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Up: Dave W. Comments Widely on ‘Anti-P Diets’
Hiya, Ed! I
don't mind being called a 'scientist', but a 'zealot'?!?
You wrote, in
“Some of us,
on the other hand, may have compelling needs to try dietary approaches,
which is why I don’t say don’t.”
(More About Dr. Connolly.)
Don't get me
wrong, Ed, please. The only
thing I was really arguing against was spending hard-earned money on
Connolly's book, even if it is "guaranteed."
absolutely no evidence in the medical literature (since 1965, at least,
which is what's searchable on the Internet) that any "one size fits
all" diet like Connolly's does anything for psoriasis.
At least, what's on Connolly's web site suggests that his diet is a
one-size-fits-all kinda deal — I haven't read the book.
One-size-fits-all diets have generally failed miserably for weight
loss (the "fad" diets), and there's no compelling reason to
believe that any of the ones available for psoriasis work any better than
any of the others (there are at least five right now, if you include
important to keep in mind that people like Connolly or Pagano probably DO
NOT KNOW how well their dietary suggestions work.
People tell me that "thousands" of psoriatics have been
helped by Pagano, but that number is absolutely meaningless without also
knowing how many people tried Pagano's diet for many months without
improvement (it is more than zero). And
since the majority of people who try the diet won't be under his direct
care, but instead will have simply bought the book, there's no way for
Pagano to track the true numbers.
there is far too much anecdotal evidence that diet can affect SOMETHING
about psoriasis for me to nay-say the whole idea of a dietary approach.
However, I am a firm believer that everyone's dietary triggers are
probably going to be different, for the most part.
Thus, if a dietary angle on treating psoriasis is what a person
wants, I would suggest a highly personalized trial-and-error regimen,
where one food at a time is eliminated from the diet for a few weeks, to
see if there's any response. If
no response, feel free to chow down on that food again.
If yes, you've identified a "suspect food."
foods" should be re-introduced, to see if psoriasis gets worse again
when eating that food. If not,
then the food is no longer a suspect, and it was probably either
spontaneous remission, or something else changed to reduce the flakiness.
If the symptoms get worse again, then eliminate that food again,
and see if the symptoms get better again.
repeat the re-introduction and elimination of any suspect foods as many
times as they want (one at a time, for at least a couple of weeks), until
THEY feel comfortable that those particular foods are truly "at
fault." People will
probably want to give their favorite foods many chances before they
consign them to the "inedible" list (or at least the list which
is titled "I know I'm going to regret this in the morning,
who've never tried a dietary approach before sometimes already know that
their psoriasis gets worse after eating some food they don't eat very
often. (Probably the most
common trigger "foods" are alcoholic beverages.)
Those already-suspect foods are probably the ones to try to
One of the most
comprehensive descriptions of dietary modifications for psoriasis you or
anyone else will ever see is on my web site, at
LAYMAN's opinion (always consult with a competent doctor before modifying
your diet or psoriasis treatments), the above is the best general dietary
advice for psoriasis sufferers who are interested in a dietary approach to
treating this disease. It's
not "strict" (unless you're really attached to some food or
another), it won't help you lose weight (unless you find all your trigger
foods are high in calories), and it sure isn't a "cure" (no more
than insulin injections are a "cure" for diabetes), but it's
probably a heck of a lot easier to follow, and a lot more productive, than
any one-size-fits-all diet can be. It
also has the advantage of not being grounded in bizarre pseudoscientific
ideas like "bioenergy" or the words of a psychic.
This is all
important to note, for people like J.D.,
and it might very well, as you noted, be a symptom of some sort of
allergic response which triggers or exacerbates psoriasis.
Now, all of
THAT having been said, there IS a single one-size-fits-all dietary plan
that may indeed have good effects for a certain small fraction of
psoriatics. A Swedish
researcher found, through published scientific studies, that 16% of
flakers are gluten intolerant (as contrasted to 10% of the
general population). When some
30-something of those gluten-intolerant psoriatics were put on a
gluten-free diet (GFD), nearly all of them had their psoriasis symptoms go
into remission, completely.
