psoriasis and mind body affirmations

Psoriasis and Crisis

There is an unfortunate yet distinct correlation between the state of our psoriasis and the state of our emotional wellness.  Both trigger one another and we are sometimes unsure which happened first!

You may experience this first hand. Does your psoriasis become raised, red and itchy several days following an emotional ‘crisis’ such as anxiety, fear, anger or sadness? This is the link between psoriasis and crisis.

What we consider to be a crisis may be simply a hurdle to another person. We have complete control of the way we perceive a situation and this means we can allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by it, or not. Ironically people who have become resilient through their life experiences are less likely to become overwhelmed, and the worldview is that psoriasis sufferers are a resilient and strong bunch.

We can control our response to negative emotions much better than we can control our psoriasis so it makes sense to improve the way we manage crisis, so that we can improve our psoriasis.

Improving how we deal with crisis

Build your emotional armour at the start of each day

Begin your waking moments with gratitude. Regardless of your circumstances, you can be grateful simply because you have the gift of a new day, the ability to think and the hope of making things better. Sometimes the more we look, the more we see, and when we look through the lens of gratitude, our blessings become more obvious.

Create affirmations to use in case of emergency

Just like we have a first aid kit for the body, a bundle of personalised positive affirmations acts as a first aid kit for the emotions. These need to be prepared ahead of time and when you have a positive mindset such as after your morning gratitude. Writing your own personal affirmations will suit your situation and desired outcome, and speak directly to your subconscious. In case you experience writers-block, I have shared my affirmations to get you started.

Affirmation for a psoriasis break out

I am grateful that my body has the ability to heal itself and that I have control of my mind and emotions which will help in my healing. When I nurture my body with healthy foods and water, remove processed food and harmful products from my life and think positive thoughts, my body will begin to heal. This healing is inevitable.

Affirmation for conflict with another person

I am grateful for the strength I have within me and for the loving relationship that I have with myself. I take pride in being in control of my actions so that I always act with integrity. I know that sometimes people are on my life journey to give me lessons, build my resilience and make me stronger. I am grateful for them. I do not take anything personally except for my unconditional self-love.

Affirmation for fear of change

I accept that the only constant in life is change.  I am grateful that I am resilient and able to embrace change, finding ways to make the most of the change so that it is a benefit for me and those I care for.

Affirmation for fear of loss

I am grateful for the blessings that have been a part of my life journey. The memory of the joy they have given me will stay with me for as long as I choose. When my life loses something for which I am grateful, it creates a space where I can welcome new blessings that will soon fill the void.

The value of using affirmations

Since antiquity it has been a belief that negative emotional states can have an adverse impact on the body’s ability to function in a healthy way. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. The science of PNI links medical disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience, immunology, physiology, genetics, molecular biology and psychiatry. This science provides evidence that the brain and body communicate with each other in a multidirectional flow of information that consists of hormones, neurotransmitters/neuropeptides, and cytokines.

Combining mind-body techniques such as positive affirmations, together with healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on health maintenance and disease prevention (1).

In gratitude

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

 

 

 

 

  1. VITETTA, L., ANTON, B., CORTIZO, F. and SALI, A. (2005), Mind-Body Medicine: Stress and Its Impact on Overall Health and Longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1057: 492–505. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2005.tb06153.x

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psoriasis conversations

Three conversation starters (or stoppers) about psoriasis

Humans are a naturally curious creature and will want to know all about anything that is outside of the ordinary.  For someone who is gift wrapped in psoriasis, we already know that we are extraordinary for many reasons. Responding to curious stares and cliché questions can become a little more tolerable when you are armed with some fresh information about psoriasis.

Psoriasis affects us more than we realise

About 30 percent of individuals with psoriasis have a family history of the disease in a first or second degree relative. This means that while someone may not experience psoriasis themselves, chances are that someone in their immediate family or someone who shares 25% of their genes does. This includes uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, grandparents, grandchildren, half-siblings, and double cousins. (1)

Langerhans and T cells got the message wrong

Psoriasis is known to be stimulated by a type of dendric cell known as the Langerhans cells. Langerhans stimulate our immune system which in turn activates T cells to clear infection by killing virus-infected cells.

Our T cells use cytokines to communicate to some of the other trillion or so cells in our body. In the case of psoriasis, the message being delivered by the T cells is to send in some inflammation and immune response. However, the message is distorted and leads to an exaggerated increase in the number of keratin producing epidermal skin cells, known as keratinocytes.

The approximate time it takes for normal skin cells to grow, mature and shed keratinocytes is 28 days, and in the case of psoriasis this process takes just 2-4 Days. (2)

This means that psoriasis patients shed their skin between 7 – 14 times faster than the average person because the Langerhans and T cells got the message wrong.

Bone Marrow

Bone marrow transplant recipients who previously did not have psoriasis, and have received their bone marrow from someone who did have psoriasis, have gone on to developed psoriasis after the transplant.

On the flip side people with psoriasis who receive a bone marrow transplant (BMT) from a donor without psoriasis, have experienced a clearing of psoriasis.

In the past 25 years, more than 30 patients with psoriasis who underwent BMT have subsequently achieved long-term remission of psoriasis. Before these patients received the bone marrow transplant their immune system was effectively eliminated by a preconditioning regimen, and any immune response after the BMT is typically of donor origin. (3)

As always, I hope this informs you, gives you an understanding and arms you with a comeback line!

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

 

 

 

 

  1. Capon F, Munro M, Barker J, Trembath R. Searching for the major histocompatibility complex psoriasis susceptibility gene. J Invest Dermatol 2002;118:745751.
  2. Alternative Medicine Review 2007;12:320
  3. Kanamori H, Tanaka M, Kawaguchi H, Yamaji S, Fujimaki K, Tomita N, et al. Resolution of psoriasis following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for chronic myelogenous leukemia: case report and review of the literature. Am J Hematol. 2002;71:41–44.

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The importance of hope when you experience psoriasis

Sometime the hope of healing is all we have left after exhausting our efforts to control and understand psoriasis. Focussing our attention on the good news stories can help us set our own personal goals of healing and give an insight into what has worked for others with psoriasis.

This type of hope and positive outlook is essential because lack of hope puts us at risk of feeling depressed. Our personal encounters with anxiety and fear of breakouts are something that almost all psoriasis patients feel from time to time, but this should not happen all of the time.

Here is your hope for today

Studies based on repeated observations of 5600 psoriasis patients over a long period of time suggest that spontaneous remission may occur in about one-third of patients with psoriasis (Farber, 1974).

To deliver this happy news to you in another way, one third of the 5600 observed people with psoriasis have had an unexpected improvement or cure from psoriasis. The term ‘spontaneous remission’ should not be misunderstood as instant healing, but rather a slowing down or reversal of the progression of psoriasis that cannot be attributed to Western mainstream pharmaceutical medicine.

Improving your chances of spontaneous remission?

We can do a lot more than leave our healing to luck. It is well documented in medical journals and case studies that our chances of slowing down or reversing the progression of psoriasis improve when we ensure a healthy diet, take supplements, do regular appropriate levels of physical activity and management of other risk factors including obesity. Each of these are important elements of care.

Anti-inflammatory diet

Psoriasis, essentially an inflammatory disorder, should benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet. An anti-inflammatory diet consists basically of an emphasis on good fats such as those found in cold water fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Including whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits in our diet and avoiding bad fats such as saturated animal fats, trans fats, fried and processed foods, and poor quality oils. Just as importantly is the removal of refined carbohydrates from our diet. In addition, an excessive amount of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet can contribute to an inflammatory response (Adam, Beringer, Kless et al 2003).

