Psoriasis is a type of chronic autoimmune condition that causes a person’s skin cells to buildup rapidly. This cellular buildup causes the surface of the epidermis to turn to scales. The scales are normally whitish-silver and are inflamed with red patches. The patches will sometimes crack and bleed.
Normally, skin cells develop deep inside inner layers of the epidermis and slowly rise to the surface overtime. But eventually the older skin cells fall off; this cycle normally takes one month to complete. Psoriasis causes new skin cells to develop faster than old skin cells can fall off, hence the buildup.
Psoriasis more of a conditional response than a permanent state of being. Flare ups can be triggered by many different conditions including, excess stress, weather, and certain foods. An important part of psoriasis treatment and management is to be aware of what actually triggers a person’s individual psoriasis. Although there are many triggers that are common to people with psoriasis, not everyone is guaranteed to have the same triggers.
One trigger that may not affect every person suffering psoriasis and is therefore easy to overlook is gluten. People who have celiac disease, a medical condition where the gluten protein triggers an autoimmune response. People with psoriasis are more likely to have a type of gluten sensitivity. If a person simultaneously has psoriasis and a gluten sensitivity, then eating food containing gluten can cause a flare up.
It is important to avoid gluten containing foods if a person does have a gluten intolerance or psoriasis. Some common foods containing gluten that should be avoided are:
- Wheat and wheat derivatives
- Rye, malt, and barley
- Processed foods – canned fruits, canned meats, prepackaged food products
- Malt beverages
- Certain sauces and condiments