Living La Vida Loca With Psoriasis

I was lucky enough to get Psoriasis when I was 13 years old. I think it started in my scalp, then continued down around and in my ears, then some of my face, before it settled nicely on my elbows, knees, ankles and spots here and there on my legs. If you have never heard of Psoriasis before or don’t really know what it is, it s a skin condition caused by a hereditary predisposition or gene. It might lie dormant for years without any symptoms before it decides to come out in full bloom. What really happens to your skin is an overproduction of skin cells, so you are left with way to many cells to cover you skin as per normal, and the leftovers starts forming scales. The scales itch, falls off and leaves you with sore, thin and pink skin. Hurray! Anyone who has just hit puberty would love to have itchy, scaly skin, right? Lucky girl I was!

Well, not quite. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about Psoriasis  and the researchers and scientists are still scratching their heads to figure out how to stop it from happening. I don’t trust scientist, and after years and years of going to doctor after doctor giving me steroid creams, I decided I don’t like doctors either. So I stopped using the creams. They don’t work that well anyway and you just end up getting immune and you need stronger creams. And so on. Now you are probably wondering why I am telling you this? Having had Psoriasis for more than half my life, I have tried many, many things to get rid of the symptoms and have beautiful, non-scaly skin. You have already heard my banana-peel story, I tried shots of Aloe Vera every day, I tried bathing in salt water in my bath tub and I tried any other miracle cure I heard of. Nothing really helped that much, and as soon as I stopped using it, the psoriasis flared up again.

Picture from here

Picture from here

As the years has gone by, I have really started to understand that we are what we eat. Like seriously, the food we put in our mouth is the building blocks of our body; bones, skin, teeth, eyes and brain. When we eat certain things, we feel strong and energetic and when we eat other things, we might start sneezing. When living with Psoriasis, there is a very long list of things you should avoid eating to get better. I will share a list of to do and not to do with you. This may not be that interesting for people without Psoriasis, but it might be worth a try even if you have a different skin condition. This is the only diet I have ever stuck to, not for the reason to lose weight, but to clear my skin. And it actually worked. If you know anyone with Psoriasis who would benefit from this, please share the link with them!

Usually there is one major primary trigger that activates the Psoriasis the first time, such as hitting puberty, injury or infection, stress, anxiety or taking certain drugs. When you have it, there are secondary triggers that makes it worse. Below is a list of what you should avoid if you have Psoriasis;

  • High intake of tomatoes, chillies, capsicums, curries, citrus, berries, pineapples, kiwi fruit, peas, soft drinks (carbonated), chocolate, cakes, ice cream (any sweets), tea, coffee, pork, red meat, sausages (processed meat), potatoes, alcohol (red wine and champagne are the worst), smoked fish, smoked/processed meat, lentils, ALL dairy products, vinegar, additives, tomato sauce and salt.
  • Stay away from emotional stress and worry. Get help with anxiety. If you have an overactive mind, this may release stress hormones and work in the same manner.
  • Stay away from chemical exposure. Always wear gloves when cleaning the house. Don’t smoke. Don’t dye or perm your hair. Try to avoid paint, insecticides and don’t wear anything with nickel.
  • If you are constipated, have diarrhoea or IBS, get help for this.

Now you might wonder if there is anything left to do or eat. There is a few pointers of things you should do and should eat too:

  • Drink plenty of water, my opinion on water here – at least two litres a day.
  • Eat lots of green vegetables such as spinach, beans, snow peas, broccoli, celery, lettuce, watercress, chinese greens and the list goes on. If it’s green, it’s good!
  • Try Yoga or Meditation if you are stressed or have an overactive mind.

In addition to this things such as plant pollen, yeast, hot showers, cold weather, central heating and air condition may make the Psoriasis worse. I find mine is at its worst when I am in Norway in winter, where it’s freezing outside, warm inside with the fire burning, I am eating more cheese and chocolate than I normally would and probably drinking more wine than normal too. I followed the above strictly for 3 months, eating a shed load of green vegetables a day, fish or chicken as my protein and lots and lots of green salads. It was hard at times, but my skin was clearer than it has been for 15 years. Finally I had soft elbows (I did almost start to cry!!). When I started reintroducing foods on the ‘no’ list, a few spots came creeping back, but now I know how to manage it. I also found an all natural cream that works really well with Psoriasis skin. I will tell you more about that later.

Beach, Sun, Salt Water and Relaxation may help

Beach, Sun, Salt Water and Relaxation may help

Taking time to smell the flowers may also help

Taking time to smell the flowers may also help

In the world of Psoriasis I actually have to consider myself lucky, as I have the drop-type (guttate) of the condition that doesn’t get as thick as many other types. I guess I can consider myself lucky for being generally health conscious as well, and trying to keep it under control with what I eat. If you have Psoriasis and would like to know more about how I treat mine, please contact me (you find my contact details in the Contact box above) or if you have a simple question leave a comment below. Even if you don’t have the condition yourself, I hope you did learn something new today 🙂

PS; I didn’t put any pictures of Psoriasis skin, if you wish to know how it looks, please use Google.

 

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8 Responses to Living La Vida Loca With Psoriasis

  1. Jenny says:

    Great post, Åshild! I also find that much of this works if you suffer from eczema or hives as well. I recommend everyone reading The PH miracle. It gives you a good insight in how food affects the body on a microbiological level. Good nerdy stuff!

    • Thanks Jenny, I actually read that book about 6-7 years ago when I decided to change my lifestyle and lose weight (I will post about my weight journey later). I like the principle of the book, but I think they are taking it a little over the top 🙂
      Have a great night.

      Ashild
      xoxo

  2. map56823 says:

    Great story! I don’t know if I would be able to manage without red meats, salt and fruits or coffee! Although having clearer skin would probably be worth it. I will keep your food tips in mind and try my best to stay clear of them. Thank you for the help!

  3. I came across this post after you followed my blog – thank you Åshild! I had psoriasis for 15 years before my wonderful sister, who is a very talented naturopath, cured me. My psoriasis was mainly on the palms of my hands – very unsightly and itchy and painful. No doctor was able to relieve the symptoms, let alone give me a cure. I think the prime trigger was chemicals in paint I was using, and also my sister linked it back to a low fat diet I was on at the time. I’m not sure of the anatomical details, but she described a possible block in essential fats being distributed throughout my body. The condition always flared, almost beyond control when I was particularly stressed.

    She treated my with an improved diet, plus anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements. I could not believe that the scourge that I had put up with for 15 years disappeared within 4 months and has never returned. Now I eat really healthily, but I don’t have to restrict any type of food, although I would never now voluntarily eat highly salty or fatty processed food.

    I did say that my sister is particularly talented and seems to be able to get to the essence of a patient’s issue. I don’t think all naturopaths necessarily have the same gift, so I count myself very lucky! In my case she took the time to ask questions until she had a cause/s and was spot on in both her diagnosis and treatment.

    • That’s great! I am so happy for you!! I couldn’t believe it myself, when I had lived with psoriasis for so long and no (stupid) doctors could do anything, suddenly it was gone after 3 months! I have some now in winter, but it disappears in summer 🙂 Long live curing your diseases with a healthy diet, rather than covering up the symptoms with medication! 🙂

  4. Pingback: How America’s Presidents Kick Back And Relax – Huffington Post | All About Healthy Living

  5. You say you found an all natural cream that works really well with Psoriasis skin. What is it called and where can I buy it?

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