Posted 12/25/2014 12:52 PM (GMT -7)
I have struggled with what the doctors have diagnosed as psoriasis, for more than half my life (I am 37). It is on my hands, and the doctors are just guessing it is psoriasis. Basically the way it manifests is it will start with a small red dot on my finger (always in the same spots). The red dot will soon get bigger, and several layers of skin will harden, like die basically Then these layers of skin will peel away, leaving me with large red scaly patches that sometimes crack and bleed. This is mostly on my finger tips and it can be very painful and hard to use my hands for certain tasks. And it is unsightly and embarrassing. I had been treating it with a steroid cream, but after a while, it lost it's effectiveness. I didn't really want to start using a stronger prescription, because long term use of steroid creams isn't really healthy. A dermatologist prescribed me a topical cream, that had a side effect of cancer (!!). I chose not to use it. Instead, I decided to focus on diet. It sounds crazy, but I had heard of a friend who has suffered with eczema who cured it by cutting out gluten. He introduced gluten foods back into his diet after some time, and didn't really have the skin problems anymore. But some years down the road he started to experience a whole new problem. He became very ill, his kidney was shutting down, and the doctors had a hell of a time figuring out what the problem was. They ended up diagnosing him with a rare auto immune disorder, and basically told him there wasn't anything he could do (he is my age). Being the type of person he is, he wasn't going to accept that, so he started the process of elimination, focusing on diet. He figured he'd try the gluten free thing again. Guess what? He completely went in to remission! His autoimmune problem was no longer causing him problems. I am trying not to make this a long story, but I firmly believe there is a connection between gluten and autoimmune problems (which Psoriasis is). I have not been tested for an autoimmune problems, but will be soon. They run in my family. My sister and my niece both have Hashimotos (an autoimmune thyroid condition), I have had an underactive thyroid in the past, but it has fluctuated from low to normal, most recently being normal (a classic symptom of hashimotos). I decided to try the gluten free diet, and within two weeks, my skin cleared up (it had been in a constant flare up stage for 2 years). I was amazed. I then reintroduced gluten in to my diet to see if it was a fluke, and it came back. I went back and forth with the gluten free thing for about a year (it's hard not eating gluten!). I have come to my own conclusion, the gluten is the thing that causes my psoriasis to flare. I am certain of it. The thing about autoimmune and gluten is, the gluten protein will mimic another protein that is naturally occurring in your body. Your immune system will attack the gluten protein, and in the process, it will also attack the naturally occurring protein in your body, which will result in any number of outward physical symptoms (I believe the skin condition on hands is my physical symptom). Gluten sensitivity can present itself any time in life. It might be a long shot, but I encourage anyone with psoriasis or eczema or any other skin condition get a gluten sensitivity screening (before cutting out gluten). And if it comes back negative, try cutting out gluten anyway, because I am told the test results are unreliable at best. Just a suggestion.
~ The little reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed ~ Aesop