Monday, October 15, 2012

More on Inflammation

This post is, to some extant, a continuation of my last post, with definite links to what I said last month.

Since I wrote that entry I have been away on business, driving long distances and staying in hotels. That always leads to me getting out of my normal habits of home-prepared healthy meals that contain lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, prepared in a healthy way. Quick stops at fast food joints along the road, many sugary sodas consumed to keep me awake while driving and rushed meals ahead of or between convention sessions became my diet. Of course, it didn't take long for all this junk food to proceed from my lips to my skin, emerging as expanding red patches.

Back home again and back onto my healthy diet, my skin is rapidly coming back to its normal condition, with minimal evidence of psoriasis. Remember what I said last month, this is all due to inflammation within my body, a reaction of my immune system to what I was consuming. If I put bad fuel into my engine it shows up as deterioration in the state of that engine.

I referred last month to research that showed up inflammation in the bodies of test subjects who had psoriasis, inflammation that resulted in diseases in various organs of the body other than the skin. Today I have read in Daily Health News of other research that has linked psoriasis to another worrying condition, one which is very prevalent in USA and is spreading rapidly in all countries that have adopted an American style diet. That condition is type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is not the type that one might be born with, it is the acquired version of the disease and is mostly as a result of bad eating habits, habits that lead to obesity and ultimately diabetes. The research has found that people with psoriasis are at greater risk for type 2 diabetes than the general population, whether or not they are obese. They found that people with mild psoriasis had a small (11%) increase in risk of diabetes, which increases to 46% with moderate to severe psoriasis. This is a considerable increase in risk and good reason to keep your psoriasis symptoms to as low a level as possible. This is thought to be because the inflammation in a person with psoriasis interferes with the proper reaction to insulin in the body, which triggers type 2 diabetes.

The upshot of this new finding is that it highlights even more the need for us psoriatics to control very carefully what we put into our bodies. We have to always keep in mind the potential harm that we are doing to ourselves in the longer term. If you have psoriasis and don't want to end up with the compounding problems that diabetes will bring with it, please get your diet under control right away.

The article in Daily Health News also recommends that we have our blood sugar levels checked as part of our regular medical check-ups, as an early-warning sign of impending problems. It also recommends exercising regularly and losing excess weight.

I ma an active person, I eat healthy and I am the same low weight now as I was 40 years ago. I am working hard to minimise the effects of psoriasis and hope that these efforts will be successful. However, knowledge of this research will keep me even more vigilant to keep my diet on the healthy side of normal.


  1. it was nice and enlightening to read you all the blog post, i have been suffering from psoriasis from last 6-7 years but was know to have it from last 1 1/2 years. was on topical ointment for 1 1/2 years when stopped got the flares all over body and face. This is the time when i got serious about psoriasis and have started experimenting with my diet along with some Ayurveda medicines. seeing some improvent but till i think long way to go for getting 100% spot free. at present in UK where i do not get as much sun i should be getting. have decided to move back to India next year hope some sun and weather will have positive affect on psoriasis. Keep posting more on your experiments.


  2. Bhupesh, thank you for your comment.

    I lived in South Africa most of my life, with enough sunshine to help me to control my psoriasis, even in winter. After I moved to East Coast USA my psoriasis grew steadily worse. Part of it was the less healthy American diet and part of it was the much weaker sunlight.

    This forced me to be more careful with my diet and to find other ways to improve my skin. I only use topical off-the-shelf treatments, no prescription medications at all. My psoriasis is now at a very low level even without sunlight or UV lights.

    I encourage you to experiment with your diet and keel a detailed daily diary of what you are eating/drinking as well as the state of your skin. Don't miss out any day. You will see patterns after a few weeks that will allow you to identify what is aggravating your skin.

    If you eat lots of curry, that can be a major irritation. The turmeric in the curry is an anti-inflammatory and is good for your skin but other spices in the curry mixture are bad. I used to love mild to moderate curry but now very seldom have it because my skin flares up very quickly.

    I wish you good results with your experimentation.

  3. Hi Dudley,

    How much time does it took you to clear after diet change, when u where covered with P from top to bottom.

    Does P increases first before going into remission?


  4. Bhupesh, it is a long and slow process to get full clearing. Your psoriasis has taken a long time to develop due to diet, lifestyle, psychological and other possible factors. They are deep-seated in your system, so it will take a long time to clear them out of your system.

    Food takes a few days to go through your digestive system and some of it shows effects quite quickly (a few hours) and other might take a day or two. What you need to concentrate on is seeing and feeling improvements in the state of your skin. When you start to see and feel improvements then you know that you are doing right and should continue that way. The improvements will continue and you will be able to get clear or nearly so as long as you eliminate the bad stuff that is aggravating your psoriasis.

    The best indicator is itching. If your skin is generally feeling good and then starts to itch a few hours after a meal, think about what you ate at that meal because something in it has probably caused the deterioration.

    When I was diagnosed I had it in patches all over my body and my scalp had a full crust of scale on it. The patches were large on my elbows, back and legs but small elsewhere. The small patches started to clear within a few weeks and the large patches gradually broke into groups of smaller patches before disappearing.

    Don't expect to see the patches disappear in a few days. You will first feel changes in them, like reduction in itching. Then the flaking will reduce and you will start to see changes. If it is getting worse the surface will be red, if it is getting better the colour becomes lighter.

    My observations area as a Caucasian, with light-coloured but tanned skin. If you have a dark skin then it may be more difficult to see the differences. This is a personal process for each person, so you must observe your skin carefully to understand whether it is improving or deteriorating. It will help to take some photos of yourself without clothes, so that you can compare later to see the changes.