How Dietary Changes Can Impact Psoriasis
by Julie Hancock
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects about 2% of the population. Treatment varies depending on the location, severity, and type of psoriasis. However, certain dietary changes can considerably improve this immune-mediated condition for many suffering from psoriasis. Psoriasis has also been linked to an increased risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. Dietary changes can help moderate symptoms as well as lower the risk for these co-morbid conditions.
Psoriasis results from an immune response that triggers skin inflammation, so an anti-inflammatory diet is recommended. There are many variations of this diet in popular culture, but one example is the ketogenic diet, which espouses high-fat and low-carb foods. This Mediterranean-style diet has many benefits, such as weight-loss, because it forces the body to burn its fat stores as opposed to deriving energy from carbs. The most important food groups to avoid to achieve this anti-inflammatory, fat-burning state are dairy and grain. Bread and milk products exacerbate psoriasis symptoms and increase the risk of developing the associated conditions mentioned above. Adults who suffer from psoriasis should also refrain from drinking alcohol as much as possible. Alcohol has been found to trigger psoriasis flares and can actually limit treatment options because of its negative effects on the liver.
There are several supplements that are highly recommended for all psoriasis patients: vitamin D, Omega-3, and a daily probiotic. These each have their own additional perks. Probiotics regulate flora in the gut, promoting a healthy digestive system, omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart and can lower blood pressure, and vitamin D is important for calcium absorption, leading to stronger bones.
If you’ve been experiencing psoriasis symptoms or are interested in learning more about the anti-inflammatory diet, schedule an appointment with Derick Dermatology’s psoriasis specialist Dr. Rommel in the Crystal Lake Office. Dr. Rommel is dual Board Certified in dermatology and internal medicine, having completed both residencies at Georgetown University Hospital.