3

votes

Scalp Psoriasis worsened with Paleo

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 21, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Hi,

My girlfriend and I have been Paleo for about a year now, most things have changed for the better, however my girlfriend's scalp psoriasis flared up shortly after starting paleo and has got progressively worse, why would this be? Her migraines have been cured and both of us look and feel healthier but surely this is a sign all is not well? She has tried coconut oil to control it, even some presciption lotion from the doctor but this just gets rid of what's there, it doesn't ultimately fix the problem, she has tried limiting eggs, tried limiting pork, low carb etc to no avail, any ideas what is going wrong here and any ideas for a solution, help would be greatly appreciated as this is really getting her down and is hugely embarrassing and unconfortable for her, not to mention frustrating as we love the Paleo way of life but this is not good. Thanks

8bbfc008bc8cb8ead50175bb518981e8

(0)

on June 01, 2012
at 12:32 AM

Ps. That's phytic acid:)

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on January 04, 2012
at 01:07 AM

Yes, diet isn't everything. If you're eating a rational diet but live in Chernobyl I don't think diet is going to make a difference. One has to consider other sources of toxicity from commercial products and environmental factors as well.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on November 12, 2011
at 10:35 AM

did you work it out?

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on September 25, 2011
at 03:51 PM

Yeah, stress is something to consider seriously. I like seeing things holistically, so I would say that diet alone cannot always help. Sometimes it could be some serious unresolved emotional issue, stemming from some strange and negative perspective on life. It's surprising to think that it can have such an impact on health. Perhaps it would be wise to sit down and just talk about things, to see if there are things that need to be resolved.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 25, 2011
at 08:42 AM

Fantastic advice thank you, I shall stock up on Carlson's (hopefully available in the uk) and magnesium citrate, especially with the winter months drawing ever nearer!

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 25, 2011
at 08:39 AM

We do generally and did avoid rice, untill Chris Kresser mentioned he eat it a few times a week as it's a "safe starch" to bump up calories, I suppose it's the same as everything in that it would be totally worth it to drop it for a while and re-introduce to see what happens. She has started using Botanical Henna shampoo and conditioner too so fingers crossed this will all help! It seems stress of any kind is HUGE in the flaring up factor too.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 25, 2011
at 03:16 AM

My advice is to consider non-dietary causes.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on September 25, 2011
at 02:10 AM

A lot of people in this community seem to be pretty laid back about rice. I personally avoid it because I don't want to wonder if it might or might not be harming my gut. I'm planning to go with Chris Kresser's advice and avoid all grains entirely. Here's an interesting take on why sugar (fructose) makes you itchy: http://articlesunlimited.holisticnetworkexchange.com/inflammation_sugar.html and : http://www.ctds.info/itching.html I would also be careful of the kind of lotion, cream, or shampoo that she uses. You might want to suggest switching to a much more mild shampoo. Keep in touch!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 24, 2011
at 09:43 PM

She can order a test via her doc or here online: http://www.zrtlab.com/vitamindcouncil/. She needs to get D3 in an oil-base--either drops or gel caps. Carlson's or NOW are good brands. 1000 IUs per 25 lbs of body weight to start. Magnesium Citrate (or any magnesium that ends in -ate) 200-400 mg is a good idea.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:05 PM

Yeah, that's not helpful thanks. I was asking for advice and ideas not statements.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Wow thanks for the links! Really thorough thank you.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Thank you for that advice!

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Yes she does take it, what level would you reccommend? Also going to try to take the liquid form as I've heard it's more absorbable?

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Wow that's interesting, how do you go about getting tested? She takes Vit D3 but it's the chalky tablets, what supplementation would you reccomend? We do eat liver and heart a couple of times a week, she does eat a fair amount of 85% dark chocolate she says partially for the magnesium.......

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:00 PM

Thank you so much for answering, she is paleo, no soy ever, dairy is limited to butter as dairy and sugar *seem* to really flare it up. Just cut the eggs and nightshades again, gonna try that for 6 weeks to see id that makes a difference, what do you reckon on rice? No anti biotics.

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on September 21, 2011
at 08:29 PM

I agree it could be low zinc - possibly a condition sometimes called 'pyroluria' where zinc and B6 are being excreted instead of used by the body. there's a test for it.

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 07:34 PM

Kresser also noted that many of his candida patients actually got worse on a VLC diet. Whatever the mechanism, things got worse for me when I went VLC and adding some glucose carbs back improved things substantially.