Vitamin D

It has been established that patients with disseminated psoriasis have significantly decreased serum levels of the biologically active form of vitamin D, 1-alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1-α,25(OH)2D3;

calcitriol) compared to control tests of people of the same age and sex and also compared to patients with moderate psoriasis (Staberg, Oxholm, Klemp, Christiansen, 1987).

Lifestyle

Remove or significantly reduce cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption as these are associated with the severity of psoriasis (Chodorowska, Kwiatek, 2004).

Obesity

There is evidence from various scientific sources that obesity increases the risk of psoriasis onset and severity. On the flip side, exercise and physical outdoor activity has been shown to reduce the severity of psoriasis.

Stress

Two dermatologists providing phototherapy to their psoriasis patients compared the results of two patient groups – those who listened to guided meditation during their therapy, and those who did not. The patients who were given the chance to meditate during their phototherapy session cleared four time faster than the patients who received phototherapy only (Kabat-Zinn, Wheeler, Light, et al, 1998).

Hope

When we have a feeling of expectation and desire to control psoriasis and understand what needs to happen, then what you hope for can become your reality and you will begin your journey to smooth skin.

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset
 

Reference

Farber EM, Nall ML. The natural history of psoriasis in 5600 patients. Dermatologica 1974;148:1-18.

Adam O, Beringer C, Kless T, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of a low arachidonic acid diet
and fish oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int 2003;23:27-36

Staberg B, Oxholm A, Klemp P, Christiansen C. Abnormal vitamin D metabolism in patients with
psoriasis. Acta Derm Venereol 1987;67:65-68.  (Staberg, Oxholm, Klemp, Christiansen, 1987)

Chodorowska G, Kwiatek J. Psoriasis and cigarette smoking. Ann Univ Mariae Curie Sklodowska [Med]2004;59:535-538.

Kabat-Zinn J, Wheeler E, Light T, et al. Inflence of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and photochemotherapy (PUVA). Psychosom Medicine 1998;60:625-632.

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psoriasis and obesity link

Obesity is an important risk factor for psoriasis

There are many reasons why we may experience obesity – some are within and some beyond our control, and somewhere in between. Very much like our control of psoriasis in some ways.

A concept occurred to me a long time ago about form and texture.  I decided that if my texture isn’t as good as it should be, then I’ll put effort into my form instead. Fortunately, common sense finally convinced me to abandon body image pressures and focussed on controlling both weight as well as skin, and this study backs up the reason why.

The relationship between psoriasis and obesity is two-directional – obesity can predispose you to psoriasis and psoriasis favours obesity. Both psoriasis and obesity are considered a chronic, low-grade inflammatory condition.

I’d like to introduce you to a tissue, a hormone and a condition.

The adipose tissue is an active endocrine organ. It secretes peptide hormones including leptin.

Leptin hormone regulates appetite and body weight. Leptin also plays important roles in the chronic pro-inflammatory state associated with visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Studies in psoriasis have shown that psoriasis patients have higher leptin levels compared with healthy tested patients.

Psoriasis is an independent risk factor for hyperleptinemia, a condition where excess levels of leptin in the blood increases body fat content and stimulates appetite.

What was first – psoriasis or obesity?

Patients with psoriasis have a slightly increased risk for developing obesity. However, because stresses to the body bring on psoriasis, there is a possibility that obesity can bring on or increase the severity of psoriasis.

The link between obesity and psoriasis could be explained by the fact that low-grade systemic inflammation exists in both conditions. In theory, mechanisms that increase inflammation brought on by obesity may also exacerbate psoriasis in overweight patients. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that weight loss and subsequent reduction of obesity-derived proinflammatory mechanisms in overweight patients with psoriasis will likely improve their condition.

Fact 1 – there is a two-fold increased risk for developing psoriasis in an obese condition as compared with normal weight people.

Fact 2 – Patients with a higher body mass index (BMI) have an increased risk for new-onset psoriasis, and the higher the BMI, the greater the psoriasis severity. For each unit increment increase in BMI there is reportedly a 9% higher risk for psoriasis onset and a 7% higher risk for increased psoriasis severity.

Fact 3 – Dermatologists now recognise that patients with psoriasis have an associated increased risk for hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity, and vascular disease.

Most of us with psoriasis experience low morale from time to time because of the condition of our skin. According the World Health Organization’s Global Report on Psoriasis 2016, psoriasis is not only a disease that causes painful, debilitating, highly visible physical symptoms. It causes embarrassment, lack of self-esteem, anxiety and increased prevalence of depression.

Our greatest defence in keeping our spirits up is to nurture our body with the best possible nutrition to help reduce and remove our psoriasis. In most of our cases, I am delighted to say that we can take control ourselves. Psoriasis Life Mag proudly researches and presents specific targeted psoriasis dietary solutions. The onset or severity of obesity will naturally be managed by default, when these healthy nutrition guidelines are followed.

Wishing you a wonderful form and texture in the near future!

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

Disclaimer
References

Barrea L, Nappi F, Di Somma C, Savanelli MC, Falco A, Balato A, Balato N and Savastano S. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Environmental Risk Factors in Psoriasis: The Point of View of the Nutritionist. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016;13, 2-4

Jensen,P; Zachariae,C; Christensen,R;.Geiker,N; Schaadt,B; Stender,S;Hansen,P; Astrup,A; Skov,L. JAMA Dermatol.2013;149(7):795-801

WHO. Global Report on Psoriasis. 2016;16

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psoriasis gel psoriasis lotion

Curcumin paste is the golden era of psoriasis gels and puts coal tar in the dark ages

As psoriatics we could use the occasional glimmer of hope and I am delighted to share a review of alternative natural topical therapies for psoriasis that has shown some optimistic results for safer control of our pesky skin condition. My most favourite outcome of this research is the trial of curcumin gel and here’s why.

Firstly, clinical trials by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, and National Institute for Health Research, (London) showed curcumin gel’s astoundingly successful results.

Secondly, this outcome sounded so good that I tried it myself for 6 weeks on my own occasional psoriasis, and it worked like a charm to reduce my lesions.

Curcumin gel yielded 90% resolution of plaques in 50% of psoriasis patients tested, within 2-6 weeks

The remainder of the study subjects showed 50 to 85% improvement. Curcumin was found to be twice as effective as calcipotriol cream (which generally takes three months to exert its full effect). The mechanism of curcumin is as a selective phosphorylase kinase inhibitor, thereby reducing inflammation.

Why we need to seek natural alternatives to the lotions and creams prescribed for psoriasis

This same clinical trial showed no evidence of coal tar’s effectiveness in treating psoriasis despite it being commonly prescribed for psoriasis. (E.J. Samarasekera EJ, Sawyer L, Wonderling D, Tucker R, Smith CH; Topical therapies for the treatment of plaque psoriasis: systematic review and network meta-analyses). Psoriasis patients are also warned to remain vigilant for potential local and systemic negative after effects associated with corticosteroids, also regularly prescribed for psoriasis.

Make your own curcumin paste to treat psoriasis

This is the recipe and instructions for the curcumin paste that I have tested on my own psoriasis, with some outstanding results. I have combined turmeric with aloe vera gel and finely ground pepper. The following list is a breakdown of the ingredients that have worked extremely well for me and also in the clinical trials that I have researched and described. I have included information about the role of each ingredient and some suggestions about how you can source these compounds.

Turmeric – Contains the anti-inflammatory curcumin that is needed to treat the psoriasis. Please use organic turmeric root, either bought or harvested yourself. You will need to peel the root and finely grate it, them simmer in filtered water to break it down. Continue simmering until the volume of water is reduced. Allow to cool before adding the aloe vera. Alternatively, you may prefer to use ground organic turmeric powder.

