When you suffer from psoriasis, it often feels like you’re locked in a battle with your own body. And, in fact, in many ways, you are.
After all, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. That means your immune system mistakenly attacks your own cells. And in the process, healthy body tissues are damaged or destroyed.
But Belgian researchers say they’ve uncovered a novel, drug-free way to help end the battle. I’ll tell you all about it in just a moment.
But first, let’s take a quick look at what’s happening under the hood when you suffer from psoriasis.
Under attack by your OWN immune system
When your immune system is working correctly, it’s constantly on guard against foreign invaders. When germs like viruses and bacteria try to set up shop, your immune system essentially goes into code red mode.
It orders a virtual army of immune cells to go rushing to the scene to valiantly try to fend off the trespassers. But when you have an autoimmune disease, the immune cells turn into keystone cops who cannot tell your OWN tissues and cells from the invaders.
So they start attacking the very cells they’re supposed to be protecting. In the case of psoriasis, a type of white blood cell called a T-cell is the culprit. The T-cells become overactive and start beating up on your healthy skin cells.
Other parts of your immune system notice the scuffle and kick into action. Inflammation occurs, and the fast-forward button on your skin cells is triggered. The cells suddenly start growing far too fast.
The typical one-month turnover for skin cells is instead completed in just a matter of days. In fact, the process occurs so quickly that the cells don’t even have time to fall off.
As a result, you start growing thickened patches of inflamed, itchy skin called plaques or scales. And those scales can be sore and even crack and bleed.
Fasting trick fights back against psoriasis
Psoriasis is chronic, incurable, and often tough to treat. Some folks get relief using heavy-duty immune-suppressing drugs. However, those meds come with hefty side effects, including potential liver damage. And they often require regular blood tests.
But it turns out making a change to how you’re eating could turn the tide against psoriasis. In fact, the new research shows this novel approach can provide SIGNIFICANT relief without folks having to pop any new pills or cover themselves in sticky creams or lotions.
The small but exciting study focused on a style of eating I’ve covered right here in Healthier Talk before. It’s known as intermittent fasting and is typically used to lose weight or maintain weight loss.
For the study, researchers recruited 24 volunteers with mild psoriasis. Group one was instructed to keep eating their regular diet. But the folks in group two were started on a popular version of intermittent fasting known as the 5:2 Diet.
The volunteers were to eat their regular diets for five days a week. But then, for two days out of the week (not in a row), they were to do a modified fast, eating just 500 calories for the day.
By week six, the lucky folks in the fasting group were already reporting big improvements. By week 12, there were significant improvements in scaling and thickness. And 30 percent of the dieters also reported improvements in itching.
Plus, the 5:2 dieters got a MAJOR bonus. They lost a significant amount of weight and reduced their waist sizes.
Start fighting back against psoriasis TODAY
The study is still in progress, running through June. Preliminary results were presented at the EADV Spring Symposium 2021. And the researchers expect to see continued improvements. But the results are already impressive. And for folks battling this difficult condition, there’s no reason to not give intermittent fasting a try.
Go ahead and check in with your dermatologist or doctor first to get a thumbs up and so they can help track your progress.