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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Managing Psoriasis with diet alteration

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Psoriasis is a skin condition, rather than a disease. However, it is not contagious, but it can be hereditary. Although there are no exact causes for the condition, it is sometimes an allergic reaction to external influences, including food and environment, and sometimes stress.

One of the first steps to reduce the severity of psoriasis is to drink plenty of water. Thereafter, altering your diet by including plenty of green leafy vegetables can help improve your condition considerably, although this is not a cure. Thereafter, you will have to take treatment with your physician simultaneously.

As there are several treatment methods for psoriasis, diet plays an important part in managing the condition. Foods that are popular triggers for this condition include red wine, red meat, coke, hot spices, junk foods, berries, tomato, oily and acidic foods. In general, people with poor diet have worse cases of psoriasis.

A balanced diet is crucial for overall health. But, certain foods in particular, have specific benefits in managing psoriasis.

It is said that fatty types of fish, including tuna, salmon, herring and sardines, have high omega-3 fatty acid content in them. The healthy fat in these helps fight inflammation. This implies that these could as well be helpful in the case of psoriasis, as this is basically an inflammatory skin condition. Although, there are numerous studies to support this fact, there is no clear cut evidence linking omega-3 to improvement in psoriasis. But, as there is already strong proven evidence about eating fish being good for your heart, you can always give it a try.

Some people with psoriasis have reported worsening of their symptoms when they consume wheat. This could possibly be due to their sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in rye, barley and wheat. According to studies, patients with increased levels of certain antibodies in their blood, also report gluten sensitivity. Therefore, if you have gluten sensitivity and psoriasis, ensuring a gluten-free diet may go a long way in managing your psoriasis symptoms.

In general, food triggers vary from one person to another. But, if you suspect that certain foods make your psoriasis symptoms worse, try getting these foods out of your diet.

The smart food choices in general, are eating more vegetables and fruits, including more of whole grains and olive oil, while limiting saturated fat, trans-fats and added sugar, and refined carbohydrates to promote general health. Combine this with good exercise routine and adequate sleep to combat stress.

Such a routine, apart from fighting infections, can also keep psoriasis symptoms under control, and promote general health.

Other home tips: To reduce stress-triggered psoriasis, turn to meditation and yoga. Acupuncture, though considered safe for psoriasis, it is not known to what extent it actually helps your skin. But, for patients with psoriatic arthritis, acupuncture helps in pain management.

The Chinese herb indigo naturalis is considered effective in treating psoriasis. The powdered herb can be mixed into an ointment and applied to the skin.

Similarly, when Dead Sea salts are applied to a bath, they help remove scales on your skin and reduce itching. Similar results can also be obtained with Epsom salt, but, for best results, soak for 15 minutes.

Aloe vera, when applied directly on the skin, is thought to help in reducing psoriasis plaques. Other natural remedies that can be tried include application of oats, apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil to the skin.

Tags: diet, Psoriasis, Skin Care

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