Ground black pepper – improves the bioavailability of the curcumin, in simpler terms, helps it to assimilate into our skin.

Aloe vera gel – provides the gel that carries the curcumin. A controlled trial of Aloe vera extract in 60 patients for 4-12 months demonstrated a significant clearing of psoriatic plaques. Aloe vera plants can be grown and stems harvested and peeled for use, or alternatively you can buy aloe vera gel in health food stores.

Instructions

Mix equal parts turmeric and aloe vera. Pepper is optional so keep a close watch on any reactions on your skin if you are going to use it. If you choose to use pepper, then add one part pepper to every 20 parts turmeric.

The gel will keep in a refrigerator for 2 weeks. Be sure to clean the jar and use clean, sterilised applicators each use. Use 3 times daily on your psoriasis lesions. Freeze a portion if you think you have too much to use within two weeks.

Best wishes for shrinking patches

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

 

 

 

Disclaimer

Reference

Traub T, Marshall K, Psoriasis – Pathophysiology, Conventional, and Alternative Approaches to Treatment. Altern Med Rev 2007;12(4):319-330

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psoriasis hypertension high blood pressure

Managing high blood pressure associated with psoriasis

There is a link between high blood pressure and psoriasis

Research results showed that the more severe the psoriasis, the higher the blood pressure.

In a population-based study in the United Kingdom that is considered the first of its kind, a team led by Junko Takeshita, MD. PhD, found a significant and increasing likelihood of uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure) among patients with more severe psoriasis. This result was independent of other risk factors for poor blood pressure and balanced out the hypertension characteristics of alcohol consumption, smoking, diabetes, kidney and cardiovascular disease.

The hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140mm Hg or higher and a diastolic blood pressure of 90mm Hg or higher based on the blood pressure recorded closest in time to the psoriasis severity. The study used an electronic database of medical records of 1322 patients with psoriasis between the ages of 25 and 64 years and were compared to 11,977 patients without psoriasis – all patients had a diagnosis of hypertension.

What this means to the psoriatic

The study raised the question whether an improvement in hypertension affects the severity of psoriasis. For those of us with psoriasis we can raise our own two conclusions from this research:

  1. Monitor and manage our blood pressure closely
  2. Reduce hypertension through relaxation and slow breathing
How can we use this information to help with psoriasis?

Even a single session of mental relaxation or slow breathing can result in a temporary fall in blood pressure.

Both mental relaxation and slow breathing result in a fall in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and electromyographic activity with increase in peripheral skin temperature and skin conductance.

A study published in Complimentary Therapies in Medicine, (June 2006 Volume 14, Issue 2, 120–126) shows the benefits of slow breathing and mental relaxation. One hundred patients with hypertension either receiving antihypertensive drugs or unmedicated were selected randomly.

  • Their blood pressure parameters were recorded during the resting state and then during mental relaxation. The tested patients performed slow breathing for 10 minutes, followed by a quiet period of 15 minutes.
  • All parameters were recorded again after mental relaxation and slow breathing.

After the changes in the parameters were compared following the mental relaxation and slow breathing, the results give us psoriatics some clear steps about how we can manage psoriasis related hypertension:

  • slow breathing caused a significantly higher fall in heart rate (p<0.05), respiratory rate (p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (p<0.05) and diastolic blood pressure (p<0.01).
  • mental relaxation increased peripheral skin temperature (p<0.05) and a reduction in electromyographic activity (p<0.05)

The tested patients performed slow breathing for 10 minutes, followed by a quiet period of 15 minutes. We know their hypertension improved and therefore we can expect a similar result for ourselves.

By setting aside increments of 25 minutes throughout the day for ourselves for this slow breathing and quiet period routine, and also monitoring our blood pressure, we can reduce high blood pressure associated with psoriasis and give ourselves so many other benefits. Most importantly, were are so busy making skin that we deserve this time out!

Love and wellness

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

 

Disclaimer
Reference

JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(2):161-169. Effects of Psoriasis Severity on Hypertension Control

Complement Ther Med. 2006 Jun;14(2):120-6. Effects of mental relaxation and slow breathing in essential hypertension.

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psoriasis skin relief psoriasis pain and psoriasis lesions

Relieving psoriasis skin

Psoriasis on the skin can be painful, and from my own personal experience, a combination of cold, dry, windy weather causes a constant stinging pain deep within the layers of my skin.

By the time we have psoriasis, our immune response is already compromised and therefore, we need to be cautious about what we apply to our skin to relieve the pain, which I can best describe as feeling like crushed aluminium foil. There are many dermatologically recommended creams and ointments, however it is well documented that adverse side effects of their use contradicts the benefits, or worse still, adverse side effects have not yet been explored. The Global Report on Psoriasis authored by the World Health Organization in November 2016 explains that clinical dermatologists do not yet have an understanding of how to treat psoriasis without causing adverse side effects.

To combat the pain of dry, stretched and cracked psoriasis, we psoriatics require a soothing, moisturising and protective emollient, or lotion. We prefer this emollient layer to be made up of naturally occurring compounds that have either little or no side effects, can be easily accessed and do not cost much. Let me introduce you to ceramides.

Why you will love Ceramides
Psoriasis oil
Remnants of psoriasis on my thighs and a carefree smile thanks to wheat germ oil!

Ceramides are intercellular lipids (lipid molecules composed of fatty acids and sphingosine). Ceramides play an important role in regulating the water-holding capacity of your skin while at the same time providing a protective layer.

The four layers of the epidermis contain Ceramides, and they play an important role by creating a barrier which reduces infection and helps to retain the skin’s moisture. Studies have shown that a proper amount of Ceramides in the internal epidermal layer is necessary to maintain healthy skin. Research has shown that ceramides are decreased in the psoriatic epidermis and this may either contribute to the cause of psoriasis, or be the result of psoriasis-driven hyperproliferation of keratinocytes.  In my personal psoriasis experience, a lack of ceramide function has caused an increase in the size and amount of psoriasis lesions and a definite increase in pain.

Ceramides have been used since the early 1990’s by major cosmetic companies for treating aging problems such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness. These were often in the form of expensive topical creams and potions. Because of its moisture retaining properties, Ceramides were eventually included in cosmetic products such as foundations and lipsticks to increase outer moisture and to provide a benefit to the skin while protecting it from damaging elements.

For the psoriatic

Naturally occurring Ceramides are present in the plant world, with the main sources being wheat, rice, soy, and spinach.

Wheat germ oil is my personal favourite Ceramide-rich emollient because the anti-inflammatory activities of Ceramides and linoleic acid are strengthened by the vitamin E present in wheat germ oil. Wheat germ oil has been successful in reducing the spread of my psoriasis and pain, especially in harsh environmental conditions. This oil has been my only skin product during long periods at sea, hiking in snow and while being exposed to the sun for long periods.

What you can do now

We can easily and affordably access Ceramides by applying wheat germ oil onto our skin. By boosting the Ceramide levels in our skin, wheat germ oil can reduce the harmful effects of our external environment on psoriasis, relieve pain and as a well-deserved added bonus, supports anti-ageing as well.

Long live wheat germ oil!

Healthy skin wishes

regi

Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

References

Traub M, Keri Marshall K. Psoriasis – Pathophysiology, Conventional, and Alternative Approaches to Treatment. Alt Med Review 2007; 12( 4): 319-327

Bizot-Foulon V. Inhibition of human neutrophil enastase by wheat ceramides. Int. J Cosmet. Sci. 1995; 17: 255-64

Idsson B. Vitamins and the Skin. Cosmetic & Toiletries, 1993; 108 (12): 79-94

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psoriasis diet to treat psoriasis

Severity of psoriasis is linked to the types of fats and carbs we eat

Studies of psoriasis patients have linked more severe cases of psoriasis with a higher consumption of simple carbohydrates and saturated fats, and with a lower intake of protein, complex carbohydrates, MUFA, PUFA, and fibres.

