Although the cause of psoriasis is not known, it tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. Somewhere in the region of 2 percent of Europeans and Americans contract the disease and it is less common in black and Asian communities. Symptoms usually appear for the first time in those in the 10 to 30 year old age bracket.
Psoriasis sufferers produce new skin cells 10 times faster than normal. This cause the patchy, thickened skin effect which may be covered by silvery scales. Recurrent attacks are often triggered by emotional stress, skin damage, and physical illness. Symptoms are sometimes accompanied by painful swelling and stiffness of the joints, which can be very disabling.
There are several different types of psoriasis, but discoid or “plaque” psoriasis is far and away the most common form. It is distinguished by parches of inflamed, scaly skin on the trunk and limbs, appearing particularly on the elbows, knees, and scalp.
Additionally, a sufferer’s nails may become pitted, thickened, or separated from their beds. Gutate psoriasis is the form most frequently found in children: small patches appear rapidly over a wide area, often after the child has had a sore throat.
How can we help
Initially a stool test is recommended to establish if there are any unwanted bacteria, fungi and parasites in the large intestine. A food elimination diet has shown great results, with gluten, dairy and alcohol being the major culprits. Food intolerance testing can also establish if any other foods are causing an unnecessary inflammatory burden on the body. Increasing water consumption, assessing vitamin D needs and supporting liver function though diet change and or supplementation can help.