It's always been a minor annoyance, leaving scabby, peeling-skin patches on my face and elbows and scalp that sometimes itch like the dickens. But in the past year it's gotten under my fingernails and has started to lift the nail off the skin, which looks gross and - far worse - leaves them very prone to snagging and breaking painfully.
So it seems like it's time to do something, and all the topical creams I've tried in the past haven't had more than a temporary effect.
Time to go au naturale.
I'd seen a book called Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative: The Drug Free Program That Really Works recommended over the years on websites, by the National Psoriasis Foundation, and by other people I've met with the disease. I bought a copy at work and I've been reading it.
If I decide to commit to the natural healing recommendnd here, I am not going to be happy. I've just been reading the diet section and Dr. John Pagano, the author, recommends eliminating these seven categories from my diet:
- Saturated fats - such as red and processed meats
- Nighshades - especially tomatoes, peppers, and hot spices
- Too many sweets
- Junk food
- Fried foods
With the exception of smoking, which has never been a vice of mine, and alcohol, which I only indulge in a few times a year, all of my favorite foods are on this list. I eat too many sweet foods, and I agree that I should cut back, but tomatoes??? I mean, tomatoes? I freakin' LOVE tomatoes!! They're a fruit! How can they be unhealthy?
Dr. Pagano actually goes into great depth explaining that plants from the nightshade family are bad, although it's purely observational and he didn't really provide a scientific reason for why. More disheartening is the fact that potatoes are also included in this same family. So I can't eat hamburgers (red meat), hamburger buns (processed food), slice of tomato (nightshade) OR french fries (fried AND nightshade family). Depressing.
And forget pizza!
I'm still reading the book to see what other strange demands Dr. Pagano may make of me before I decide to commit to this diet. It's incredibly depressing to miss out on all the tasty things, but maybe if I go of of good food for six months or so I'll be able to slowly start integrating it back in until I figure out the levels that trigger the psoriasis. Every time I look down at my hands and see my peeling fingernails, I know I have to do something.