In a recent journal by Barrea L et al, published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, it was found that the lowest intakes of PUFA, MUFA and complex carbohydrates were associated with higher clinical severity of psoriasis.

Saturated fats vs Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)

In this research, the patients with more severe cases of psoriasis consumed more saturated fats and less monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).

Saturated fats

Saturated fats occur naturally in many foods and particularly from animal sources, including meat and dairy products. Examples of saturated fats are:

  • fatty beef, lamb, pork (bacon)
  • poultry with skin
  • beef fat (tallow or lard)
  • cream and butter
  • cheese and other dairy products made from whole milk

In addition, many baked goods and fried foods can contain high levels of saturated fats.

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA)

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) are considered a healthy dietary fat, as opposed to saturated fatty acid. The most frequently consumed MUFA rich dietary oils is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Traditionally, the beneficial effects of EVOO have been attributed to its high MUFA content (oleic acid), as it protects lipoproteins and cellular membranes from oxidative damage.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)

The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), mainly found in fish and nuts, contribute to provide the protection of several chronic diseases such as psoriasis. Diets rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from fish oil have been associated with improvement of psoriasis in clinical trials by promoting an anti-inflammatory environment.

Simple carbs vs complex carbs

In this research, the patients with more severe cases of psoriasis consumed more simple carbohydrates and less complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates are sugars. While some of these occur naturally in milk, most of the simple carbs in the western diet are added to foods. Common simple carbs added to foods are:

  • raw sugar
  • brown sugar
  • corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup
  • glucose, fructose, and sucrose
  • fruit juice concentrate

Complex carbohydrates consist mainly of fibre and starch. The main sources of dietary fibre and starch include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • beans
  • whole grains

In addition, food fibres also play an important role in decreasing system-wide inflammation, by decreasing the oxidative stress that is produced when there is a high intake of simple carbohydrate foods.

Low energy and vegetarian diets

Previous studies reported the positive effects of low-energy diets and vegetarian diets, and gluten-free diet on the psoriasis condition. Fasting periods or vegetarian diets and diets rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from fish oil have been associated with improvement of psoriasis in clinical trials.

For the psoriatic

A diet regimen rich in MUFA and PUFA, fruits, vegetables, fibre, and with a reduced intake of saturated fats, simple carbohydrates, processed foods and sweetened drinks, should be recommended to reduce the severity of psoriasis.

In a nutshell, keep up the MUFA, PUFA and fibre!

regi

Disclaimer

Reference:

Barrea L, Nappi F, Di Somma C, Savanelli MC, Falco A, Balato A, Balato N and Savastano S. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Environmental Risk Factors in Psoriasis: The Point of View of the Nutritionist. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 743

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psoriasis triggers risk of psoriasis flare up reduce risk of psoriasis

7 factors that trigger psoriasis

There is a pleasant synergy between the viewpoint of alternative and natural medicine and the findings of clinical research. Psoriasis has no known cure and when we find this correlation that alternative and orthodox medicine can agree on, we can give it credibility, and also our full attention!

Based on the text of Clinical Dermatology, written by dermatologists for dermatology students, there are seven clinically accepted causes of psoriasis outbreaks, which apply to each of the 6 patterns of psoriasis. These 6 psoriasis patterns are:

Plaque psoriasis – This is the most common type. Lesions range from a few millimetres to many centimetres in diameter, are pink or red with large, centrally adherent, silvery-white, polygonal scales usually on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp.

Guttate psoriasis – This is usually seen in children and adolescents, often triggered by streptococcal tonsillitis. Numerous small round red macules come up suddenly on the torso and soon become scaly.

Scalp psoriasis – The scalp is often involved. Areas of scaling are lumpy and sometimes more easily felt than seen.

Nail psoriasis – Involvement of the nails is common, with ‘thimble pitting’ and separation of the nail from the nail bed

Flexure psoriasis – Psoriasis is in the folds, particularly under breasts, anogenital area and other folds of skin on the body. Psoriasis is not scaly although red plaques glisten and often fissure in the depth of the fold.

Palms and soles psoriasis – Palmar psoriasis lesions are often poorly demarcated and barely recognised. The fingers may develop painful fissures and at times, lesions are inflamed and studded with 1–2 mm pustules

In each of these psoriasis patterns, these are the common precipitating factors that trigger flare ups, based on the belief of clinical dermatology and alternative medical science:

  1. Trauma
  2. Infection
  3. Hormonal
  4. Sunlight
  5. Drugs
  6. Cigarettes
  7. Emotions

Controlling likelihood and consequence

Of the 7 causes that trigger each pattern of psoriasis, it is empowering to realise that we can take control of the likelihood of the trigger occurring, and thereby plan to minimise the consequence of the trigger if it should occur. When we understand the risks, plan to mitigate them, we wind up with a personal strategy that diminishes the impact these triggers have on our psoriasis. Let’s look at some of these strategies:

Trauma trigger

If the psoriasis is active, lesions can appear in skin damaged by scratches or surgical wounds.

Reduce the likelihood by protecting yourself against physical trauma. This may simply mean that you consider personal protective equipment and clothing.

Reduce the impact by considering taking anti-inflammatory supplements during the healing process. An example is curcumin as a supplement as clinical trials have shown great results in using turmeric to reduce psoriasis activity.

Infection trigger

Tonsillitis caused by streptococci often triggers guttate psoriasis. Bacterial exotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph) and certain streptococci can act as superantigens and produce massive T-cell proliferation and cytokine production leading to disorders such as toxic shock syndrome and psoriasis.

Reduce the likelihood by protecting yourself against bacterial infection. You can contract streptococcal infection after contact with infected persons. The bacteria are present in saliva and nasal discharge so sneezing, coughing and shaking hands can spread the bacteria.

Reduce the impact by boosting your immune response using natural supplements and whole foods as medicine. Antibiotics is the common treatment for streptococci infection however, psoriatics need to be mindful of the importance of a healthy gut microbiome. If antibiotics are necessary, then a probiotic supplement would help restore the good gut bacteria.

Sunlight trigger

Improves most psoriatics but 10% become worse.

Reduce the likelihood of photosensitivity by choosing early morning or late afternoon sunlight and reducing your time in the sun.  Photosensitivity can be caused by side effects of certain medications. Photoallergic reactions can also develop as a side effect of some medications and chemicals found in beauty products and sunscreen.

Reduce the impact by covering and protecting your skin to help prevent a reaction. By wearing hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves when outside you can reduce its impact.

Drugs trigger

Antimalarials, beta-blockers, and lithium may worsen psoriasis. Psoriasis may ‘rebound’ after withdrawal of treatment with efalizumab, systemic steroids or potent topical steroids.

Reduce the likelihood by considering all natural health options before using potent topical treatments for psoriasis. While clinical trial test drug potency against psoriasis, tests for system wide side effects are often overlooked. A case in point is the drug efalizumab, used to treat psoriasis, which has been withdrawn from the market because it increases risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and usually fatal disease of the central nervous system. The primary objective of Psoriasislife Mag is to raise awareness of the dangerous side effects of clinical drugs and creams being used to treat psoriasis, and bring to light natural alternative approaches.

Reduce the impact by nurturing the body with only the best possible nutrients available to you so that if the situation arises when you need drugs, your body is well equipped to assimilate the drug and be better adapt at healing.

Emotion trigger

Emotional upsets seem to cause some exacerbations.

