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Psoriasis


Introduction

Psoriasis is caused by rapid proliferation, or turnover, of skin cells resulting from a defect within the cells. Even healthy skin without an outbreak will turn over at rates 1,000 times faster than normal skin in people with psoriasis.

Psoriasis is closely linked to stress. Stimulating the sympathetic nervous system increases the production of cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate), which controls maturation of skin cells. Stress stimulates the nervous system, thus increasing skin cell turnover and the growth of skin. Therefore, stress management and a low stress diet as well as establishing a healthy immune system can help prevent psoriatic outbreaks.

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Common Symptoms

Clearly defined red rash covered with overlapping silvery scales; itch that comes and goes; most common on ankles, back of wrists, buttocks, elbows, and knees; areas of thickening and depigmentation on the nails in a "tear drop" pattern; arthritis of the joints in the fingers and toes, or occasionally, ankles, hips, knees, and wrists; aggravated by stress, bacterial infection, and certain medications.

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Natural Treatment

The natural approach to managing the symptoms of psoriasis includes a variety of dietary and lifestyle factors. Eliminating dietary stressors, such as food allergens, can improve this skin condition. Reducing inflammation through diet (online or in person) and supplementation is helpful as well. Prevention is maintained by keeping the immune system healthy and working to fight infection. Simple infections activate the immune system and accelerate the disease process. In addition, toxic build-up of bacteria, yeast and other metabolic wastes increase the production of cGMP (cyclic guanine monophosphate), another compound that controls skin cell turnover. To learn more about caring for psoriasis, consult with an EB Nutrition Dietitian to determine your low stress, immune boosting nutrition plan for skin health!

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References

Rister S. Healing Without Medication. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc; 2003: 466-469.

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