months and the next bad flare up was caused as earlier referenced when i was very extremely stressed out in a job in Sydney, plus I had introduced my old western style diet into my system.
The above two events stayed in my mind and at the age of 30 I decided enough was enough, I could not go on living like this so I gave up alcohol and started to dedicate my life to finding a way to control my psoriasis through a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle.
The Cause Of Psoriasis – My View
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder.
Therefore to understand the cause of psoriasis we need to understand what an autoimmune disorder is.
What is an autoimmune disease and how it relates to psoriasis?
Researchers agree that psoriatic disease is an autoimmune disease. That means that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are actually caused by an overactive immune system.
Your immune system is supposed to keep you healthy but for some people, autoimmunity happens when your immune system automatically launches an inflammatory response against your own body.
What your immune system should do
When the immune system functions properly, it protects the body against any “invaders” that might make you sick, such as bacteria, viruses or other pathogens. But in people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, the immune system goes into action even without these invaders. Instead, the immune system fights the body’s own tissues.In psoriatic disease, this battle is waged in the skin and joints.
Researchers are finally getting closer to the cause of psoriasis. For instance, streptococcal infection can lead to the onset of guttate psoriasis. Another possible antigen (toxin or foreign particle that causes an immune response) could be a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide ( molecules which should act as the body’s natural antibiotics).
LL37 is an antimicrobial peptide which in a non-psoriasis sufferer plays a key role in protecting your skin, but for psoriasis sufferers, causes the immune system to recognize it as a foreign invader and the immune system begins to wage war on itself.
The type of immune cells triggered by LL37 produce key cytokines, or proinflammatory proteins, involved in psoriasis, such as interleukin-17. The levels of interleukin-17 are 30 times higher for someone suffering from psoriasis. By reducing these pro – inflammatory proteins, we reduce psoriasis.
Is there a natural way to control our immune system and therefore reduce the number of inflammatory responses?
While scientists continue to research safer and more effective ways to targets cytokines or other parts of the immune system, there are a large and growing number of people who are starting to understand how diet/lifestyle choices are affecting not only their psoriasis but their general health.
The problem is that there are lots of different theories out there with only anecdotal evidence and not cold hard facts derived from randomised double blind clinical trials.
I have proven time and again that my Smart Psoriasis Diet Plan works for me.
This is anecdotal but I am not going to apologise for that. I not only know my triggers, but I know how to control and reduce my psoriasis to under 5% in 60 days or less once a flare-up begins.
If you search online for psoriasis diet success stories, you will find thousands of other personal stories of overcoming psoriasis naturally.
I have also received many emails from readers here who have seen huge improvements in their psoriasis by following the general guidelines in the Smart Psoriasis Diet Plan.
You need to ask yourself the following three questions to determine what is causing your psoriasis flare up or the current severity of it.
- Is your body even capable of having a healthy immune system (SUPPLEMENTATION)
- Are you exasperating the condition by what you put into your body (DIET)
- Do you even realise how your mental state can make your psoriasis worse (STRESS)
By focusing on areas that have been medically proven to affect the immune system we are giving ourselves the best possible chance to control your psoriasis.
The Smart Psoriasis Diet Plan identified 3 key areas as they are known to reduce inflammation in your body and boost your immune system. Not only that but it’s not hard to follow and should be achievable by any psoriasis sufferer on any budget.
Here they are…
- The easiest win for a psoriasis sufferer is to ensure that they are not vitamin d deficient. Fix this and you will see less severe bouts of psoriasis as well as longer remission times
- Change to an anti-inflammatory diet and add some key supplements to your daily routine. This will lead to a balanced nutritional intake where you are receiving all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals
- The final key of the psoriasis jigsaw is your mental health. Chronic stress not just affects your immune system, but it rocks it to its core. It is the leading cause of illness in the modern world and no matter how good your vitamin levels are or how healthy a diet you eat, if you are stressed, you WILL suffer a psoriasis flare up.
If you can get all three in balance you will see massive improvement in your psoriasis.
Even when you have two under control, you will see a big improvement, but my personal experiments have proven time and time again that these three are inexplicably linked to psoriasis remission.
I call it the “Beating Psoriasis Trifecta”. In the next chapter you will see a summary of my Beating Psoriasis Trifecta case study which I hope will illustrate this point better.