Reduce the likelihood by maintaining healthy relationships, leaving relationships that do not serve a benefit, stocking up on sleep, gathering our support team, and shifting our perspective on what we allow to upset us, in other words, we do not sweat the small stuff. Having compassion for others may help to reduce emotional triggers because we focus less on ourselves and our own feelings, and begin to understand what motivates others.

Reduce the impact by finding a value set that resonates well with you. My personal favourite is The Four Agreements, A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz. I use each agreement to work through a situation, take responsibility for what I can and let go of what I cannot be responsible for. Here is a snapshot:

“The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word

The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally

The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions

The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best”

Don Ruiz, you’re welcome!

 

Keep your finger off the trigger and your skin healthy

regi

Disclaimer

Reference:

Clinical Dermatology, Fourth Edition By Richard P.J.B. Weller, John A.A. Hunter, John A. Savin and Mark V. Dahl

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psoriasis treatment curcumin turmeric

Curcumin shows excellent therapeutic effect on psoriasis

More than 50% of inflammatory factors of psoriasis are decreased by curcumin treatment.

A study into the efficient treatment of psoriasis using a combination of tacrolimus and curcumin loaded liposphere gel formulation was released in October 2016. The research was conducted by the Department of Pharmaceutics, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), India.

To overcome poor solubility and poor skin penetration of a gel formulation that can deliver the tacrolimus and curcumin, lipospheres were deployed to deliver the drugs.  Lipospheres are composed of a solid lipid core surrounded by a layer that may entrap the drug or absorb the drug in its outer lining. The researchers conclude that liposphere gel containing combination of tacrolimus and curcumin can be an effective strategy for the treatment of psoriasis.

What the research article does not address is the risk of side effects of using tacrolimus to treat an autoimmune skin condition.

What is tacrolimus?

Tacrolimus gel works on the immune system and directly on skin cells. It is an immunosuppressant and is given orally or by injection to prevent organ transplantation rejection. Tacrolimus reduces the activity of T-lymphocytes in the immune system and suppresses the body’s defence mechanism. Because of this, there are concerns that topical tacrolimus may aggravate herpes simplex and other viral infections.

What is curcumin?

Curcumin is an active herbal ingredient possessing surprisingly wide range of beneficial properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. The primary source of curcumin is turmeric, a spice derived from the rhizomes of the tropical plant Curcuma longa Linn, which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).

Recent controlled tests on mouse models investigated the effects of curcumin on inflammatory factors secretion in T cells and psoriasis development in keratin.

Results showed that, 10 μM of curcumin significantly inhibited secretion of inflammatory factors. Even more impressive was that more than 50% of T cells proliferation was inhibited by application of 100 μM curcumin.

Compared with severe psoriatic symptoms observed in the negative control mice, all psoriasis indexes were significantly improved by oral application of curcumin in treatment.

Examination showed that curcumin had anti-inflammatory function in the experimental mice. More than 50% level of inflammatory factors were treated, and no obvious side effect in mouse kidney was found after they were treated by curcumin. The test concluded that curcumin has a great potential to treat psoriasis with high efficacy and safety.

For the psoriatic:

Although you are not a mouse, it is worth noting the positive results of this research into curcumin:

  1. T cells proliferation was inhibited by curcumin
  2. Oral application of curcumin showed obvious effects on psoriasis
  3. No obvious side effects of curcumin was found in mouse kidney
  4. Curcumin has a great potential to treat psoriasis

We have long been aware through alternative medicine channels, of the benefits of curcumin. In addition to its use as a spice and pigment, turmeric has been used in India for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is refreshing to see that pharmacology is catching up in recognising these resounding benefits.

Taking turmeric

Consider including turmeric, the primary source of curcumin, in your daily diet. Lots of it!  Here is an interesting fact about the amount of turmeric required in your diet is based on the finnicky bioavailability or curcumin, meaning how much of it can be absorbed into your body systems to give you the benefits you need. Clinical trials in humans indicate that the systemic bioavailability of orally administered curcumin is relatively low, meaning that the portion of curcumin that reaches your body systems, circulation and the site of the target tissue, is low.

You can improve the bioavailability of oral turmeric by chosing curcumin supplements that contain piperine, a major component in black pepper, which increase the bioavailability of curcumin by inhibiting its metabolism, or if you cook with turmeric, add pepper to the preparation.

How much turmeric is too much? Serious adverse effects have not been reported in humans taking high doses of curcumin, however there is potential for curcumin supplementation to increase the risk of bleeding in people taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications.

Turmeric in meal preparation

  • Turmeric is a main ingredient in yellow Thai curry
  • Turmeric and a kaffir lime leaf can be added to rice while it is cooking
  • Turmeric tossed with roast vegetables adds colour
  • Turmeric added to soups gives a rich and warm flavour
  • Turmeric and ginger tea
  • Include pepper when using turmeric to improve its bioavailability

Happy smooth skins

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

 

Disclaimer

Reference:

Tacrolimus and curcumin co-loaded liposphere gel: Synergistic combination towards management of psoriasis. J Control Release. 2016 Dec 10;243:132-145. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.10.004. Epub 2016 Oct 8. Jain A, Doppalapudi S, Domb AJ, Khan W

Curcumin shows excellent therapeutic effect on psoriasis in mouse model.  Biochimie Volume 123, April 2016, Pages 73–80. Di Kanga, Bowen Lia, Lei Luoa, Wenbing Jiangc, Qiumin Lua, Mingqing Ronga, Ren Laia

Curcumin. Howells L, Higdon J. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University

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safe psoriasis treatment

Things that should not get under your skin

Human skin’s most important function is as a defence organ to prevent outside compounds from entering into our body, however it cannot prevent smaller molecules from penetrating.

Our skin is absorbent

Humans have an outer layer of skin, referred to as the corneal layer of the epidermis. This outer layer is just a few micrometers thick with between 5 – 7 cell layers, but effectively forms a barrier that preserves life by protecting our insides from the outside world. Topical creams attempt to penetrate past the epidermal barrier and this is sometimes a challenge when the compounds consist of large molecules.

The 500 Dalton Rule

The molecular weight (MW) of a compound must be under 500 Dalton to allow skin absorption. Larger molecules cannot penetrate the corneal layer.

Interesting things about the 500 Dalton rule are:

Allergens
  • The most common allergens that cause contact dermatitis have a molecular weight (MW) that is under 500 Dalton, and larger molecules are not known as contact allergens. Nevertheless, thousands of molecules have been recognised as inducing contact dermatitis.
Dermatology creams and ointments
  • The most commonly used and effective topical drugs in dermato-therapy all have a molecular weight under 500 Dalton.
Transdermal drugs
  • Certain drugs for system wide treatment need to be delivered through the skin in order to avoid the liver. Transdermal drugs may include nicotine or hormone patches and of the 7 or more drugs delivered transdermally, all are smaller than 350 Dalton.

Harmful things that creep under our skin

What compounds do you use on your skin that have a molecular weight under 500 Dalton?

Dermatology treatments for psoriasis

Creams that we use topically to treat psoriasis are designed to enter our body systems. While these creams have been tested to treat our psoriasis, their safety risks have not been explored. For example, corticosteroids are highly effective in psoriasis but there is a lack of long-term effectiveness and safety data available on this treatment used for psoriasis. Coal tar creams and lotions that are commonly prescribed for psoriasis have been tested to have little or no benefit in treating psoriasis, yet expose us to the risk of side effects.

Medical researchers warn that a strategy for the safe and effective long-term use of treatments for the maintenance of disease control in psoriasis is urgently needed.

