Last evening I had the opportunity to take part in a webinar hosted by the National Psoriasis Foundation, featuring guest speaker Dermatologist and psoriasis expert Jerry Bagel, M.D. I was pretty excited to see that a lot of the information that was presented was consistent with the research on nutrition that I’ve done throughout my own journey. I did find it to be an incredible reminder to go back to basics and go back to a cleaner diet. I’ve been slacking a bit this summer in the healthy eating department. I’m a sucker for BBQ’s, but along with them comes the hot dogs, hamburgers, Corona’s and chips – not exactly the picture of perfect health.
Here’s a recap of some of the wonderful information that I took away from the presentation:
- Psoriatic Arthritis symptoms do not appear until approximately ten years after the first signs of psoriasis (for the majority), so it’s something to keep a lookout for if you’re newly diagnosed or hitting that time-frame.
- Drinking alcohol opens up the blood vessels in your skin, inviting the white blood cells, (including the T cells that are believed to be responsible for psoriasis) into the outer layers of your skin more easily. This makes a lot of sense, because I can usually see a pretty immediate reaction in my skin if i overdo it with the booze.
- The following foods promote inflammation: processed food, sugary foods, white flour, white rice, foods that include omega-6 fatty acid – fatty red meat, dairy
- Gluten can increase inflammation as well, 73% of people in a recent study found their psoriasis symptoms decreased by 50% by following a gluten-free diet
- Psoriasis skin grows at seven times the rate of normal skin growth and Vitamin A helps to slow down that growth
- Allow 12-24 weeks to see results when making a food/diet change
- Elimination of the nightshade family may not make a difference in your psoriasis, it’s personal to each individual. Consider eliminating them one at a time (for at least 12 weeks) to determine if it is a cause of flares for you
- Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory product, but further research is needed to understand the proper dosage needed for effectiveness (I’m on the right path!)
- Try to eat cold-water fish 2-3 times a week, high in Omega-3, which has anti-inflammatory properties
- If this kind of plan is new for you, take it slow and day by day. Small substitutions can result in big improvements.
A recording of the presentation will be available at the below link beginning the week of August 20, check it out: