Ever thought of how paleo diet psoriasis inventors first thought of the idea? Let’s face it, having psoriasis sucks so why not try to cool it down with the diet you eat?
Nutrition and diet
Scientific evidence that links definitively psoriasis and diet is still lacking but there are an ever increasing number of case studies showing the benefits a good diet has on the disease. Many psoriasis and diet success stories can be classified as “anecdotal” but this still gives many people suffering from the disease a lot of hope. Doctors always recommend people suffering from psoriasis follow a healthy, balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight to avoid aggravating the disease and have it transform to an even more serious form of psoriasis. Maintaining a healthy weight helps to reduce the severity of the psoriasis and also helps minimize the risk of developing other related diseases including heart disease and diabetes.
[note]Here is a diet that has helped people with psoriasis as well as psoriatic arthritis improve their condition as well as their overall health.[/note]
The gluten free diet (Paleo diet)
Please note that new research has shown that up to 25% of people suffering from various forms of psoriasis may also be sensitive to gluten. What is gluten? This is the name given to a complex form of protein that is common in cereals and grains. It is found in barley, wheat and rye as well as in all their derivatives. Some of the more obvious sources of gluten include products such as pasta, bread and crackers. Gluten is also used in many unexpected places such as in the processing of foods like soy sauce, lunch meats, licorice, monosodium glutamate (MSG), salad dressings among many others.
Can the gluten free diet help your psoriasis?
This is a very valid question and many people do wonder if a gluten free diet will help improve their condition. There are people suffering from psoriasis who also happen to have gluten sensitivity while others are affected by celiac disease which is an actual allergy to the gluten itself. Both these groups require complete elimination of gluten from their diets. [note]You can talk to your health care provider about the elimination of gluten from your diet or you can take a blood test to screen for celiac disease.[/note]
Even though more studies are required to better understand the relationship between psoriasis and gluten, many people report a dramatic improvement in their skin condition and joint pain when on a gluten free diet. Some studies have shown that psoriasis patients with the HLA CW6 gene, a gene that is linked to psoriasis, had an increased sensitivity to the gliadin protein or gluten.
Other studies have shown that patients who have a gluten sensitivity showed an improvement in their psoriasis when they started the gluten free diet. [note]By contrast, other studies have found no elevation in anti-endomysial (AEA) antibodies and anti-gladin AGA antibodies in people who had mild to moderate forms of psoriasis. [/note]While a gluten free diet may certainly not be the answer for everyone, if you are among those who are sensitive to gluten then it may make a noticeable difference to your particular case and thus worth the try.
Cons and pros of a paleo diet
The paleo diet psoriasis fight has taken a new shape over the last few years. With the dramatic increase in celiac disease diagnosis and gluten intolerance, mainstream grocery stores, bakeries and restaurant chains are introducing many more gluten free products.
Following a paleo diet requires you to be educated on all the hidden sources of gluten and avoid them. To avoid all sources of gluten, you must carefully read all labels. You need not only avoid wheat but all it derivatives including kamut, durum, semolina graham and spelt. The same applies to barley derivatives like malt vinegar and malt flavoring as well as soy sauce and MSG. [note]Remember, just because the label says “wheat-free” doesn’t mean it is also gluten-free. [/note]Following a paleo diet requires you to constantly read the labels because manufacturers do change ingredients without any notice.
Some manufacturers add saturated fats, sugar and other preservatives to their gluten free products to make them taste better but these also add calories to the products. Just because the diet happens to be gluten free doesn’t mean that it also makes them calorie free so you also have to be on the lookout for this. You still need to stick to the principles of a balanced diet.
If a psoriasis patient’s skin improves as a result of a paleo diet, it’s likely the patient’s digestive system is improving as well, and absorbing more nutrients which is good for everyone. Paleo diets do allow you to still eat all fresh fruits and veggies, which should be part of your healthy diet. [note]Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish and dairy products are also naturally gluten-free. Again, just be sure to watch for those artificial additives.[/note]
How long will it take to work?
If you try a paleo diet psoriasis combatant, it can take anything from a few weeks to several months for all the inflammation to subside. [note]It is normally recommended that you remain completely gluten-free for at least 3 months, being sure to take out any sources of gluten from your diet. [/note]After the first three months, if you are still unsure if you’ve seen a benefit from eliminating the gluten, add it back into your diet. Then over the next few days, be sure to take note of any increase in itching, headaches, joint pain etc. If you don’t notice any benefits then you may choose to add the gluten back in your diet. Before you try a paleo diet on your own, you should talk to a doctor or your nutritionist. This way you will be sure of exactly what diet plan you are following and it will be the safest path for you. Remember, there is no “blanket” diet for everyone suffering from psoriasis so the diet has to be tailor made to suit your unique situation.