Parabens

Parabens are used in over 22,000 cosmetics as preservatives, and are known to cause endocrine disruption, including male reproductive toxicity and various estrogenic activity studies. Are these parabens able to enter our body through our skin? Take a look at the size of their Daltons:

Butylparaben  194 Daltons

Ethylparaben 166 Daltons

Methylparaben 152 Daltons

Propylparaben 180 Daltons

For the psoriatic

Step 1: Check your labels for parabens and consider using natural alternatives such as:

  • Apple cider to wash skin and hair and maintain our pH acid mantle
  • Natural oils to moisturise
  • Magnesium chloride bath soaks

Step 2: Begin to wean yourself off dermatological creams and ointments that penetrate our body systems and put us at risk of side effects, and begin to heal from the inside out. Psoriasislife Mag will continue to provide many well researched articles to help you achieve this.

References

Bos JD, Meinardi MMHM. The 500 Dalton rule for the skin penetration of chemical compounds and drugs. Exp Dermatol 2000: 9: 165-169.

Kalb RE et al. Risk of Serious Infection With Biologic and Systemic Treatment of Psoriasis. JAMA Dermatol, 2015;151(9):961-969

Topical therapies for the treatment of plaque psoriasis: systematic review and network meta-analyses   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19101832

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psoriasis diet and psoriasis nutrition

The glorious 7 and the inglorious 7

When it comes to diet and nutrition for psoriasis, there are winners and losers among the things we put into our bodies

It is a common and misguided belief that when we have a health problem we need to take in some substance in order to heal, and overlook that it is equally important to leave out the offenders that are likely to be causing our psoriasis.  It may be that your entire healing depends on what you stay away from.

The inglorious 7

These are the villains. Based on first-hand accounts of the experiences of psoriasis patients and on the research of Dr John Pagano, there are 7 distinct offenders when dealing with psoriasis. Each can easily (and definitely should be) avoided:

  1. Saturated fats such as red meats and processed meats
  2. Nightshades
  3. Sweets
  4. Smoking
  5. Alcohol
  6. Processed foods
  7. Fried foods

If you respond the way I do, you will be surprised at how your psoriasis improves in a matter of days by avoiding these foods. Study each culprit, record your response in your psoriasis journal and do yourself a favour by avoiding these. 

The glorious 7

These are the good guys that can boost your ability to eliminate psoriasis:

  1. Fresh water and plenty of it. 6 glasses a day or more and preferably with lemon juice
  2. Vegetables, (particularly green leafy vegetables, and preferably raw), and tubers. The ratio of your vegetable intake should be 3 that grow above the ground to one that grows below the ground.
  3. Fresh fruit because these are your body cleaners. (Be aware of your personal requirements if you experience candida, yeast-fungi overgrowth or need to control your blood sugar levels)
  4. Fish, poultry and lamb as animal protein. Vegetarians may combine brown rice and beans to make a complete protein.
  5. Probiotics with active cultures.
  6. Olive oil, garlic and lemon juice (right there is a delicious salad dressing!)
  7. Whole grain breads only, however only small portions

Disciplines and disclaimers

Common sense prevails when it comes to nutrition, and if a particular food causes an undesirable reaction it is to be avoided and recorded in your psoriasis journal – even if it appears on the ‘glorious’ list. Discipline should be maintained in the quantity as well as the quality of the food you consume.

It has long been obvious that these 14 foods play a significant role in healing psoriasis.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine upon whose philosophy modern medicine is founded, has given us this wisdom, “Let your food be your medicine – let your medicine be your food”.

Smooth skin wishes

regi

 

disclaimer

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psoriasis diet

Does what we eat pass the litmus test for psoriasis?

The daily diet of the psoriasis and arthritic psoriasis patients should consist of 80 percent alkaline forming foods and 20 percent acid forming foods.

Modern nutritionists agree that fruits are the primary cleansers of the body, while vegetables are considered to be the builders.

All foods are either alkaline forming, acid forming or neutral. The alkaline formers are the lighter, watery type foods that are more easily digested, such as fruits and vegetables. The acid forming foods are the heavier predominantly protein foods, such as meats and grains, which require greater breakdown for proper digestion and absorption. The neutrals are the dairy products such as milks, yoghurt and kefir.

Alkaline forming foods are the more watery types of fruits and vegetables and their juices. Because these foods are broken down more easily by the body, they are more readily digested.

Although most fruits are alkaline forming within the body, these little guys are some exception:

  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Prunes and plums
  • Blueberries

It is worth noting however that the nutritional benefits of these four extraordinary fruits far outweigh the value we place on whether they are acid forming or alkaline forming.

Fruits are divided into three categories: acid, sub acid and sweet. To avoid confusion however, it is worth remembering that these fruits are not acid forming, in fact most acid fruits are alkaline reacting in the body.

Alkaline formers

These should make up 80% of our psoriasis diet (and habits)

  • Granular lecithin
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice in a cup of warm water (this maintains a healthy alkalinity as well as aids in internal cleansing)
  • Fruit juices (be wary of pre-packaged fruit juices that are reconstituted or sweetened)
  • Outdoor exercise and physical activity
  • Daily pooping
  • Positive emotions

Acid formers

These should make up 20% of our psoriasis diet (and habits). The following foods and habits tend to increase acidity in the body and should be avoided as much as possible by psoriatics:

  • Too many acid forming foods at the same meal, such as starches with sweets, proteins and meats, meats or fats with sugars, too many starchy foods
  • Cane sugar and any product made with cane sugar
  • Most types of vinegar with the exception of cider vinegar
  • Processed foods that contain preservatives, artificial flavourings, colourings and additives
  • Alcohol, smoking and drugs
  • Constipation
  • Inadequate physical activity
  • Negative emotions

Nightshades

While we are on topic about food choices for a better psoriasis experience, it is worth reminding you to avoid the nightshade foods. The nightshades represent a family of plants that should be totally avoided regardless of their acid-alkaline reaction. The nightshades are:

  • Tomatoes
  • Tobacco
  • Eggplant
  • White potatoes
  • Capsicum and Peppers

Nightshades contain irritants to many psoriasis patients, in particular lectins. Nightshades are high in lectins, a substance produced in all plants as a natural pesticide. Lectins ‘stick’ to the small intestine lining and increase the likelihood and symptoms of leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when undigested carbohydrates or lectins create permeability and gaps in the lining of the small intestine, allowing undigested food particles to escape into the blood stream.

Relating this to your personal psoriasis experience

Based on the importance of alkaline formers in the psoriasis patient’s diet, you can begin to create some of your own personal and enduring daily habits to ease your psoriasis. This would involve a swing towards 80% alkaline forming foods, and building alkalinising thoughts, exercise and elimination habits into each day. Keep a psoriasis journal of your experiences with the 80/20 diet and lifestyle. There have been occasions when I have lost track of the 80/20 rule and lesions have gradually resurfaced without realising why. With each change we make that leads us back to the 80/20 diet and activities, the psoriasis lesions slowly subside again.

With love

 

regi

This article is based on experience, testing and research of peer reviewed articles. Please read our disclaimer.

 

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pale-spots-overlay

Some words of encouragement

We can all do with some encouragement, so here is mine to you.

Make a plan, stay with it for at least 6 weeks to see a result.

Keep a journal of the ups and the flare ups and associate it with foods and stresses.

You WILL get relief when you find the right strategy and the discipline to do it.

Please use PsoriasisLife Mag to your advantage and communicate with me if you feel that you need support.

Clear skin wishes,

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

 

 

 

PS: In case you wanted proof of my encouragement message, these are my very own white spots of victory this week after smashing up the psoriasis on my torso.

pale-spots

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Eat oil, sun soak and slap on a lotion for psoriasis relief

There is strong evidence to suggest that psoriasis is an immune-mediated disorder and the role of the immune system as the cause for psoriasis is a major topic of research by pharmaceuticals. While research takes time to conclude and be reviewed, there are safe, natural supplements that have proven successful in case studies.

