How to Treat Psoriasis Naturally
August 12th, 2018
Are you dealing with itchy, painful, thick, red and scaly skin? If you have psoriasis, you know these symptoms all too well. You may feel frustrated and out of control as your doctors are only prescribing you medications and ointments while your symptoms are not improving.
As someone who has struggled with an autoimmune condition myself, I understand what you are going through. I am here to tell you that you can take back your health and regain calm, clear skin!
By addressing the underlying root causes of your condition, you CAN overcome psoriasis naturally and regain your health. Let’s dive in and learn more about what psoriasis is, what its signs and symptoms are, what its underlying causes are, and how to reclaim your health with The Myers Way®.
What is Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that accelerates the life cycle of your skin cells. While the symptoms of psoriasis present on your skin, it is not a simple cosmetic issue. Rather, the true cause is that your immune system has gone rogue and is attacking your own tissues.1,2,3 Your T cells mistakenly target healthy skin cells just the way they would attempt to fight off an infection or inflammation from a wound. Overactive T cells lead to the increased production of other T cells, neutrophils, and skin cells. This can cause redness and dilated blood vessels in the affected area. In a healthy body, this process of skin renewal would take weeks, however, with psoriasis, your body goes through this within a few days. This leads to skin cell build-up and thick, scaly, red patches on your skin.4,5
Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis
The most common signs and symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Red, inflamed and raised patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Small scaling spots
- Dry skin that may crack or bleed
- Itching, burning, and soreness around the patches
- Thick, pitted, and ridged nails
- Swollen and painful joints6,7,8
If you have psoriasis, you may notice that symptoms might come and go, going into remission and then flaring up again. For some people, psoriasis is more serious than for others, and can greatly affect your everyday life. The discomfort, pain, and embarrassment of psoriasis can interfere with work, school, household duties and social activities.9
Types of Psoriasis
There are several types of psoriasis:
- Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common type characterized by dry, raised and red plaques that can be itchy and painful. They can appear anywhere on your body.
- Nail psoriasis: This type can affect your fingernails and toenails. It can lead to discoloration, abnormal nail growth, loose nails and nails that crumble.
- Guttate psoriasis: This type is primarily found in children and young adults. It is characterized by small, water-drop-shaped, scaling lesions triggered by a bacterial infection. It often goes away on its own after the infection.
- Inverse psoriasis: This usually occurs in your armpits, groins, under your breasts, and around your genitals. It is characterized by red, inflamed skin that may be triggered by fungal infections.
- Pustular psoriasis: This type is uncommon. It can develop quickly into blisters filled with pus accompanied by itching, fever, chills, and diarrhea.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: This type is the most uncommon characterized by red, peeling and itchy rashes all over your body.
- Psoriatic arthritis: This form is characterized by inflamed, scaly and red skin and also by painful, swollen joints. Psoriatic arthritis is usually less painful than other forms of arthritis yet it can still lead to progressive joint damage and pain.10,11
Psoriasis is one of the most prevalent autoimmune conditions, affecting 7.5 million people in the United States and 125 million worldwide. That is roughly 2-3% of the entire global population. Ten to thirty percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis.12
As with all autoimmune conditions, there is no cure. However by addressing its underlying root causes and making appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes, you can eliminate your symptoms and reverse your condition.
Diagnosis of Psoriasis
Your doctor will begin with a physical exam and medical history. Then they will examine your skin, scalp, and nails. A skin biopsy is rarely required, however, your doctor may decide to examine a small skin sample to identify the type of psoriasis you have and to rule out any other conditions.13,14
How Conventional Medicine Treats Psoriasis
Because there is no known cure for psoriasis, conventional medicine treats psoriasis by focusing on the symptoms rather than underlying issues. Working with a conventional doctor, your treatment may include:
- Topical treatment with corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce inflammation and itching. This type of treatment is counterintuitive, as corticosteroids suppress your immune system when really you should be supporting it in order to overcome autoimmunity.
- Light therapy using ultraviolet light to reduce inflammation and scaling.
- Prescription medications to slow skin growth, reduce inflammation and make your skin smoother.
- Injections to reduce inflammation, suppress your immunity and reduce skin growth.
- Moisturizers to reduce itching.
- Laser therapy to remove skin cells.15,16,17
Root Causes of Psoriasis
When it comes to treatment, conventional medicine is using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach trying to treat the symptoms. While conventional doctors make some small attempts to address lifestyle and environmental reasons by urging you to stop drinking alcohol and smoking or by taking baths, there is little to no focus on the bigger picture. They completely ignore the root causes of your condition by looking at it as an affliction of a single organ, in this case, your skin. They assume that your condition will get worse over time, it cannot be reversed, and your only option is to treat your symptoms with medication and ointments.19 There is nothing further from the truth.
