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What should I eat if I have Psoriasis?

When it comes to treating psoriasis, no one treatment plan works for everyone. Research suggests that this also may apply to what you eat.


Here’s what dermatologists discovered about three different diets.

1. A weight loss diet can help

If you have psoriasis and are overweight, losing weight can:
  – Lead to less psoriasis on your skin
  – Decrease the severity of your psoriasis
  – Make psoriasis medication more effective

These effects can happen quickly, according to studies. In one small study of patients with psoriasis who were overweight, half of the patients followed a low-calorie diet. In just 16 weeks, the patients following the low-calorie diet had less psoriasis than the non-dieting group of patients with psoriasis.
By week 24, many (66%) of patients following the low-calorie diet had a 75% decrease in psoriasis. By comparison, only 29% of the non-dieting patients saw this 75% reduction.

Weight loss can help because both psoriasis and being overweight increase inflammation in your body. When you reduce inflammation, it can lead to fewer psoriasis symptoms.


2. A Gluten-free diet may help

If you have psoriasis and gluten sensitivity, following a gluten-free diet may help reduce psoriasis flare-ups.
People who have a gluten sensitivity have one of the following:
  – Celiac disease: Symptoms include frequent diarrhea, belly pain, passing gas often,       and feeling tired most of the time
  – Gluten sensitivity: You test positive for celiac antibodies, but you don’t have celiac disease
Here’s what happened during studies that looked at the effects of following a gluten-free diet. In one study, 39 patients with psoriasis followed a gluten-free diet. Of these patients, 33 had a gluten sensitivity, and six patients did not have this sensitivity. After following the gluten-free diet:
  – 73% of the patients with a gluten sensitivity had less psoriasis
  – None of the patients without a gluten sensitivity had less psoriasis
In a very small study of seven patients who had psoriasis and a gluten sensitivity, all had completely clear skin after following a gluten-free diet. Six of the patients had plaque psoriasis, and one had palmoplantar psoriasis.
3. A Mediterranean diet should help
People who follow this diet get most of their fat from extra-virgin olive oil. They also eat at least two servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit every day. Each week, they eat at least three servings of fish or seafood, beans, and nutsAll of these foods are rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients. Because psoriasis causes inflammation throughout the body, it’s believed that this diet could lead to less psoriasis on your skin.
It’s still too early to know whether this is true. However, one large study suggests a Mediterranean diet could help people with psoriasis. In this study, 35,735 patients were asked to answer surveys about what they ate. The researchers collected in-depth information, such as how much fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, and legumes they ate. The patients answered these in-depth surveys three times over a six-month period.
After analyzing the results, the researchers found that the patients with severe psoriasis ate few — if any — foods found in the Mediterranean diet.
While this may suggest that following a Mediterranean diet can lessen the amount of psoriasis on your skin, it’s too soon to tell. Only about 2% of patients in this study had psoriasis. The study also relied on people being able to recall what they ate.
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