Immune response and psoriasis

Inflammation is the natural response of your body’s immune system to injuries and harmful things that enter your body. The cells of our immune system immediately travel to the site of irritation and cause inflammation. This includes a widening of local blood vessels that result in an outflow of fluid and immune cells into surrounding tissues.

In normal circumstances, the inflammation disappears after the immune response process has removed the irritation – in other cases such as with psoriasis, the inflammation continues without being able to resolve what it came to do. This then leads to a reaction where an excessive amount of skin is produced. How lovely of our body to try its best to help in such a way – but no thanks!

The immediate need of anyone with psoriasis in the meantime, is to soothe the skin and to reduce or remove the inflammation. In the absence of any solid knowledge of cause or cure for psoriasis, it would be safe for psoriatics to rely on food and food supplements as their form of medicine to improve our quality of life.

Here are some successfully tested foods or food additives that have been recorded as being beneficial to psoriasis.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

One of the most popular anti-inflammatory foods are those high in omega 3 fatty acids such as cold water fish, sardines, tuna. For vegetarians, cold pressed flax oil or raw ground flax seeds are a good source of Omega 3 oils.
Surprisingly, most western world adults and children are deficient in Omega-3 fatty acid and the body cannot produce this oil, making this an important food or supplement.

The omega 3 fatty acids lower triglycerides and, at high levels, lower cholesterol. The anti-aggregatory, anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 fatty acids have been confirmed in medical journals as early as 1998. The conditions that benefit from omega 3 include:
• psoriasis
• inflammation
• coronary heart disease
• hypertension
• arthritis
• other autoimmune disorders, and
• cancer

Vitamin D

If you have psoriasis, it is vital that you maintain your Vitamin D levels, as this is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, such as what psoriasis is considered to be.

The World Health Organisation Report on Psoriasis, along with many other peer reviewed reports, considers Vitamin D to be important for immunomodulatory effects in psoriasis, but unfortunately 80 percent of psoriatics in winter, and 50 percent in the summer, are vitamin-D deficient.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is necessary for the production of vitamin D in the skin and is the best natural source of vitamin D. There are also small amounts of vitamin D in some foods such as fish and eggs but it is difficult to gain enough vitamin D from diet alone. Most people only get five to 10 per cent of their vitamin D from food.

The health experts at Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel warn that UV radiation from the sun is also the main cause of skin cancer. Taking a balanced approach to sun exposure can help make sure you get enough vitamin D while minimising your skin cancer risk.

For vitamin D to be produced, your skin must not be covered with clothing, however, prolonged sun exposure will not increase vitamin D levels further, but will increase the risk of skin cancer. Solariums should never be used to boost vitamin D, as they emit dangerous levels of UV that increase the risk of skin cancer.

Daily exercise also assists with the body’s production of vitamin D.

Magnesium

Magnesium has an important role in complimenting vitamin D as it converts vitamin D into its active form. Magnesium also activates enzyme activity that helps your body use the vitamin D. In fact, all enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium to work. Magnesium is also important for the proper function of calcium.

While I personally find that the pure powder form of magnesium chloride tastes a lot like licking a vehicle engine, I mix it with coconut oil and apply it directly to my skin where it is intended to do its job. I have found over 6 months that the combination of coconut oil and magnesium powder soothes and smooths the skin.

What works for me

The eat, soak and slap routine is a three-part plan that I have personally found to benefit my psoriasis during times of extreme weather and stress. Upon this I have also added nutritional and lifestyle guidelines that are easily incorporated. This routine is simple and cheap to follow and as with all other things I share from my research and own experimentation, please check with your physician if you are on medication, currently ill or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Natural supplements have the benefit of being absorbed by your body without the complexities experienced by synthetic drugs, however I want to make sure that you only ever benefit from the information provided by Psoriasislife.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids or take a supplement, to reduce the inflammation that causes swelling and redness
  2. Soak up the sun to get your weekly intake of vitamin D, taking special care to monitor your UV exposure to avoid skin cancer
  3. Slap on a lotion of coconut oil and magnesium powder – the lauric acid in coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, smooths the skin and carries the magnesium so that you never need to taste it.

Sources:

WHO Psoriasis Info Sheet 3 February 2016
Alternative Medicine Review Volume 12, Number 4 2007
http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/2564887
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/vitamin-d
Disclaimer:

I’m itching to hear from you when you try this, and of course, wish you the very best outcome.

regi

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psoriasislife-nov-22-2016

If you knew that medical professionals knew little about psoriasis, would you want to know more yourself?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Report on psoriasis shows concern about a lack of awareness of health professionals. Based on the 2016 report, WHO points out that an insufficient number of health professionals causes a lack of specialist support to general practitioners, who are the frontline providers of health care. This lack of adequate training of general practitioners and other health-care providers results in a low awareness of psoriasis (WHO, 2015). The outcome for the unfortunate psoriasis patient is under-diagnosis and ineffective therapy.

For the seasoned psoriasis patient, the range of conventional treatment options available to us from our general practitioner or dermatologist are not only limited, but also expose us to long term toxic risk. Don’t get me started on smelling like roadworks, or clothing stains right where you don’t want them to be.

The WHO created a “Model List of Essential Medicines” in 2015, dedicating a section specifically to psoriasis, which includes a small number of topical and systemic treatments.  The pharmaceutical psoriasis treatment options from this list shed light on how deep in the dark ages we still are:

CORE LIST

Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic medicines

Betamethasone cream or ointment

Hydrocortisone cream or ointment

Medicines affecting skin differentiation and proliferation

Coal tar solution

Fluorouracil ointment

Salicylic acid solution

Urea

COMPLEMENTARY LIST

Methotrexate tablets

Ciclosporin capsules

Let’s talk more about toxicity from some of these synthetic psoriasis treatments. John Hopkins University recently conducted a review of 498 patients treated with high-dose methotrexate and revealed 29 drug-related deaths among these patients.  Methotrexate, when used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis has been linked to at least 7 deaths in Australia since 2000 due to incorrect dosage. The Medical Journal of Australia found these deaths occurred because of incorrect or accidental over dosage of the drug (Cairns et al., 2015). Topical ointment and solutions also pose a risk as certain chemicals and can be absorbed through the skin.

The good news is that psoriasis won’t kills us, so let’s not allow the drugs to do so. Psoriasis may, however, break our budget. Annual conventional medical treatment costs for psoriasis in the United States are estimated to be somewhere between $1.6 and $3.2 billion.

The need exists for more effective treatment options with fewer side effects.

One such option is medical nutritional therapy. Although medical associations do not promote a single, specific diet for psoriasis, researchers have reported the effect on psoriasis of modifying various aspects of the diet. Strong scientific evidence exists that shows improvement in psoriasis for a gluten-free diet; some scientific evidence exists for a vegan diet, rice diet, and supplementation with fish oil and vitamin D; and weak scientific evidence exists for a low protein diet, fasting, and supplementation with evening primrose oil, taurine, and zinc sulfate.

So before you stock up on a complex batch of medications and supplements, let’s remember the first hint of good practice from Hippocrates, the father of medicine himself, “first do no harm”. This may mean a trip to a fresh produce market instead.

Love and clear skin

regi

Source:

World Health Organisation (2015) World Health Organization. Available at: http://www.who.int/selection_medicines/committees/expert/20/EML_2015_FINAL_amended_AUG2015.pdf?ua=1,accessed17%2520October%25202015 (Accessed: 18 November 2016).

