Psoriasis, immune system and nutrition

  • Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease wherein skin cells tend to build up quickly on the surface, eventually causing scaling and inflammation in the form of pain, swelling, heat and redness
  • Since psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease, making sure that your immune system is in optimal shape is a huge must if you want to prevent this condition from affecting you or someone you know

Some people tend to overlook the fact that the skin is your body’s largest organ in terms of size, and that it performs vital functions such as retaining body fluids, avoiding dehydration and shutting out harmful microbes. Moreover, your skin is one of the most visible body parts that typically come into contact with your surroundings.1

Maintaining skin health and keeping it well nourished may work wonders not just for your body, but for your confidence too. Unfortunately, there are certain conditions, like psoriasis, that can severely affect your skin not just on a physical level but from an emotional standpoint as well.

A Brief Overview of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease2 wherein skin cells tend to build up quickly on the surface, eventually causing scaling and inflammation in the form of pain, swelling, heat and redness.3,4

Psoriasis patients often notice the development of plaques, or patches of thick, red skin encased with silvery scales, on their elbows, knees, scalp, face and lower back, to name a few.5

The onset of psoriasis is typically linked to the immune system, in particular a type of cell called the T cell that usually helps with shielding your body from infections and diseases.

If you have psoriasis, these cells are influenced and go into action, making them trigger other immune responses that eventually result in inflammation and rapid skin cell turnover.6

Some patients, on the other hand, may be affected with psoriasis because of genetics. It is said that 1 in 3 people with a close relative may have the condition, and that children may develop the disease if one or both parents have been diagnosed with psoriasis.7

How Many People Are Affected With This Condition?

Psoriasis is a condition that affects more than 6 million people in the U.S.8 According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), the condition typically develops in patients when they are 15 to 35 years old, although psoriasis can manifest at any age.

In fact, 10 to 15 percent of psoriasis patients are already affected with the condition before they’re 10 years old, and some infants may be diagnosed with the disease as well, although this is considered rare.9

The condition is not gender specific, as the NPF states that men and women develop psoriasis at equal rates. Meanwhile on a racial perspective, roughly 1.9 percent of African-Americans are affected with psoriasis, while 3.6 percent of Caucasians have the disease.10

Foods

Fish such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies: these types of fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fats that can help reduce inflammation and enhance your immune system.3

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies are the best types of fish that you can eat because they aren’t fed artificial feed, nor are they contaminated with health-wrecking chemicals.

•Seeds such as flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds: these are both good sources of vital omega-3 fats.4 Their essential oils of flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds work wonders as well.

Flaxseed oil can help heal psoriasis and other skin diseases like rosacea and eczema.5 On the other hand, an animal study revealed that pumpkin seed oil can assist in relieving arthritis (another inflammatory condition) just as well as a drug called indomethacin, sans the side effects.6

•Nuts like walnuts and almonds: raw nuts such as walnuts and almonds are abundant in omega-3 fats.

One-quarter cup of walnuts can deliver more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of anti-inflammatory, plant-based omega-3 fats, while almonds contain anti-inflammatory linoleic and linoleic acids that can work in boosting skin and hair health.7

•Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale: leafy greens have worked well in helping treat certain diseases, and psoriasis is one of them. In particular, research has shown that vitamin K-rich vegetables like spinach and kale can significantly lessen inflammatory markers in the blood.

 

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s