I want to give the power back to you. In my view, this power starts with knowledge and understanding your body. To overcome your psoriasis, first you must understand its root causes and then address them through simple diet and lifestyle changes. Through my experience as a functional medicine physician working with thousands of autoimmune patients similar to you, I’ve identified five key root causes that play an enormous role in the development of autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis. By addressing these issues, your symptoms will start to vanish and you can regain your health.
1. Leaky Gut, Gut Infections, and Candida
You cannot have a healthy immune system without a healthy gut. It is home to nearly 80% of your immune system. The research of Dr. Alessio Fasano has shown us that one of the main causes of autoimmune diseases is a leaky gut. As a result of an unhealthy diet and environmental stress, your gut environment becomes compromised and provides the perfect ground for Candida overgrowth.
When candida gets out of hand and your gut flora gets out of balance, the tight junctions in your gut lining open up and allow undigested food particles, toxins, and microbes to enter your bloodstream. Your immune system cannot recognize these particles and attacks them as foreign invaders. This overworking immune system and rise in inflammation leads to autoimmune conditions. Depending on what part of your body your immune system is targeting, autoimmunity can manifest in many forms including psoriasis.20
2. Inflammatory diet
An inflammatory diet filled with processed foods, refined sugar, gluten and lacking greens, vegetables, fruits and other whole foods creates inflammation and an imbalanced gut flora in your body. This can lead to autoimmune conditions and other health problems. Gluten is one of the leading causes of leaky gut. It has been linked to over 55 diseases including many autoimmune conditions. Gluten can cause inflammation, pain, sleep disturbances, fatigue, depression, skin problems, cognitive impairment and behavioral issues.
I recommend all my patients with an autoimmune condition to remove gluten from their diet immediately.21 Dairy is the second most problematic food, followed by grains and legumes. You should avoid these as well, at least for the first 30 days on The Myers Way®.
Toxic molds (mycotoxins) and heavy metals such as mercury are common toxins that my patients with autoimmune conditions have been exposed to. Since conventional mold tests do not test for mycotoxins, I use a urine mycotoxin test at my clinic to test for toxic mold exposure. Mercury toxicity may happen due to amalgam fillings, cosmetics, fish, and mercury in our air and water. I recommend my patients to remove their amalgam fillings safely by a biological dentist.22,23
Guttate psoriasis is usually triggered by a bacterial infection. This is not the only autoimmune condition that may be related to infections from bacteria, viruses and other toxins. For example, the Epstein Barr virus that also causes mono, Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, and E. coli have also been linked to autoimmune diseases.
We live in a busy, stress-filled world that has led to the rise of stress-related illnesses. Stress can cause both emotional and physical health problems by disrupting your immune function. Your body wants to protect you and attacks stress as if it were an infection, injury, or wound. This becomes a problem when stress becomes chronic and leads to chronic inflammation, which in turn puts you at heightened risk for autoimmune disease.
How to Overcome Psoriasis Naturally
By addressing the root causes of your symptoms, you can overcome psoriasis naturally and regain your health for once and for all.
I invite you to step outside the bounds of conventional medicine, take back control, and change the trajectory of your health journey.
As I explain in my book, The Autoimmune Solution, my treatment approach is called The Myers Way®, and is focused on preventing and reversing autoimmunity by getting to the root rather than managing the symptoms. There are five environmental factors in particular that can put you on the autoimmune spectrum or push you over the edge into full blown autoimmune disease: an unhealthy gut, poor diet, toxins, infections, and stress. I address these five factors with the four pillars of The Myers Way®.
In my Autoimmune Solution Program, I walk you through the four pillars step by step and show you exactly what dietary and lifestyle changes can support your immune system, help you achieve your goals, and regain your health. In this program, you will learn how to:
- Repair your gut. You will learn how leaky gut contributes to autoimmune disease and how to optimize your gut health and support your body. You will learn all the secrets of my 4R program to a healthy gut; Remove (the bad, such as inflammatory foods and toxins). Restore (the good, by supporting your body with healthy food and supplements). Reinoculate (by restoring healthy gut bacteria). Repair (your gut lining).
- Optimize your diet. This is one of the most important changes you can make to balance your immune system and regain your health. Don’t worry, I will give you plenty of delicious gluten-free, grain-free and legume-free recipes to keep you happy and satisfied.
- Tame the toxins. Our modern world is filled with toxins creating inflammation in your body, compromising your endocrine and immune system leading to autoimmunity. I’ll give you my best tools to minimalize your toxic exposure, reduce toxins in your life, create a toxin-free home and support your detox pathways.
- Heal your infections and relieve stress. Infections may exist in your body without your knowledge. They may be lying dormant then flare up one day to fuel your autoimmune condition. In addition to infections, stress adds more fuel to the fire. I’ll arm you with stress management tools, meditation and breathing exercises, tips to reset your sleep cycle and further guidance to support a healthy immune balance, improve your vitality and maintain your well-being.
At the end of the program, you will learn how to reintroduce foods and find the perfect diet for your body to maintain optimal health. Most importantly, I show you how to turn The Myers Way® into a way of life.