Cairns, R., Brown, J.A., Lynch, A.-M., Robinson, J., Wylie, C. and Buckley, N.A. (2015) Medical Journal of Australia. Available at: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2016/204/10/decade-australian-methotrexate-dosing-errors (Accessed: 10 November 2016).

Brown, PhD, RD; Michelle Hairfield, PhD; Douglas G. Richards, PhD; David L. McMillin, MA; Eric A. Mein, MD; Carl D. Nelson, DC, A C, 2004. Medical Nutrition Therapy as a Potential Complementary Treatment for Psoriasis – Five Case Reports. Case Report – Psoriasis, Volume 9, Number 3, 297-307.

Please remember to read the disclaimer statement, that keeps both of us out of mischief

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Psoriasis people living with psoriasis

125 million people with psoriasis and no known cure – say who?

It’s been an intense year of study and research dedicated to people living with psoriasis and I am ready to deliver. In fact, I’m more than ready! I am on a mission to improve the quality of life and access to treatment for all people with psoriasis. Building on the humble beginnings of Psoriasislife with its flaky offerings of extremely useful information, we now have enough resources from research and psoriasis experiences to launch us into a place we can learn and share. Hold onto your skins – this is going to be an exciting journey for all of us.

There are currently 125 million people with psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis according to the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA).

Psoriasis Living with PsoriasisIn fact, there are so many of us living with psoriasis that in 2014, Member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised psoriasis as a serious noncommunicable disease (NCD) in the World Health Assembly resolution WHA67.9. The resolution highlighted that many people in the world suffer needlessly from psoriasis due to incorrect or delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment options and insufficient access to care.
What we are seeing, is that the WHO cares about psoriasis and is aware of the social stigmatisation that adds an extra layer to our discomfort. To prove the point, in 2016, the WHO release a Global Report on Psoriasis.
Psoriasis occurs worldwide and has now reached the status of being a serious global problem. It affects men and women, girls and boys of all ages, regardless of ethnic origin, in all countries. There is also evidence to suggest that the prevalence of psoriasis may be increasing. Many studies conducted through WHO show that psoriasis can impact substantially on the quality of life, even when a small body surface area is affected.

Now here is where we come into action. The WHO Global Report on Psoriasis, published in 2016 describes psoriasis as a chronic, noncommunicable, painful, disfiguring and disabling disease for which there is no cure.
This is motivating. There is no better time or greater reason to explore natural therapies alongside scientific research. It is through our personal psoriasis experience that we will come closer to finding the cause and cure.

With 125 million sufferers of psoriasis worldwide – you are not alone.
Although no known cure is documented, this statement relates to conventional medicine. If our adventure into safe alternative practice and shared experience through Psoriasislife has the potential to curtail or even stop your psoriasis, we want to know about it and contribute these successes to those hoping for a cure.

Love and good health

regi

 

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What happened to my skin

What happened to my skin?

You happened. You control your food, emotions and thoughts and therefore you control your cure.

Foods in your psoriasis healing regime need to be alkaline, as opposed to acidic. This principle is at the core of The Gerson Therapy, a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements. Gerson’s leading philosophy is that disease cannot exist in a body that is in an alkaline state.

A person’s blood should always be slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.3 to 7.5 in chemical reaction, to maintain optimum health and immunity. In basic terms, battery acid has a pH of 1 and at the other end of the spectrum, sodium hydroxide has a pH of 14, with 7.3 somewhere on the alkaline side of centre. A psoratic’s daily diet should consist of 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods. Although the alkaline principle is strongly supported by Dr John Pagano DC and Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, they advocate foods that do not irritate the gut or trigger auto immune response and suggest we also avoid un-sprouted grains, red meat, pasteurised dairy, sugar and all processed foods and foods from the nightshade family.

Emotions and feelings initiate a thought; our judgement then decides whether to materialise that thought. If the thought is approved by the judgement, the imagination is put into motion by visualising that thought as already being achieved. The will then holds that visualisation until it manifests as a reality in your life. These are the words of Thomas Troward, who wrote seven books on the topic of the power of thought and who describes this process as the train of causation. This is important to psoratics in that they can help the healing process by fixing their thoughts and beliefs on the idea that their skin is already healed. The judgement component of the train of causation is one part of the mental machinery that some psoratics need to really explore, for example does your judgement really want your psoriasis to be cured, and do you feel that you deserve to be cured and do not need those extra layers of protection?

We have the power within ourselves to decide on the emotions that we choose in response to the events around us. Two of the most damaging and also toxic human emotions are hate and fear.

Hate is accompanied by resentment and anger. These ugly emotions trigger acidic reactions in or body and most likely cause damage to relationships and hurt to others, mostly to ourselves. We may even allow people to live rent-free in our head, something they may be totally unaware of or unaffected by. Adopt a different viewpoint, practice compassion and forgiveness.

Fear is an irrational emotion of hatred – an intense form of dislike and is often aggravated by not knowing or having control of that which we fear. Fear is damaging and can be overcome with learning to understand, building contingencies and capabilities, remaining calm and avoiding situations that place us in danger or fear.

The condition of the skin affects the emotions, and the emotions affect the skin. There is an interaction between the two that cannot be denied and helping one often helps the other. When a psoratic learns to control emotions, the skin usually improves.

Thoughts have an overwhelming influence on how psoriasis affects you, and indeed whether you are affected by psoriasis. Holisitc healing recognises that we are a unity of spirit, mind and body and that these need to be balanced for our health and well-being. Plato commented in Phaedrus almost 2400 year ago, “For this is the great error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that the physicians separate the soul from the body”. Thoughts emanate and are shaped by our spirit, and whilst both of these are intangible, the effects that a negative and pessimistic outlook have on our psoriasis can be very visible. I have noticed obvious patterns of psoriasis outbreaks between 48 and 72 hours after I have allowed destructive negative emotions to take control.  Are your thoughts constructive or destructive? The nature of your thoughts builds the world around you. The philosopher James Allen, in his work As a Man Thinketh said “As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.” When we realise the power of our thoughts, both conscious and subconscious, we begin a path of constructive, conscious thinking.

Correct thinking and guarding your thoughts from negative outside influences plays a vital role in healing your psoriasis. Positive affirmations are tools that we can use as constant reminders that direct our thinking in the right direction.

Psoriasis emotions thoughts

Self discipline

From my personal experience, it is far easier to lose self-discipline with a food regime than it is to lose self-discipline with your emotions and thought processes. Once you achieve a state where you no longer allow toxic emotions like fear or hate to affect you, they quite easily diminish from your thought processes. It is important to understand that mental toxins in the form of anger, hatred, resentment and fear can turn the body acidic as surely as acid forming foods do.

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psoriasis drug free chemical free psoriasis environment

Testing our environment for psoriasis triggers

Today I’ll be boarding a 41 foot yacht with two dear friends in Fiji and sailing 2000 kilometres to New Zealand. It is the ultimate test – no land, no pollution, no chemicals and no processed food for 2-3 weeks – long enough to test how environmental factors (and possibly some stresses based on ocean conditions) cause changes in psoriasis.

The core objective of psoriasislife is to test drug free alternatives for their potency in removing psoriasis from your life. As editor and chief psoratic, I have tested each of the recommendations on my own psoriasis for the previous 6 years and have journalled the results before I share them with you. My experiments are based on the research and observations of only reliable medical professionals. However, I am about to embark on an experiment that comes straight from the heart.

To prepare for this trial I have brought myself to a psoriasis free state, except for leaving those pesky spots on both upper thighs for something to work with. The trip will show whether this goes pear shaped (the psoriasis, not my thighs!) or whether I come out clean. I will journal how psoriasis reacts to mental stress and how it improves when pollutants are removed.

I can’t wait to share all about it with you on the flipside!

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