Psoriasis: Symptom treatment includes whole grain foods

PLEASANT (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) say that around 1.3-2.2% of people in the UK have psoriasis, the equivalent of around 1.5 million people. Psoriasis is often a painful and uncomfortable condition in which the skin develops dry scaly patches that can vary in severity and position. Also, like gout or arthritis, psoriasis is chronic, which means patients can live with it for a long time. Express.co.uk spoke to nutritionist Melissa Snover of Nourished to find out which foods can help relieve symptoms of the disease when they arise.

However, before tackling the best foods to manage symptoms, one must first know the symptoms.

Psoriasis is more than just scaly skin, there are different types of psoriasis including plaque psoriasis which normally forms on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back.

These are normally itchy or painful and in severe cases may crack and bleed; it is the most common form of psoriasis. Other common forms of the condition include:
• Scalp psoriasis
• Psoriasis of the nails
• Reverse psoriasis
• Pustular psoriasis.

As for the foods in question that are best recommended for alleviating the condition, Ms Snover lists those that are readily available at most local supermarkets.

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Talk to Express.co.uk she said: “Whole foods, fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils, fish, lean proteins, plant proteins such as tofu or tempeh, nuts and seeds are all foods that help fight inflammation and contribute to a healthy and balanced diet.

“Some studies have shown that some patients have high gluten sensitivity and their psoriasis symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet. That’s why choosing gluten-free pasta and bread, and avoiding beer and squash fruits containing gluten, may help relieve psoriasis.

Additionally, Ms Snover added, “Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly can also relieve stress, which can improve your psoriasis. Many psoriasis patients also find that vitamins and dietary supplements can help relieve irritation and help cleanse the skin.

“In particular, vitamin E, C, A, and iodine supplements may support healthy skin production and are powerful antioxidants that may defend the skin against irritation and inflammation.”

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Although a change in diet can be effective in helping to treat psoriasis symptoms, it is not a magic bullet. Snover explained: “No diet can cure psoriasis, but there are many foods that can help lessen the severity of symptoms.

“It should be noted that these foods may differ from person to person. For example, someone may see their psoriasis worsen by eating nuts, but for others, nuts are a healthy source of protein as part of their overall balanced diet.

“It’s good practice for people with psoriasis to keep track of the food they’ve eaten when their skin condition worsens. This way, they can slowly navigate the types of foods that affect psoriasis. look and feel of their skin. This can have a significant impact for some and be extremely beneficial.

What are the main treatments for psoriasis?

Psoriasis is normally a condition that is managed rather than cured and often treatments vary depending on the type and severity of the psoriasis in question, says the NHS.

Treatments generally fall into three categories, topical, phototherapy and system. Topical treatments involve applying creams and ointments to the skin while phototherapy involves exposing the skin to certain types of ultraviolet light.

Meanwhile, systemic treatments occur when drugs are taken by mouth or injected to work on the whole body. The NHS says these treatments often overlap and are used in combination with each other.

Here are some examples of thematic treatments:
• Emollients
• Steroid creams or ointments
• Vitamin D creams
• Calcineurin inhibitors
• Coal tar
• Dithranol.

Biological treatments are sometimes also used. These reduce inflammation by targeting overactive immune system cells and are used on severe psoriasis.

What causes psoriasis?

Just as there are a range of treatments, there are also a range of causes of psoriasis. Sometimes these are physiological while other times they are psychological.

For example, psoriasis can be caused by a prolonged period of stress or lifestyle habits such as smoking and hormonal changes in women.

Can psoriasis be transmitted?

No, psoriasis is not passed from person to person. However, the important thing is that it can be managed with proper treatment.

Support is available through the NHS and the Psoriasis Association who provide help and advice for people with psoriasis as well as advice on how to deal with the ups and downs that come with it.



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