PSORIASIS / Today we are starting my multipart group of posts on psoriasis - starting today with the common triggers for psoriasis and what is happening in the body. I am also touching on eczema and how often untreated (or only treated conventionally) eczema eventually morphs into psoriasis or other autoimmune conditions. Tune in for the first step on the road to relief and remission from psoriasis.
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Psoriasis is one of those autoimmune diseases that is often visible on the outside. If you are unfamiliar with the disease process it is a type of autoimmune disease that causes skin cells called keratinocytes to overproduce new skin cells. When this happens you get rough, scaly, dry patches on the skin which can pop up almost anywhere on the body. The process itself is an inflammatory process, like most autoimmune conditions where the immune system secretes proteins which confuse the keratinocytes into overproducing skin cells.
Common Causes of Psoriasis
Psoriasis at it’s root is often driven by or triggered by a bacterial infection and leaky gut. We are learning more and more about lab markers and indicators for this. Specifically, increased lipopolysaccharides - LPS for short. LPS is found in the cell wall of specific bacteria and is exacerbated by the leaky gut aspect of gluten and dairy primarily.
But don’t let this explanation fool you, each and every case as at minimum has a unique aspect to the root cause if not a complete unique root cause itself. This is just some commonality for you to understand the origins of psoriasis overall, autoimmune triggers, including those for psoriasis are always multifacted.
Some of those triggers commonly include:
1. Leaky gut - usually in combination with bacterial overgrowth, candida, a parasite or sometimes just insufficient good guys in the gut bacteria. This is typically caused by medications (antibiotics, NSAIDS, antacids), toxins, stress, food choices, vitamin D levels and of course there can be a whole host of other factors.
2. Food sensitivities - food triggers are very very often involved in psoriasis activation and exacerbation. Most common are gluten and dairy and I see a fair amount of eggs and sugar triggers here too.
3. Build up of Toxins caused by either recurring or ongoing exposure to toxins or poor detoxification pathways.
4. Stress - ongoing, chronic, or significant short term stress can trigger psoriasis via activating the immune system. This stress could be mental or physical, so it for example could be anxiety about surgery or the surgery itself that stresses the body. It can even be a mental self-rejection, where the body demonstrates the negative beliefs of the heart or mind similar to what I discussed in the heart episode (episode 041.
5. Specific nutrient deficiencies like vitamin d, zinc, copper, vitamin a, folate driven by a number of factors.
6. Hormonal fluctuations caused by stress or other life stages, adolescent puberty, menopause, etc.
Conventional Medical Treatments and Modern Medicine for Psoriasis
Anytime I talk about conventional or modern medicine - I feel it is important to repeat I feel like this that I do feel that modern medicine is a gift, for acute issues and to even triage some chronic issues, but it is not an appropriate, safe, or helpful option for chronic disease, especially autoimmune conditions.
Now that we got that out of the way, the common conventional treatment for psoriasis is light therapy, steroids, and/or low-dose chemotherapy, and as you might imagine, that is not going alleviate or work on the root cause of psoriasis as I described and in many cases it only serves to make it worse. What it can do is temporarily assist in reducing the outward appearance of psoriasis. Sadly, these methods are robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Phototherapy or light therapy traditionally given for psoriasis in conventional medicine is blue light therapy. While overall it can improve skin texture, it doesn’t stop the internal causes of psoriasis it might blow away a little cosmetic smoke, but it doesn’t and won’t solve the problem.
Immunosuppressant drugs, also known more commonly as chemotherapy. Yes, low dose chemotherapy is a common conventional medical treatment for psoriasis. Bottom line, it’s not a reliable or sufficient long term solution. YES, it may be necessary very short term if you are in a surge of inflammation that is literally eating away your skin in psoriasis but it is not a solution.
Why? Let’s look at what immunosuppressive drugs do...it says it right in the name…it serves to suppress your immune system. So it is supressing the very system that we need to counter things like infectious triggers for psoriasis and even that very immune system that serves to protect us from things like cancer. So its really important to keep in mind that while it might be necessary for a time being, every time you use an immunosuppressive drug, it is coming at a price. The price, again, maybe worth it at the time, but just staying on them for life is a huge risk to develop a second autoimmune disease, or third, if you are lucky but possibly even a more debilitating infection or cancer for psoriasis patients its a sure fire way to releive the skin issue and land with psoriatic arthritis too.
The second go-to for conventional medical treatment psoriais is antiinflammatory medication (steroidal or nonsteroidal). Earlier I briefly mentioned how psoriais is dramatically tied to the health of the gut, what are steroids and non-steroidal antiinflammatory medications doing? They are wearing away the lining of the entire GI tract, from your esophagus all the way down to your seat. Long-term or frequent use of these medications can cause issues like ulcers, but more importantly, severely damaging the lining of our and destroying the body’s very specific and precision design for the controlled permeability through the intestines in the the other body systems.
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So let's do a quick recap:
To wrap this up, if or someone you love is suffering from psoriasis there is hope for relief and even long term remission. Tune in next week for more information on the how to heal.
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