PSORIASIS: THE OUTER ENVELOPE Psoriasis
by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN

When we receive a letter, we do not expect the envelope to tell us the story – we look inside for the message . This describes PSORIASIS. The problem is not with the skin itself, but with the inner functioning of the body.

Scientists have discovered that most psoriasis sufferers have a defect in the way their body processes proteins, which causes the production in the gut of toxic amino acids, found at high levels in people with psoriasis.

This turns into a double whammy when the liver, whose job it is to filter out these toxins, is overwhelmed by poor diet, alcohol, or prescription drugs.

A triple whammy ensues when a person’s faulty diet also causes constipation, since slow transit time both gives the digestive system plenty of time to create the toxins, and inhibits the proliferation of the friendly bacteria which should be there to regulate the process.

It is interesting to note that during World War 11, many people who had psoriasis went into remission when protein and calories were severely limited in their diets!

The control of psoriasis, therefore, is exceptionally dependent on a healthy diet. I strongly advise strictly limiting animal proteins, and making sure that you eat anywhere from 30 to 50 grams of fiber daily.

  • The diet should be high in fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables
  • Unprocessed whole grains in moderation
  • Plenty of pure water
  • Fish is recommended on a regular basis, since the Omega-3 fatty acids it contains are beneficial in this disease, but because fish is high protein, it must also be eaten in moderation.
  • I recommend the use of EFAs in capsule or liquid form.  For some, flax oil seems to be very beneficial for this problem BUT 
  • I also use Vitamin D and fish liver oils, since many people do not have the enzyme they need to convert Flax Omega 3 directly to EPA.  Cod Liver Oil is the supplement of choice, containing both D and Omega 3s.. There appears to be a defect in the Vitamin D metabolic pathway in psoriasis sufferers, and the D in CLO is highly bio-available.  http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/full/170/10/1057
  • Some of my clients have found that making a salve of the fish liver oils and applying them topically to the rash is helpful.

This condition frequently responds to a natural approach (albeit slowly), and since it cannot be considered life-threatening (although, because of the inner havoc connected with it, it is implicated in the later development of atherosclerosis, Acta. Derm -Venereal. Suppl. 1994, and diabetes J of Invest. Dermat. 1994. ) I have no hesitation in sharing with you  the strategies I have found useful.

There are indications that people with severe psoriasis may also be more susceptible to cardiovascular problems, so research finding a link between hyperhomocysteinemia , a risk factor for heart disease, and psoriasis is very interesting. Research in Italy discovered that  plasma homocysteine directly correlated with psoriasis severity, and was inversely correlated with plasma folic acid levels. I would suggest adding a Folic Acid, B12, B6 combination to address this relationship.
(“Folic Acid in General Medicine and Dermatology,”  J Dermatolog Treat, 2007;18(3):138-46. 45996 (11/2007)

At the top of the list is liver function, and the herb Silymarin (the active part of Milk Thistle), which I often use in conjunction with other cleansing herbs.  If using the single herb, I follow Dr. Whitaker’s recommendation of 70 to 200 mg per day of a standardized capsule. There are many combination formulas which you can find here.

New research is suggestive of an immune system involvement in which stimulation of the skin, and inflammation, is caused by too many T-cells.  I have seen some truly encouraging results using one of the new sterolin compounds, like Moducare (see RESOURCES at bottom).

People with psoriasis are seven times more likely to develop Crohn’s disease, the most accepted reason for which is an immune reaction in the gut resulting in inflammation.  Addressing this possibility listed below can have very positive results.

  • immune system modulation (as above),
  • avoidance of food allergens,
  • support of stomach enzymes and
  • possibly Hydrochloric acid supplementation
  • control of inflammation 
  • cleansing of the colon,
  • replenishment of probiotics
  • and use of HSOs (see RESOURCES at bottom)

In many cases, psoriasis sufferers are found to have Candida overgrowth probably in conjunction with the bowel toxicity and as a result of an imbalance of friendly organisms.  Many times, treating the Candida can result in lessening of skin inflammation.

To some people suffering from this problem, the natural approach may seem too simplistic to possibly be helpful:

  • cleansing, 
  • digestion,
  • diet
  • and liver support

sound so basic!  But for many, it has proven to be the answer. I hope you are one of them.

Find the recommended supplements here

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