Can Diet Affect Psoriasis?

If you have psoriasis on your feet, you know how annoying and debilitating this disease can be. August is Psoriasis Awareness Month and at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC we want to explore some dietary changes that may reduce the flare ups from psoriasis. Although scientists have yet to find definitive evidence that diet affects psoriasis, many patients say that they have noticed significant improvements by making specific changes. Most of these changes have added benefits for your body and can help patients affected with the disease feel a sense of overall better health and control over their bodies. Be sure to inform your doctor if you are making significant changes in your diet.

There are four ways to modify your eating habits to help:

  1. Weight Reduction—a few studies have correlated obesity to increased risk for developing psoriasis. Fat cells secrete a protein that can trigger inflammation, a definite factor in psoriasis flare ups.  In addition, losing weight reduces stress on your joints, which can help improve psoriatic arthritis.
  2. Eat a Heart Healthy Diet—heart disease, like psoriasis, is an inflammatory disease. There is also an association between people with heart disease and psoriasis so it makes sense to follow an eating plan that will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This includes: eating foods high in omega 3 fatty acids, avoiding foods with trans and partially hydrogenated fats, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day and reducing or eliminating alcoholic beverages.
  3. Fight Inflammation—there are foods that can increase inflammation as well as those that can help decrease it. If you are struggling with an inflammatory condition, limit your consumption of: fatty foods, red meat, refined sugars and dairy products. Increase the amount of omega 3’s in your diet both from fish and plant sources: flax seeds, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and walnuts, as well as colorful fruits and vegetables.
  4. Get Rid of Gluten—new studies indicate that 25% of patients with psoriasis may be sensitive to gluten. In many cases, dietary changes and the relation to psoriasis are a matter of trial and error. Your doctor can help you decide what’s best for you.

The first step to relief from psoriasis is proper diagnosis and the development of a treatment plan. If you have itchy, scaly patches or pustules on your feet, contact our Valley Stream or Lake Success offices in New York and have one of our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko, evaluate your condition.