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Is Psoriasis Diet Really Working?
- Although there is no cure for psoriasis, psoriasis treatment is available
- One such means for treatment could be found in a psoriasis diet
- Psoriasis symptoms may include red and painful, dry itchy skin, or scaly-like patches that crop up on the surface of the skin
For people suffering from the chronic skin condition known as psoriasis, finding means to alleviate symptoms is important. Some people are claiming that a special psoriasis diet can help improve the condition. This claim is explored below.
What is a Psoriasis?
Before delving into the claims regarding the psoriasis diet, the disease itself needs to be explored and understood. According to the Mayo Clinic, psoriasis is a condition in which the body’s immune system overreacts to certain triggers and causes skin cell life cycles to speed up dramatically. Instead of the cycle taking about a month, as is usual, the cycle is completed in just two days. This rapid growth of skin cells leads to an excess of cells that give the skin a scaly appearance. These excess cells give the skin a scaly appearance. Sometimes the skin can becomes dry and itchy. In other cases, reddish, painful patches crop up on the skin as well.
Although the skin condition can improve, it can also flare up again and become worse. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured. There are accepted treatments to help relieve discomfort such as cortisone creams and prescription drugs. Sometimes ultraviolet light therapy is recommended by dermatologists but patients are still looking for other alternatives. Of course this brings us to the issue of the psoriasis diet.
Psoriasis Diet Claim
The National Psoriasis Foundation has tried to tackle this issue. On the foundation’s Web site, it is explained that some physicians have found some patients’ skin improved while on a weight loss diet. There is also anecdotal evidence that consuming less sugar, caffeine, and white flour have contributed to an improvement in psoriasis symptoms.
As the foundation points out, however, these claims are difficult to evaluate. Because the nature of the condition is cyclic, the skin clears and worsens on its own over time. While one person may reduce sugar intake and see an improvement, the person may really just be noticing a coincidence in timing.
Another website explains that no scientific studies conducted so far have found a clear connection between diet and improvement in the psoriasis skin condition, though that doesn’t mean physicians and dermatologists will not suggest that patients give it a try. Dr. Jeffrey M. Weinberg, director of the Clinical Research Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, only warns patients to avoid any of the so-called miracle psoriasis diets that can sometimes be dangerous.
No physician is going to steer a patient away from diets that encourage overall well-being. For example, a diet that is lower in junk food, alcohol, and sugar may not necessarily do much for the long-term treatment of psoriasis but it can provide other health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, reducing weight, and reducing risk for heart disease.
Supplements and Psoriasis Diet
Another factor in the psoriasis diet is the suggestion of using supplements including herbs meant to help improve the condition. Because there is always a risk of negative side effects from these supplements, the National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that psoriasis sufferers discuss such decisions with their physician before adding these alternative treatments to their overall wellness plans.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Skin Disorders19 Nov 2008|