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Can a gluten-free diet help psoriasis?

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, a quarter of people living with psoriasis may also have a sensitivity to gluten. So there may be some advantages for those who are living with this skin disease in trying a gluten-free diet in an attempt to alleviate their symptoms. Here, we look at whether eliminating gluten-containing foods from your diet could be an effective psoriasis treatment.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a type of complex protein which is contained in many cereals and grains. It is in barley, rye and wheat and all products which are made from these substances. Foods like pasta, crackers and bread are some of the most common sources of gluten; however, it can also be found in a wide range of unexpected food products such as soy sauce, salad dressings and even ice cream. 

Is there a link between gluten and psoriasis?

EverydayHealth.com states that the link between gluten intolerance and psoriasis is not yet completely understood, but there has been recent research to show that many people who already suffer from coeliac disease (a condition in which the sufferer has a severe sensitivity to gluten-containing products) may also be more likely to suffer from psoriasis. Some psoriasis sufferers who do not have a celiac disease may find that eating foods which contain gluten worsens their symptoms; however, currently there is no scientific evidence to prove that there is a link between the two things. 

Can eating a gluten-free diet improve my psoriasis?

Many people living with psoriasis may have asked themselves whether eliminating gluten from their diet will improve their symptoms, and some of these people may be advised to visit their doctor for blood tests to see if they are suffering from coeliac disease. Although there is still very little scientific evidence to link psoriasis with gluten sensitivity, a number of patients have reported experiencing a major improvement in their skin's condition when they followed a gluten-free diet.

In fact, a study carried out in 2010 by the Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis revealed that those psoriasis patients who were carriers of the psoriasis-linked HLA CW6 gene also had a greater sensitivity to gluten. The Gluten Free Society suggest that those who have had no relief of their psoriasis symptoms from standard medical treatment should experiment with removing gluten-containing foods from their diet to see if they see any improvement.

Although adopting a gluten-free diet may not be a solution for everybody living with psoriasis, if you already have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten, you may find that eating less gluten will help to noticeably alleviate some of your psoriasis symptoms.

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