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 07:33 PM

Pasting from Jaminet's comment on the Perfect Health Diet blog: "Inside the body, serum glucose levels are regulated and don’t vary much. So eating more carbs doesn’t increase blood glucose over a 24 hour period. But eating a ketogenic diet does substantially increase ketones.So on the ketogenic diet they have ketones plus blood glucose of 90 mg/dl, and on a higher carb diet they have no ketones and blood glucose still 90 mg/dl. The first is better for the yeast. In the gut, things are different. There ketones are lacking and food carbs matter."

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:58 PM

I'm glad you have found something that's working. That's a strange idea about candida feeding on ketones. If it can eat ketones or glucose, it would seem like you're damned either way.

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 06:24 PM

And this, particularly the paragraph entitled "Candida and Psoriasis." http://www.dermaharmony.com/skinnutrition/candida.aspx

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Check this out: http://www.nutritioninstitute.com/Psoriasis.html

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13 Answers

best answer

1
48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on September 21, 2011
at 04:16 PM

Hi Paleosaurus. What is your typical diet like? I also have psoriasis and as a result have to take paleo one step further by limiting many other foods.

I personally avoid dairy (butter is okay), nightshades, fruit (fructose), and soy.

People like Robb wolf and Campbell Mcbride also suggest taking out eggs (lysosomes), nuts and starchy foods such as potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes (hard to digest polysaccharides).

Is your girlfriend eating any of these foods?

Also- has she taken an antibiotic anytime within the past year?

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on September 25, 2011
at 03:51 PM

Yeah, stress is something to consider seriously. I like seeing things holistically, so I would say that diet alone cannot always help. Sometimes it could be some serious unresolved emotional issue, stemming from some strange and negative perspective on life. It's surprising to think that it can have such an impact on health. Perhaps it would be wise to sit down and just talk about things, to see if there are things that need to be resolved.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 25, 2011
at 08:39 AM

We do generally and did avoid rice, untill Chris Kresser mentioned he eat it a few times a week as it's a "safe starch" to bump up calories, I suppose it's the same as everything in that it would be totally worth it to drop it for a while and re-introduce to see what happens. She has started using Botanical Henna shampoo and conditioner too so fingers crossed this will all help! It seems stress of any kind is HUGE in the flaring up factor too.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:00 PM

Thank you so much for answering, she is paleo, no soy ever, dairy is limited to butter as dairy and sugar *seem* to really flare it up. Just cut the eggs and nightshades again, gonna try that for 6 weeks to see id that makes a difference, what do you reckon on rice? No anti biotics.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on September 25, 2011
at 02:10 AM

A lot of people in this community seem to be pretty laid back about rice. I personally avoid it because I don't want to wonder if it might or might not be harming my gut. I'm planning to go with Chris Kresser's advice and avoid all grains entirely. Here's an interesting take on why sugar (fructose) makes you itchy: http://articlesunlimited.holisticnetworkexchange.com/inflammation_sugar.html and : http://www.ctds.info/itching.html I would also be careful of the kind of lotion, cream, or shampoo that she uses. You might want to suggest switching to a much more mild shampoo. Keep in touch!

4
755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 06:19 PM

It could be dysbiosis. Some skin problems are. Specifically, I'd say yeast overgrowth. Paul Jaminet explains that Candida can feed off of keytone bodies, and so candida can actually become worse on a very low carb diet. Mine did. I'd try getting about 600-800 calories from carbohydrates like potatoes/yams/sweet potatoes. Perhaps also try taking probiotics and/or adding homemade sauerkraut. That's working for me.

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 07:34 PM

Kresser also noted that many of his candida patients actually got worse on a VLC diet. Whatever the mechanism, things got worse for me when I went VLC and adding some glucose carbs back improved things substantially.

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 06:24 PM

And this, particularly the paragraph entitled "Candida and Psoriasis." http://www.dermaharmony.com/skinnutrition/candida.aspx

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Check this out: http://www.nutritioninstitute.com/Psoriasis.html

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 21, 2011
at 06:58 PM

I'm glad you have found something that's working. That's a strange idea about candida feeding on ketones. If it can eat ketones or glucose, it would seem like you're damned either way.

755d3a18737359da49c5e2167e5f2f63

on September 21, 2011
at 07:33 PM

Pasting from Jaminet's comment on the Perfect Health Diet blog: "Inside the body, serum glucose levels are regulated and don’t vary much. So eating more carbs doesn’t increase blood glucose over a 24 hour period. But eating a ketogenic diet does substantially increase ketones.So on the ketogenic diet they have ketones plus blood glucose of 90 mg/dl, and on a higher carb diet they have no ketones and blood glucose still 90 mg/dl. The first is better for the yeast. In the gut, things are different. There ketones are lacking and food carbs matter."

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Wow thanks for the links! Really thorough thank you.

2
9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on September 21, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Has she tried going no-poo? I haven't ever had my scalp diagnosed, but I had some terrible symptoms and now after going no poo for almost a year, my scalp is sooo much better. First few months are hell.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Thank you for that advice!

