Can Nutrition Help Psoriasis?

If you have psoriasis, you know how it can make you self-conscious. You’re probably tired of the itchy, red, scaly skin, especially in places where it’s visible. 

Are there natural remedies to calm those unsightly patches of skin? New research suggests that lifestyle changes can make a difference in the severity of your symptoms. 

Our board-certified dermatologists at Seacoast Dermatology treat many cases of psoriasis, ranging from mild to severe. Treatment differs based on the type of psoriasis you have and the degree of the condition. 

We develop a treatment plan based on your individual case. The goal is remission. 

The role of nutrition in psoriasis

If you’ve just been diagnosed with psoriasis, the first step may be prescription topical steroids, special moisturizers, light treatment, or perhaps even laser therapy. 

If you follow the treatment plan, you should notice improvement. But what if you still have problems despite the improvement? Is there something you can do to calm the angry red patches of skin? 

Researchers now believe that the food you eat and what you drink can make a significant difference in the severity of your symptoms.

A recent study of mice revealed that those fed highly processed fatty and sugary foods (a Western diet) developed inflammatory markers including red, scaly, thickened skin, while the mice in the control group did not. 

Obesity has long been linked to psoriasis. The new study shows that it’s not only the excess weight that may be linked to the condition, but the kinds of food you choose to eat. 

Certain foods and drinks can trigger inflammation

The new study suggests that processed sugary foods and fatty foods change the environment in your digestive system, called the microbiome, which hosts thousands of different types of bacteria. 

The researchers theorize that these types of food change the acid levels in your bile. The acid then stimulates bad bacteria to grow, causing inflammation. 

Keep a food diary to see what happens when you eat certain foods and drink alcohol. Following are foods and drinks linked to inflammation:

Alcohol does increase inflammation in your body, so it can make your symptoms worse. If you’re on methotrexate, a psoriasis prescription, you know that alcohol doesn’t interact well with that drug. Mixing the two can damage your liver. 

A healthy diet for dealing with psoriasis 

Even if you don’t have psoriasis, scientists say that eating a Mediterranean diet rich in plant-based foods, nuts and seeds, fish, and lean proteins is a healthy way to eat. This type of diet helps control inflammation. 

Do you cook with corn oil or lard? Change to olive oil. Follow the US Department of Agriculture’s healthy food pyramid, which contains plentiful daily servings of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and some low fat dairy. 

Add a small daily handful of healthy nuts to your diet such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans. They may improve your blood sugar levels, helping to decrease inflammation. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits every day like:

Chicken and turkey without the skin, as well as fish and grass-fed lean beef, are good protein sources. 

Notice what’s not on USDA MyPlate: processed foods on the grocery shelves high in saturated fat and sugars. Eat those foods sparingly or eliminate them if you can’t control the cravings and keep binging on them.  

Call us at Seacoast Dermatology or book an appointment through our online system today if you suffer from psoriasis symptoms. Relief is right around the corner. We’re located in Portsmouth, Exeter, and Dover, New Hampshire. We also offer virtual visits.

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