Written by Melanie Dixon

Common Symptoms

Psoriasis is a whole-body inflammatory condition that is so much more than skin deep. People with psoriasis often experience symptoms including:

  • Skin plaques that can be large or small, smooth or scaly, red or white, depending on which type of psoriasis you have
  • Food sensitivities
  • Other auto-immune conditions such as Coeliac disease, thyroid auto-immunity and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes and heart disease
  • Depression

Common Causes

Conventional medicine often views psoriasis as just a skin condition, but psoriasis is actually an auto-immune condition, meaning that part of the body’s own immune system becomes confused and attacks normal tissues in the body.

  • Poor Digestion & Leaky Gut undigested protein can create toxins that get into the body through the gut lining, causing the immune system to react
  • Yeast Overgrowth a yeast infection in the gut called Candida is quite common in those with psoriasis
  • Nutritional Deficiencies are seen in psoriasis, particularly of omega-3 fats (found in fish and some nuts and seeds), vitamin D, B12, selenium and fibre

Certain food sensitivities are also linked to psoriasis, especially gluten, nightshades (red peppers, aubergine and tomatoes) and alcohol. Stress, sunburn and anything that affects the immune system can also cause flare-ups.

Chronic Stress

Stress – we all know how that feels right? Anxious, jittery, overwhelmed and under pressure. Our bodies are designed to deal with stress by releasing adrenaline and cortisol to enable us to deal with the situation. But when feelings of pressure and overwhelm are consistent and continue for a prolonged period of time, this is considered Chronic Stress which may lead to “burnout”.

Chronic stress can affect both our physical and mental health and ironically, reaching for caffeine, sugar or nicotine to keep us going can actually make things a whole lot worse. Whilst stress is not something we can avoid completely, we can minimise it where possible and take steps to manage its effects on our health.

Common Symptoms

  • Feeling angry, irritable or depressed
  • Fatigue and sleep problems
  • Brain fog & headaches
  • Digestive issues 
  • Frequent infections as stress hormones suppress the immune system

Factors which can increase the negative effects of stress

  • Blood sugar imbalance
  • Poor quality and quantity of sleep
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Poor quality diet
  • Use of stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine

Common Signs

Without even noticing, it’s completely normal to lose between 50-100 strands of hair every day, especially when brushing or washing your hair. If you’re worried that you’re losing more hair than this, it’s advisable to see your GP. Common signs that your hair loss isn’t normal are:

  • Gradual thinning on top of the head
  • Hair that’s easy to pull out or comes out in clumps
  • Bald patches
  • Loss of body hair
  • Itching or burning of the scalp

Common Causes

  • Tight hairstyles and chemical treatments 
  • Age
  • Family history 
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress or trauma
  • Sudden weight loss 
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Health conditions, after an illness or cancer
  • Medications, chemotherapy or radiation treatment

Top Tips To Feel Better

As caffeine amplifies the effects of stress hormones, try switching to decaf or calming herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile or holy basil.
Aim to keep your blood sugar balanced by reducing sugar and refined carbs and including protein and good fats with every meal. Low blood sugar triggers the release of adrenaline, and you don’t need any more of that!
Build regular calming activities into your day. Yoga, meditation and walking in nature have been scientifically proven to reduce cortisol levels. Even taking a few deep, slow breaths throughout the day and before bed can help calm your nervous system.

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