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 21, 2011
at 04:53 PM

It may be that her Vitamin A increased through her diet, but her D levels need to come up as well as Vitamin K & Magnesium. They all need to be in balance. Also, she is possibly deficient in zinc, which is really necessary for skin health.

Is she supplementing D3? Has she had her level checked?

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on September 21, 2011
at 08:29 PM

I agree it could be low zinc - possibly a condition sometimes called 'pyroluria' where zinc and B6 are being excreted instead of used by the body. there's a test for it.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 24, 2011
at 09:43 PM

She can order a test via her doc or here online: http://www.zrtlab.com/vitamindcouncil/. She needs to get D3 in an oil-base--either drops or gel caps. Carlson's or NOW are good brands. 1000 IUs per 25 lbs of body weight to start. Magnesium Citrate (or any magnesium that ends in -ate) 200-400 mg is a good idea.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Wow that's interesting, how do you go about getting tested? She takes Vit D3 but it's the chalky tablets, what supplementation would you reccomend? We do eat liver and heart a couple of times a week, she does eat a fair amount of 85% dark chocolate she says partially for the magnesium.......

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 25, 2011
at 08:42 AM

Fantastic advice thank you, I shall stock up on Carlson's (hopefully available in the uk) and magnesium citrate, especially with the winter months drawing ever nearer!

1
A466da6fe303f500c64a38b9d7140315

on January 03, 2012
at 05:43 AM

Hi, I don't know if your GF is still dealing with this but I am on my 1st week of Paleo and my psoriasis has flared up something awful! I am going to stick through it because sometimes, the body has to get worse before it can get better. In the meantime, I am using a topical agent given to my by my Dermatologist. Its called Taclonex. It is pricey (over 50.00 a tube) but its last me a long time seeing that I only have Psoriasis in my elbows and ankles and 2 knuckles. (Weird how the joints are affected first.)

I used for a while (till I ran out) African Shea Butter. I got it from http://shop.oldcityremedies.com/ in St. Augustine, FL. That, coupled with Black soap, seemed to have helped a lot in the past. I should probably buy more. Anyway, if you guys know of anything else that can work I am all ears.

1
1145a340276b66b7765d7808128062ea

(80)

on November 21, 2011
at 01:42 PM

I am sorry to hear this. Psoriasis is quite disabling for some people, and scalp psoriasis is very tough for women.

There is probably a vast underlying heterogeneity in Psoriasis patient, some with diet controllable disease, some with a a different disease. I am very leery of single unifying explanations for any human related phenomena.

Perhaps you guys could look into other anti-inflammatory measures, particularly topical treatments. I have heard garlic oil can be effective, as well as fish oil, possibly coconut oil. Psoriasis may have a long half life, so it may take a while for a treatment to be effective.

In general, reducing stress in your life is very good for psoriasis. Perhaps taking up a meditation practice if you don't already?

hope this helps!!!

1
6a26f2ca2cd1c5c5afcda9276b309a9c

(579)

on September 21, 2011
at 05:03 PM

I just read 'Power of vitamin D' by Sarfraz Zaidi and he says low levels of vitamin d can cause psoriasis. I actually just bought some D3 today to see if I could get rid of a small amount of psoriasis that I have. If she isn't supplementing already she should be or she needs to up what she's taking. Obviously getting tested would be a good idea.

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Yes she does take it, what level would you reccommend? Also going to try to take the liquid form as I've heard it's more absorbable?

0
7cf4ae85969aaf1a331057c0745d8575

on December 22, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Take a look at the following article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06811.x/abstract

Summary

Background  The dogma in psoriasis is that due to pathogen-induced inflammatory responses, an autoreactive immune response is induced that leads to tissue destruction. However, this model might be too simplistic. Literature data suggest that the expression of enzymes crucial for fatty acid oxidation is upregulated in the skin of patients with psoriasis compared with healthy individuals.

Objectives  To examine the influence of fatty acid oxidation on psoriasis with regard to expression and activity of the key enzyme in fatty acid oxidation, carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1) and the effect of the CPT-1 inhibitor, Etomoxir.

Methods  Experiments were performed with homogenates of lesional and healthy skin, fibroblast cultures and a model of human psoriatic skin transplanted on immune-deficient BNX mice.

Results  CPT-1 was highly active in lesional skin. Etomoxir was able to block CPT-1 activity in skin, implying that this antagonist may have the potential to suppress psoriasis when administered topically. In the mouse model, Etomoxir had an antipsoriatic effect that was at least as good as that of betamethasone, as evidenced by reduction of epidermal thickness, keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation.