What does this
mean? It means that if you
can, you might consider finding a competent medical doctor to test you for
your level of antibodies to gliadin. If
it's above a certain threshold, you'd be considered to be gluten
intolerant by the above-mentioned researcher's standards, and a GFD may
very well get rid of your psoriasis symptoms.
for more information on gluten intolerance and the GFD.
What DOESN'T it
mean? If you try a GFD and
have good results, that does NOT mean that you are gluten intolerant.
It might instead mean that you, by eliminating all
gluten-containing foods, have accidentally eliminated the one single food
which triggers your psoriasis, and you really may not have any problems
with gluten at all.
For example, if
the only time you eat salmon is with your morning bagel (as lox), then a
GFD will also, "collaterally," eliminate salmon from your diet.
If it's ONLY the salmon that's a problem for you, though, then
you're going to be on an EXTREMELY strict diet for very little reason.
The other thing
to keep in mind about the GFD and psoriasis is that it's only been
demonstrated in two clinical trials, by the same lead researcher.
Thus, it can only be considered to be "preliminary"
evidence, and before a zillion people who read FlakeHQ go out and demand
anti-gliadin blood tests, they'll have to weigh the costs (I doubt many
insurance companies will pay for such tests as diagnostic for psoriasis)
versus the possible benefits.
By the way, Avril
H.'s letter isn't really a "counter-argument" to mine, as
you've described it, if you'll give me my more-illustrating argument
above. But, it does bring a
couple of other things to mind, which aren't specifically related to
psoriasis. One is that bread,
beer, and other things which "contain yeast" are NOT made using
any species of Candida. Candida
wouldn't make a decent loaf of bread or pint of beer.
They use different genuses (genii?
Anyway, not just different species) of yeasts for those things.
And in the U.S.A., where beer is pasteurized (mostly), any yeasts
used making it are killed before it's bottled.
on the other hand, CAN feed yeasts like those of the Candida genus which
CAN infect the gut and MIGHT contribute to psoriasis symptoms in some
percentage of the flaker population. The
unfortunate thing is that there are no good studies which show any
definite linkage between the two, and general antifungal treatments for
psoriasis have only shown a mixed response.
So, falling back on the general elimination-type diet described
above may still provide a better overall quality of life than a
restrictive "anti-Candida" diet may allow.
let it be said I can't pontificate with the best of 'em, Ed.
And, as another
"by the way," my latest Fumaric Acid Esters page is now up on my
web site, at:
Response: Good info (again),
Dave. Happy to share it here.
proposed method to assessing personal connections between psoriasis and
things we eat constitutes the most logical and valid approach, but in toto nearly as improbable as some of the diets you discuss.
I don’t know anybody who would have the patience to eliminate
foods one at a time — and for how long? — in a search for a single
food that may trigger their P. Such
a procedure could take years and, to be valid, would require no or
extremely moderate non-dietary treatments occur during the period of the
test (to ensure you could tell if its diet that has effected your P rather
than some new goop or systemic drug you’ve also used).
Your correspondent named “Terry,” who wrote the article you
reference, is someone who has both had the patience to put into the
“research” and the generosity to share the results.
there is a compromise: narrow the list of foods to eliminate
one-at-a-time. And, I agree
with you — start with alcohol. As
Terry’s article points out, beverages in general may be a good place to
start “as they are either nutritionally expendable or worthless.” For
most people, meat would probably be on that list, perhaps even more
narrowly defined; e.g., pork, beef, processed....
And grain products might be on the list; e.g., breads, cereals....
I do encourage
FlakeHQ readers interested in dietary approaches to P control read
Terry’s article. The URL,
AND, if the fumaric
acid ester therapy has anyone intrigued, definitely check out Dave’s
well-researched article at:
Good stuff. -Ed