Annually observed on October 29th, World Psoriasis Day helps to highlight the challenges that psoriasis patients face on a daily basis. People with this condition commonly experience flare-ups, which can be attributed to many triggers. Some of these triggers can include different foods, bad weather, or excess stress in the body. The ultimate goal is to identify the trigger(s) in order to avoid future flare-ups.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis commonly affects the scalp, knees, hands, and outside of the elbows, but it can occur anywhere on the body. People with psoriasis experience red, scaly patches of skin that are reportedly very itchy. The condition is typically attributed to immune system malfunction and genetics, but other triggers can worsen symptoms or skin health. The normal immune system takes 30 days to push new skin cells to the surface, while the immune systems of psoriasis patients push new skin cells to the surface in two or three days.
According to statistics, men and women have equal psoriasis diagnosis rates, and about eight million Americans are affected. While psoriasis typically develops between the ages of 15-35, roughly 10% of cases will develop before the age of 10. While it is rare, infants can develop psoriasis. You should note that psoriasis is not contagious and the lesions are not infectious.
Foods To Avoid If You Have Psoriasis:
People with psoriasis often benefit from elimination diets because they assist with determining if a specific food causes a flare-up upon reintroducing it to the system. The following foods are common triggers for people with psoriasis.
Psoriasis flare-ups are commonly attributed to the consumption of nightshades. In fact, they are among the most common foods that cause itchiness. The solanine in nightshades has been known to impair digestion and may cause inflammation. Common nightshades include peppers, potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes.
Not only does the consumption of processed, high-calorie foods increase your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity, but it also can lead to chronic inflammation in the body. Since excess inflammation may be linked to psoriasis flare-ups, it is ideal to avoid canned fruits or vegetables, packaged food products, processed meats, or processed foods that are high in saturated fats, salt, and sugar.
Red Meat & Dairy Products:
Red meat and dairy products play a big role in the development of psoriatic lesions. Eggs, dairy products, and red meat all contain a polyunsaturated fatty acid known as arachidonic acid, and studies show that it can worsen psoriasis. The foods to avoid include eggs or egg dishes, sausage, bacon, processed red meats, and red meat.
Celiac disease is caused by an autoimmune response to the protein known as gluten. While people with psoriasis don’t necessarily have Celiac disease, research has shown that psoriasis patients have increased gluten sensitivity, which can increase itchiness and redness. People with psoriasis are encouraged to avoid pasta, noodles, baked goods containing wheat, certain sauces or condiments, wheat & wheat derivatives, rye, barley, malt, beer, and certain processed foods.
Take the time to eliminate these foods from your diet and see if they improve the condition. People with psoriasis may also want to experiment with a gluten-free diet, a vegan diet (omitting nightshades), a Mediterranean diet, or an autoimmune protocol diet.