Conclusions  We conclude that fatty acid metabolism and in particular CPT-1 may be an excellent target for treatment of psoriasis.

**This suggests that a VLC may worsen psoriasis via the fatty acid oxidation link: VLC diets work by this mechanism (and the ketones issue mentioned above is certainly relevant wrt candida-psoriasis).

0
B885dc10c6263f5a4492205d50560bee

(401)

on June 01, 2012
at 04:02 AM

I've been paleo for almost a year and still have a few scalp issues; the only thing that has ever helped has been using a shampoo bar (all natural, only coconut oil, hemp oil, etc.) with tea tree oil. I have tried many commercial and homemade bars, but J.R. Liggetts has kept most of the inflammation, itchiness, and flakiness away. Bonus, it also makes my hair look great.

In all seriousness, diet is a major component in our skin's health, but there are some issues that can only be solved by other means. If that is the case with your girlfriend, it should be an easy fix. :)

0
8bbfc008bc8cb8ead50175bb518981e8

on June 01, 2012
at 12:30 AM

I think it's incredible that this community has so many helpful and intelligent people responding in such a thought provoking manner. It certainly wouldn't be like this in other communities. First of all I would like to say that I agree with almost everything I have read in response to your question and I do believe they are all potentially relevant to your problem. As you have not had tests to determine what is actually going on in your gut it is difficult to know what could potentially be the underlying cause of your particular problem. Is it candida or is it an infection or simply an autoimmune flare up with gut dysbiosis and gut lining permeability as the underlying issue. I think it would be fairly useful in this case to get some tests done eg some kind of stool examination which is available today, although it may be expensive. At the very least see what you can get tested for on the cheaper end. Maybe h. Pylori etc. In the mean time however I would like to note that if your girlfriend is eating a lot of dark chocolate this could be a problem for her gut due to the very high levels of photic acid which is a gut irritant and leacher of nutrients. I would recommend trying out something similar to the GAPS diet for a month or so to see what happens and hopefully you may be able to heal the gut from there. If she gets consistently worse on this diet you may need to seek other options like potentially reintroducing some starches back in. In any case get some tests if at all possible and maybe send an email to Chris kresser to get his opinion.

8bbfc008bc8cb8ead50175bb518981e8

(0)

on June 01, 2012
at 12:32 AM

Ps. That's phytic acid:)

0
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on January 03, 2012
at 10:08 PM

I've a friend with a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, a type of rheumatoid condition. When you read about it, it seems it can present with or without skin involvement, and with or without joint involvement (he seems to have both). I didn't think too much of it until my own mother was diagnosed with it--erroneously, as it turned out. She had hip pain, but it was referred pain from a ruptured lumbar disc. They selected psoriatic arthritis based of the fact that she does have sort of psoriatic-looking nails, and had one bad blood test for possible rheumatoid markers. After a year or so of horrendous rheumatoid drugs, they figured out what was wrong and fixed her back. Meanwhile, my friend seems only to function with the drugs. (If only HE would consider dietary interventions!)

I suppose my point is that there may well be a non-dietary/lifestyle cause for the psoriasis. But it seems like it would be very hard to guess without knowing a huge amount of information about the patient, like environment, family history, lifestyle, a lengthy journal of absolutely everything going into the mouth, onto the skin, into the lungs, etc.--and even then, I gather psoriasis is a tough nut to crack. BUT, as you continue this exploration, if at any point psoriatic arthritis comes up, proceed with caution and healthy skepticism. I'm guessing you would anyway. It might be worth looking into, or a disaster. But I was pretty disturbed by my mother's experience so I feel like I have to share it whenever psoriasis comes up--just in case.

0
0d0316bfd35ffab6fa000120b978f303

on January 03, 2012
at 07:32 PM

My psoriasis is on my face and scalp, and has gotten worse since I went Paleo. However, my stress level at work is not healthy, so I think that is playing a larger factor in my flare-ups, then anything. I have read through all the above comments, and there are some things (supplements) that I need to adjust, that might help me. Sorry- I didn't answer the question, but I do thank you for asking it! Hopefully by now your girlfriend has found some relief.

0
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 21, 2011
at 05:43 PM

Diet doesn't control everything. Might it be that your scalp psoriasis just got worse?

4876929b606551d66ebec7536a9cdbb8

on September 24, 2011
at 09:05 PM

Yeah, that's not helpful thanks. I was asking for advice and ideas not statements.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 25, 2011
at 03:16 AM

My advice is to consider non-dietary causes.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on January 04, 2012
at 01:07 AM

Yes, diet isn't everything. If you're eating a rational diet but live in Chernobyl I don't think diet is going to make a difference. One has to consider other sources of toxicity from commercial products and environmental factors as well.

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