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Psoriasis & The Elimination Diet

Elimination Diet

According to the book 100 Questions & Answers About Psoriasis written by dermatologists Kendra Bergstrom and Alexa Kimball, psoriasis triggers can vary among people, meaning that a food or medication that causes or exacerbates psoriasis flare-ups in one person may not affect another psoriasis sufferer. One of the cheapest and most reliable ways to uncover foods that trigger your psoriasis flare-ups is to complete an elimination diet, followed by reintroductions.

The Elimination Phase

A good elimination diet for psoriasis sufferers cuts out all of the most common allergenic foods as well as foods that frequently pop up on lists of common psoriasis-triggering foods. These include tomatoes, nuts, dairy products and foods that contain gluten. In addition, a well-designed elimination for psoriasis patients emphasizes foods that help heal the gut. The focus on gut-healing foods is important because a condition called "leaky gut", or increased intestinal permeability, has been linked to psoriasis [1].

In her groundbreaking book, The Paleo Approach, scientist Sarah Ballantyne presents her Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (Paleo AIP), an elimination diet that has been specifically designed for people suffering from autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Drawing upon cutting-edge research and Ballantyne's own battle with various autoimmune diseases, the AIP outlined in the book cuts out foods that are most likely to be problematic for autoimmune patients, including all of the foods mentioned above, and then some. It also emphasizes healthy, unprocessed foods that help heal damaged tissues and a leaky gut.

In addition to avoiding foods that are restricted on the standard Paleo AIP Diet, psoriasis sufferers should also avoid all foods that they already know they are sensitive to, as well as foods that they suspect might be triggering their flare-ups. Examples of foods that are allowed on Ballantyne's standard AIP (in limited quantities) but that often cause problems in psoriasis patients and that you might therefore want to avoid during the elimination phase include citrus fruits and pineapple.

Reintroducing Foods After the Elimination Phase

After the food elimination phase, which according to Ballantyne should last for a minimum of 30 days, you begin slowly and systematically reintroducing foods (or food groups) one at a time, while monitoring your symptoms for possible reactions. You start the reintroduction phase with foods that are least likely to be allergenic or to trigger psoriasis flare-ups, and if your psoriasis gets worse, you stop the new food until your symptoms subside, and then try a different food (you can later try the suspected trigger food for a second time). After you have tested every potential trigger food, you should be able to tell which foods aggravate your condition.

Have a Professional Guide You Through the Process

Before starting an elimination diet, it is wise to seek advice from your family doctor or a knowledgeable nutritionist or dietitian. Cutting out a wide range of foods for a period of several weeks means you risk not getting enough calories and nutrients from a sufficient variety of foods, and that's where a professional can help. What's more, it's easy draw false conclusions about which foods are causing the problems if you don't have help. Finally, a knowledgeable nutritionist can help construct a sustainable, personalized anti-psoriasis diet for you after your have discovered your trigger foods.

For More on Diet & Psoriasis
Make it a habit to visit HealWithFood.org's online Guide to Healing Psoriasis on a regular basis. Updated once a week, the sidebar on the home page of the guide contains tons of links to interesting diet-related articles hand-picked for psoriasis sufferers. It also contains a weekly smoothie recipe featuring ingredients with psoriasis-fighting potential, as well as a book tip.     Visit Page

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Book You May Like
Drawing upon cutting-edge research and her own battle with autoimmunity, scientist and New York Times bestselling author Sarah Ballantyne has developed a Paleo-based elimination diet specifically designed for people with autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis. Outlined in her book The Paleo Approach, Ballantyne's diet not only cuts out allergenic and pro-inflammatory foods but it also emphasizes foods that help heal tissues damaged by autoimmunity. In addition to explaining how eating certain foods and avoiding others can help put autoimmune diseases into remission, this 400-plus page tome provides expert tips on how to "go Paleo" easily and economically. To learn more, or to order a copy, click here.

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