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by: Luke Scroggins

For those who are battling psoriasis, which includes about 7.5 million Americans, the disease is much more than a skin condition. In addition to the cosmetic issue of inflammation, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and a metabolic syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

For most patients, these further complications make the itchy rashes seem like just the tip of the iceberg.

Fortunately there are developing treatments on the horizon for psoriasis, such as Ixekizumab, Eli Lilly’s new drug which showed very promising results in a trial published this June. Even if it is a miracle drug, for now, nearly two-thirds of patients say that their psoriasis is a large problem in their everyday life. The negative effects can be financial, emotional, and social, in addition to the direct symptoms of the disease. Triggers are also unpredictable and can lead to flare-ups of inflammation.

For some, it has been the exploration of food and diet that has helped patients with psoriasis find their own techniques to manage their condition and learn more about their health in the process. According to Paul Yamauchi, MD, “As long as you eat a healthy diet there’s no harm in exploring whether avoiding some foods and eating others might help you manage psoriasis flares and reduce inflammation.”

In general, maintaining a healthy weight and eating smart for your heart (more fish, leaner meats, limit alcohol, avoid saturated and trans-fats) are guidelines that will help fight a metabolic syndrome, and in turn, possibly reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.

Lastly, patients can help treat their psoriasis by practicing healthy skin care. Vitamins A and D have been shown to reduce acne and help with calcium absorption, respectively. Good sources of vitamin A are cantaloupe, carrots, mango, and watermelon. Your daily dose of vitamin D can be gained by just 10-15 minutes of sunshine!

It is important to remember that when dealing with your psoriasis you are not just treating one condition; you are improving your health overall. The psoriasis will improve as a result.

Know someone suffering from psoriasis? Share this article with them today! We recommend checking our website for currently enrolling psoriasis clinical trials at SAresearch.com, or call (210) 949-0122.