When you consider lifestyle changes to manage your psoriasis symptoms, you’ve probably thought about which moisturizer is best or whether you can still use all your go-to skin products. On the other hand, things like whether your breakfast, lunch or dinner could be helping or hurting your condition may not be so top of mind. But perhaps it should.
While the role of diet in inflammatory diseases like psoriasis is still being studied and not entirely clear, dermatologists do agree that there are certain healthy-eating habits that can help you better manage your psoriasis.
1. Lose weight if you need to.
Patients who are overweight do have an increased risk of developing psoriasis, and their psoriasis can be worse. In a 2014 study, researchers found that patients with a body mass index (BMI) below 30 responded better to psoriasis treatment, and that weight loss for psoriasis patients who are overweight and obese may help manage symptoms.
2. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods.
Some foods, like red meat, sugar, dairy and highly processed foods, cause more inflammation than others. Foods that reduce or minimize inflammation include healthy fats, fruits and vegetables.
3. Ask your doctor about gluten.
Gluten doesn’t cause psoriasis and there’s nothing inherently “wrong” with eating gluten.
However, up to 25 percent of psoriasis patients may have a gluten sensitivity. The only way to know for sure if you have a gluten intolerance that may be influencing your psoriasis symptoms is by talking to your doctor.
4. Choose heart-healthy foods.
Having psoriasis ups your risk of having cardiovascular disease. A 2014 study found that psoriasis was associated with an increased risk of heart disease, atrial fibrillation symptoms, stroke and myocardial infarction. By eating foods that are proven to reduce your risk of heart problems, you can minimize this associated risk. Lean meats, low-sodium foods, low-fat dairy and more fruits and vegetable.
While psoriasis may only seem to be a rash on your skin, you are at risk of developing other serious medical conditions. Having a heart-healthy diet and choosing lower-inflammatory foods can help your overall health and help with psoriatic symptoms as well.