The Greek word for psoriasis comes from “psora” which means itchy and “iasis” which means action or condition. Therefore psoriasis is an itchy condition of the skin. More specifically it is an autoimmune condition where your body is producing antibodies against itself.
So, the symptoms of psoriasis are coming from your own immune system and certain parts of your skin are replaced every three to five days instead of every 28 to 30 days. The end result is this accelerated reproduction of skin cells and that’s what creates the redness, scaling and the flakey patches of skin.
What is happening on a cellular level to cause psoriasis is a T cell dysfunction. The T cells are part of the immune system that’s called the ‘acquired’ immune system. The acquired immune system is one that you are not born with but rather you develop overtime and there’s a dysfunction and imbalance triggered usually by an altered microbiome in your gut, a sore throat, or another infection. There are several different types of T cells and the one that is involved in this condition is the T helper cell called TH 17. This happens to be your own immune cell that induces inflammation and autoimmune diseases and also releases cytokines therefore it has an additional inflammatory signal. There are other T cells called the T regulatory cells that are involved in preventing autoimmune disease in the first place and those are usually suppressed. So we have a suppressed T regulatory cell and we have an increase in T helper cells (TH 17).
Some interesting data shows a relationship between the T helper cell (TH17) and vitamin D. Vitamin D happens to be something that can suppress TH17. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin it’s a hormone that acts like cortisol in the body which happens to be one of the significant treatments for psoriasis. Typically people with psoriasis will be prescribed Prednisone – an anti-inflammatory. But vitamin D is a natural Prednisone without the side effects. The other interesting thing about this is that psoriasis is worse in the winter. Why? because vitamin D availability is lower. Also, there is higher incidence of psoriasis the further you live from the equator and if you have psoriasis, you’re a greater risk for depression. The link between these two conditions is vitamin D. In other words, vitamin D is very important. Some recommendations call for 40,000 daily to penetrate the damage that’s in the colon that’s not allowing you to absorb the vitamin D. Remember earlier we mentioned an altered microbiome being the trigger for psoriasis.
What is a good natural source of vitamin D? Cod liver oil, not only does it have vitamin D, but it also has vitamin A which is also good for the skin. It also has the omega-3 fatty acids, both DHA and EPA and one of the main symptoms of an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is dry, scaly, red skin. Also, omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory.
The last remedy is bile salts because bile salts stimulate the vitamin D receptor. Bile salts allow vitamin D to work a lot better in the body. So, if there’s any type of resistance, let’s say you have some genetic alteration in your receptor for vitamin D, it’s called a polymorphism, bile salts will help potentially increase the absorption. Also, bile salts directly modulate or control the T helper cell (TH 17) cell. So, bile salts are going to help to regulate this dysfunction as well as stimulate the T regulatory cells which are the ones that put out the fire and helps to calm down inflammation. The type of bile salts recommended would be TUDCA and find a brand with good reviews. Take three to four per day to help you digest the dietary fat. Taken on an empty stomach, these bile salts will help regulate the immune system. As far as the cod liver oil, take whatever is recommended on the bottle.
The last two recommendations are fasting which is very important for all autoimmune conditions as well as no gluten at all in the diet.
As a retired registered massage therapist, I’ve always been interested in health. I grew up loving sports so that carried into my adult life in my chosen career paths and in my personal life. I now stay active with weight training, hiking and biking. My professional life has always been in health care. This has inspired me to seek out and adopt a life of natural health and wellness.