Psoriasis and Gluten Intolerance
A growing body of evidence is beginning to show that there is a connection between psoriasis and gluten intolerance.
Recent research has shown a connection between the most common forms of psoriasis and problems digesting gluten-a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, spelt, and barley.
There is clear evidence that in many people gluten causes inflammation, and psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the skin.
Many psoriasis patients have discovered that just cutting out wheat as much as possible from their diet has made a tremendous difference in their psoriasis symptoms and their overall comfort.
A gluten free diet seems to be the only really effective way of seriously improving psoriasis for many people. It can take many people a very long time to discover this. Many alternative practitioners wonder just how many people would benefit from a 1 month wheat-free trial instead of using the drugs, lotions and potions so often prescribed.
Many people have struggled with psoriasis all their life. They have tried every kind of diet imaginable. However, when they cut out gluten, they noticed a dramatic difference and improvement in their psoriasis symptoms.
The following testimony is typical of what has been reported by many psoriasis patients.
” I am 35 and have had psoriasis since I was 8 years old on one knee and elbow. Since I was 23 the number of spots have increased every year. I recently went for a physical and asked to be tested for a wheat allergy because I enjoyed wheat beer so much more than regular beer, but it made my skin feel worse the next day. Other than this I had no reason to think I was allergic to wheat. The test showed I had an intolerance to wheat. Basically, ingesting wheat/rye/barley was killing my intestines. I immediately stopped eating these foods and began boiling dishes of chicken, vegetables, and rice. I felt great after 3 days on this new diet! All of my psoriasis sites stopped itching! I have been clearing since I started my diet 2 weeks ago. My skin is still healing and is discolored, but it is smooth!!.”
What is gluten?
Gluten is wheat gum, the insoluble component of grains (such as wheat, barley, and rye). It is a mixture of gliadin, glutenin, and other proteins. Gluten causes allergic reactions in certain people. While a gluten-free diet is the primary therapeutic treatment for celiac disease, this diet may also help a host of other conditions, including dermatitis herpetiformis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV enteropathy, and schizophrenia.
If gluten is eliminated from the diet, the situation will soon normalize, in most cases. Then a return to a normal diet, after the repair of the intestine has taken place, will not result in immediate symptoms. In fact, it may take months or years before sufficient intestinal damage results, and the symptoms return.
Note: Even if you are not allergic to all gluten products, you still might be allergic to wheat. One of the most common of food intolerances found in psoriasis patients is wheat intolerance. Many people seem to have a problem digesting the gluten found in wheat.
Because most people eat wheat so often, the body adapts and copes, and they are unaware that it does not agree with them. Once it is removed from the diet, however, many psoriasis patients notice tremendous improvement in their psoriasis lesions and overall health and well-being.
In addition, most commercially produced wheat is saturated with all kinds of herbicides and pesticides, which can cause all kind of imbalances in the body including allergies.
To determine if wheat sensitivity is the cause of persistent symptoms, eliminate wheat from your diet and track improvements.
Practical advice for those with psoriasis
Eliminate all wheat products such as bread/pasta from the diet for a period of 4 weeks. Substitute with ‘Gluten-free’ breads & rice pasta. Use grains such as rice, corn, sago, oats or spelt. If Gluten is a factor, your psoriasis symptoms should begin to show improvement within 1–4 months.
As an alternative, try eating products made with spelt flour, as the intestines can more easily digest the gluten found in spelt flour. Breads, cookies, and pasta products made with spelt flour are readily available in most health food outlets. Some people are only sensitive to products made with whole-wheat flour, but can tolerate products made with organic white wheat flour.
In the USA the main producer of spelt products is Purity foods Inc. They produce a full line of spelt flours and spelt pastas.
Note: Gluten intolerance in psoriasis is NOT the same as gluten intolerance in celiac disease
Celiac Disease is a hereditary disorder of the immune system in which eating gluten leads to damage of the lining of the small intestine. This results in mal-absorption of nutrients and vitamins.
Gluten intolerance in psoriasis occurs due to a damaged intestinal tract.
Gluten intolerance in psoriasis occurs when the gut is injured for some reason other than celiac disease, such as when there is a bacteria or yeast infection. Gluten intolerance in psoriasis occurs due to a condition called leaky gut syndrome.
When your digestive system is not operating properly, the unhealthy toxic environment actually destroys the lining of the digestive tract causing a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome.
The core issue may not be the foods you are eating, but simply that digestion is poor and the gut injured, so anything eaten (and eaten frequently) may become problematic. Many food intolerances and sensitivities are a consequence of a leaky gut to some degree.
Leaky gut refers to an increased permeability of the intestinal wall, resulting in the increased passage of substances from the intestines to the bloodstream. In other words, large spaces develop between the cells of the gut wall and bacteria, toxins, and food leak in. The body does not recognize them and activates the immune system to search and destroy. The result is inflammation.
Leaky gut is the state where the protective gut lining looses its integrity. It is less capable of properly selectively screening out those elements that should be screened out, and allowing those elements in that should be let in. So items that should be screened out gain access in.
In relation to food, this is the most common single cause of food allergies and skin conditions such as psoriasis. Numerous studies have shown that psoriasis is strongly linked with leaky gut syndrome.
Infections, antibiotics, poor diet, parasites, and toxins or a combination of these things cause the lining of the bowl to become inflamed and thin. When this happens, larger particles get back into your body instead of being eliminated. Your skin works feverishly to remove these particles at a rate that is too quick for the natural sloughing process to take place. This results in psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, acne, and many other non-skin related diseases.
What causes leaky gut?
The primary and most common cause of leaky gut is Candida. Candida is a yeast fungus that roots through the intestines causing porosity and proliferation of more yeast resulting in candidiasis. Because Candida is common in most people, the way is paved for infections, parasites, and toxins to flow through the leaks in your gut.
Click here to learn more on the connection between Candida and psoriasis.