Psoriasis is a mysterious and often misunderstood disease. It’s uncomfortable, frustrating, and difficult to treat. Doctors have yet to identify the exact cause of it, and there’s no known cure. So it’s no wonder that those who suffer from psoriasis are willing to try anything to get their flare-ups under control.
A common belief is that modifications to your diet can significantly reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. Web sites warn against eating certain foods; everything from gluten to red meat to dairy products has been implicated in causing outbreaks. But most of these reports are based on anecdotal evidence, with little to no medical science to back up the claims. If you’re afraid that your favorite food might be contributing to your psoriasis, don’t worry: it isn’t.
The truth is, there are only three real dietary factors that may affect your psoriasis.
Dietary factors that can affect your psoriasis
Alcohol can weaken the immune system & increase chance of Psoriasis
When consumed in moderation, alcohol shouldn’t be a problem for your psoriasis. But if you engage in routine heavy drinking, you’re more likely to experience psoriasis problems. According to the National Institute of Health, studies have shown a causal link between habitual alcohol consumption and psoriasis outbreaks. Not only can excessive alcohol intake weaken the immune system and decrease the effectiveness of treatment, but it can also cause harmful interactions with certain drugs that are used to treat psoriasis. To minimize the risk of alcohol-related psoriasis problems, limit your intake to a moderate amount – generally, one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men.
Cigarettes can increase likelihood of severe Psoriasis
It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health. From lung disease to heart disease to cancer, cigarette smoking harms every organ in your body. It also exacerbates existing health conditions, like psoriasis. According to a study from the Archives of Dermatology, people who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day are more than twice as likely to have severe psoriasis than non-smokers. Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health – and it will help ease the symptoms of your psoriasis, too.
Calories & obesity may be linked to Psoriasis
Although many of the claims linking specific foods to psoriasis outbreaks are unfounded, a study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has found evidence linking severe psoriasis to obesity. While it’s not always the case, people with a high body mass index may be at an increased risk of developing psoriasis, and may also be more resistant to treatment. If you’re overweight, it’s important to lower your caloric intake in an effort to shed some pounds. Weight loss has been associated with improvements in psoriasis and more effective treatment of the disease.
CDCRI in San Diego can treat your psoriasis
At the California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute, we’re committed to finding new and effective treatments for those who are suffering from psoriasis. We offer several advanced treatments for psoriasis, including biologic therapy. In addition, we work closely with pharmaceutical manufacturers to conduct clinical research studies on the latest medical breakthroughs that can help you manage your disease. If you’d like to learn more about how we can ease the discomfort of your psoriasis, call us today at (760) 203-3839.