Psoriasis is one of the most frustrating diseases to have. It’s ugly, uncomfortable, and difficult to treat. Most of us who have it have become resigned to the fact that we just have to live with it. It’s going to flare up and get worse when we least expect it and settle down again for what seems to be no apparent reason.
This is what it seems like to us from the outside anyway. It looks like a skin disease, but psoriasis is really an internal disease. It’s a disease OF the skin, but it’s not a skin disease by itself.
The Mind and Skin Connection
When we were fetuses in the womb, our cells were busy figuring out what they wanted to be when they grew up. At first, those primordial cells all looked pretty much the same. Then they started differentiating into different tissue types.
The fledgling cells that would ultimately become our brain, spinal column, and nerves also differentiated into skin cells. Our skin is highly innervated with millions of nerve cells. It gives us our sense of touch, pain, and heat.
Have you ever noticed when you get nervous, that you sweat? That’s because your brain is activating hormones that our skin’s sweat glands respond to. They are hard-wired together.
Similarly, stress can cause our psoriasis to get worse, and when our psoriasis flares, it causes stress.
The Mind, Skin and Body Connection
There’s a third component to psoriasis that you probably aren’t aware of. Your gut microbiome (gut bacteria) is the direct cause of your bad skin. Just like your skin is hard-wired into your brain, so is your intestinal system.
The largest cranial nerve is called the vagus nerve, and this nerve acts like a main telephone trunk down to your gut and back. Your gut constantly sends signals back to the brain about what’s going on.
When you have inflammation in your gut from “bad” bacteria, it’s sending signals to the brain to send in the troops to fight. The T cells arrive, expecting a war with an invading virus or bacteria. Instead, there’s nothing there and they can’t figure out what to fight. So in the case of psoriasis, they attack the dermis or the bottom layer of the skin.
In other autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, they attack the nerve cell myelin sheath (outer covering). In alopecia, they attack the hair follicles. In rheumatoid arthritis, they attack the joints of the bones.
Fixing the Internal Inflammation
I liken the internal inflammation to having burned a fire in the fireplace. After the fire is out, and you only see ashes, but there’s still heat coming from the burning embers buried under the ashes.
Your psoriasis (or whatever autoimmune disease you have) is directly related to how inflamed your gut is. When you eat foods that feed the “bad” bacteria, your internal inflammation increases. In simplistic terms, those foods include sugar, grains, legumes, and nightshades.
When you omit the inflammatory foods and eat wholesome, healthy foods like fruits, lots of vegetables, healthy meats, and fish, the gut inflammation cools, and with it, your skin.
Psoriasis is a very slow-moving disease. Why? If you get a flare-up, it’s because of something you ate a month ago. When the T cells attack the dermis, it takes 28-40 days for that inflammation to move to the top layer of skin or the epidermis. Your skin constantly renews itself, and it takes about a month or so for brand new skin to rise to the top.
Similarly, quitting the foods that feed the “bad” bacteria won’t show any results for at least a month or more.
2022 New Year’s Resolution
It’s a new year, and this time of year is when we traditionally make resolutions: Eat healthier. Exercise more. Lose weight. Quit smoking.
These are all noble goals for the year.
What I propose is to get your gut microbiome into a healthy state. It’s hard work, but you can do it. When you do, you’ll naturally lose weight without dieting and your body’s immune system will become much stronger.
Eat more fruits and vegetables every day (7-10 helpings!). Take Juice Plus+ which provides 30 powerful and antioxidant fruits and vegetables in capsule form. Eat more salmon which will increase your vitamin D and omega fatty acids in your diet – all-important to lower your internal inflammation. If you don’t like fish or are a vegan, Juice Plus+ has a vegan omega blend that provides a balanced mix of essential fatty acids.
If you’re serious about getting your skin under control and into remission, be sure to watch the video on Control My Psoriasis.
Let’s make this a wonderful year and heal your gut!