(I guess I had something to say about diet and it’s effects on psoriasis and other inflammation disorders. Very long post follows.)
I just looked high and low for the old 1980’s psoriasis commercial with a young girl who says “and nobody wants to hold my hand.” Sad face. While searching for the video, I saw hundreds of videos and links to medicines and tinctures and other “cures” for psoriasis. I grew up with psoriasis, and when I think back to how much time and money my
grandparents spent trying to find a cure for me I just shake my head and want to cry. I remember sitting at the table, head bent over, while my grandma dabbed Sea Breeze Astringent on my neck. IT BURNED SOOOOO BAD. But she did it because someone told her that would help. It didn’t. Not one bit, but for months I would sit with my head bent over letting my grandma dab that shit all over my neck. I am sure it broke her heart, but she didn’t know any other way. There was the creams that they found at the fair that smelled like poop, there were the shampoos the doctors had said were the answer, that smelled like tar. NOTHING worked.
As an adult, I had just given up and accepted it for what it was, itchy, dry patches of scaly skin that cracked and bled often. Then it started showing up on the palms of my hands a couple years ago. Nothing big at first, but still pretty painful when it would crack. I didn’t really associate it with psoriasis, just thought it was from the super cold weather and constantly washing my hands. I noticed it wasn’t going away and then saw it was showing up in small patches where my thumbs and pointer fingers meet. Then it started up on my elbow, and then a big patch showed up on the bottom of my shin right above my foot. WTF?! I went to the doctor and was given a new cream. The cream took the itch away, a little, but the palms of my hand itch so bad my daughter would get ooked out and beg me to stop scratching. Saw the doctor again, and his answer was to increase the times I apply the cream.
During this time I was still working out with Dawn, my personal trainer, who would listen to me piss and moan about my various ailments. At one time she suggested maybe visiting her naturopath doctor to see if they had any tinctures they could recommend. Obviously to me, this just seemed like another “Snake Oil” I had already used on various other occasions, so I never followed through. Then when I was finally at my wits end with the other crap my doctors couldn’t help me with , and I was willing to try anything, I made an appointment to see her naturopath. When I walked in his office I was there because of my problems with the peri-menopause, consistent low-grade fever, and weight gain regardless of the fact that I was taking anti-depressants and ADD medication which should have acted as appetite suppression. OH and the fact that my blood pressure was suddenly borderline even though I have ALWAYS had low blood pressure, yet that didn’t alarm the doctors or nurses. (That is just a small list of the CRAP I was dealing with at the time.) Psoriasis wasn’t even really something I had considered talking to the doctor about, but when he did his exam he looked at the condition of my skin and obviously noticed I had several patches of the crusty ass crap. We started to discuss a plan of attack for dealing with the big issues. He said he thought I would benefit from an Anti-Inflammatory diet because almost ALL of my issues were inflammation issues.
(From this point forward I am only going to discuss the diet and how it affected my long history with psoriasis)
I started off small, adjusting just a few foods at a time, and within a week I was seeing results. I stopped itching as much and the redness of the patches was reduced. I was so excited I made a few more changes to my diet, and within a month my skin was clear, except the back of my neck and head which had a significant reduction in size. What had I done different? There were no magic medicines, a few vitamins and supplements, but those weren’t necessarily for my psoriasis. No, the only thing I had really changed was my diet. I cut sodas, and diet sodas especially! I cut out pastas and breads. High sugar foods, gone. And last, I cut out those dastardly Nightshade foods! Tomatoes are part of the Nightshade family, and so my beloved pasta sauce had to go.
38 years of my life I dealt with “moderate to severe plaque psoriasis”. 38 years of pain, itch, and embarrassment. 38 years of money wasted on “cures” for something a change in diet could have easily fixed. Gah! It makes me sooooo mad. But now that I have the answer, I need to stick with it. I have been horrible recently and have enjoyed a few too many slices of bread and a few too many treats. Yes, I gained some weight back, but the worst is my hands are dry and horrible again. And the patch that was on my elbow and leg are coming back bigger and worse. All because I turned my back so easily on the answer to my life long prayers. Why? Because I am a food addict. I need to treat those foods that create distress in my body like I treat drugs and alcohol. If I can be drug and alcohol free, why the hell can’t I be gluten and sugar free?
To those of you seeking the answer to your own issues with psoriasis or inflammation, I would almost bet an anti-inflammatory diet would help. But, everyone is different, so you would need to adjust the diet to work for you. For me, I need to cut all Nightshades. I am highly sensitive to the alkaloids in them, but not everyone is. I used to be the person who poo pooed alternative medicine and made fun of it saying it was “voodoo”, but I allowed myself to be open minded and found that I was ridiculous for not trying. So here I am again, facing the changes I need to make to be a healthy, happy woman, who is free of psoriasis. I invite you to join me. The worst that can happen is you decide it’s not for you and go back to eating like you were.