Gluten-Free Diet Benefits Psoriasis


Allie Lemco Toren

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It seems like everyone is trying out a new diet these days—some cut out dairy, others push aside sugar, and many extoll the virtues of a plant-based regimen.

And while it may be easy to dismiss these as “fad” diets, medical research has proven that some of them can truly benefit people suffering from various diseases.

This seems to be the case with psoriasis, the most common autoimmune disease in the United States, especially in regards to following a gluten-free diet.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition in which the body produces too many new skin cells too quickly; this results in red, scaly patches on the skin called plaques that can be itchy and painful. Treating psoriasis can be tricky—patients begin by trying topical creams and ointments, and then if those don’t work, they may move on to more systemic medications: prescription drugs that affect the whole body. Most psoriasis treatments, both topical and systemic, attempt to stop the skin cells from growing so rapidly, thus decreasing inflammation and the development of plaques. Inflammation plays a big role in psoriasis, and many patients try different diets with the goal of reducing this inflammation. Studies have shown, for psoriasis patients with a sensitivity to gluten, a gluten-free diet can greatly lower levels of inflammation and vastly improve symptoms.

There are many treatment options for psoriasis, and they all come with risks and benefits. Ultimately, whether you treat with topical creams, light therapy, or medications, you and your doctor will decide the best treatment path together.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 13, 2016

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