What factors may promote this initial inflammatory state?
Diet appears to have a significant role in causing the inflammation which underlies psoriasis. Reports of high levels of anti-gluten antibodies in psoriasis sufferers and of improvements in symptoms on gluten-free diets suggest that food intolerances may play a part.
A recent study led by Dr Abrar Quereshi and published in the Archives of Dermatology  revealed that women drinking more than 5 beers a week were almost twice as likely to develop psoriasis when compared to women drinking equivalent amounts of wine, low calorie beer or other alcohol. Although there are strong links between alcohol intake and psoriasis, particularly in men  , researchers suspected that these women might be reacting to the high amount of gluten, a wheat protein in beer, rather than to the alcohol itself.
Yeast is also a common allergen. Of course there are many other foods that you may be sensitive to (such as dairy, eggs or nuts) and a simple test may help to determine whether a food intolerance is contributing to your symptoms. If you have hidden food allergies, then eating the offending foods can cause constant irritation of the gut, possibly resulting in increased intestinal permeability, poor nutrient absorption and bacteria / yeast imbalances. This may well underlie inflammation and promote psoriasis.
Consider the following scenarios: As poorly digested food and pathogens slip between the inflamed intestinal cells and enter the blood stream, the body may respond by mounting an immune response against these ‘foreign’ particles – the result: chronic, systemic inflammation perhaps eventually tipping into auto-immunity. Alternatively, poor nutrient absorption may lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vitamin D has an immuno-regulatory role and vitamin A plays a part in controlling cell replication. Both of these vitamins are used in psoriasis treatment and are typically applied directly to the skin.
Still focusing on the digestive system Erica White, nutritional therapist, director of Nutrition Help and author of the ‘Beat Candida Cookbook’, has found that candida albicans, a yeast that normally resides in the digestive system, can grow out of control and pass from the gut into the body causing a variety of health problems, including skin conditions such as psoriasis. She finds that an anti-candida diet often relieves psoriasis. My Special Report on
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