Psoriasis affects the skin externally as well as the joints internally and can be successfully treated with diet. Last month I had the opportunity to interview Dr. John Pagano, a chiropractic physician from Englewood Cliffs, NJ, who has been successfully helping people who suffer from psoriasis and eczema with natural and drugless methods for over 40 years.
According to Dr. Pagano, “It is what you don’t eat that will cure you” when it comes to treating psoriasis. In his years of treating this disfiguring and disabling disease he has found a distinct relationship between the intestines, food sensitivities, spinal hygiene and nutritional imbalances that result in the dry, red and scaly skin that affects psoriasis suffers. His approach is considered alternative and is for those patients who have not responded to traditional medical treatment for this condition.
A brief synopsis of his psoriasis regime begins with treating the intestines for a condition called “Leaky Gut Syndrome.” Simply, the intestines are a porous barrier and when functioning properly only allow nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream that are properly broken down into their essential building blocks. However, due to viruses, bacteria, medications, stress and sometimes just life, the “holes” in the intestinal lining become enlarged and substances become absorbed that are either toxic, (waste products), or absorbed before they are fully digested. Regardless of whether these absorbed substances are beneficial for the body or not, since they are too large to be properly metabolized for energy the body reacts to them as invaders. Invaders of all types are attacked by the immune system and an over active immune system can manifest itself symptomatically in any organ system in the body. The body’s largest organ is the skin and in Dr. Pagano’s experience, the combination of leaky gut and chemical toxins/sensitivities results in psoriasis and eczema. He feels that you need to “Heal the body from the inside out” to correct psoriasis.
Leaky gut is often addressed with eating foods that allow the intestinal lining to heal along with the supplements l-glutamine, probiotics, aloe vera, slippery elm and one of Dr. Pagano’s favorites, American Yellow Saffron. Often yeast overgrowth in the intestines creates leaky gut which requires specific nutritional intervention. Establishing a healthy environment for the gut improves digestion as well as absorption so only beneficial substances enter into the bloodstream.
As a chiropractic physician, Dr. Pagano emphasizes the importance of chiropractic care in facilitating nerve flow to the intestines to allow them to heal. The relationship is simple: all the nerves in the body exit from the spine before they go to the muscles, blood vessels and organs. Proper nerve flow from the spine to the intestines enables the communication channels between the brain and intestines to be improved so the function of the intestines will increase. Along with supplements, eating the correct foods, avoiding toxic foods and increasing lymphatic circulation, chiropractic care has been shown to be an additional key to the healing psoriasis puzzle.
As for the major foods to avoid, it is consistent with a healthy diet overall. Alcohol is to be avoided as well as white sugar. This also includes all white flour products. This is not surprising since white flour has no nutritional value, spikes blood sugar to unhealthy levels and contains no fiber. Rapid elevation of blood sugar levels is a contributing factor for some psoriasis suffers and in those cases even fruit sugar, fructose, might be an aggravating variable. The most common fruits that cause a problem for these patients are citrus.
Next on the to be avoided list is red meat. There are some exceptions here such as game meats and lamb. However, remember that we are what we eat, eats. As I previously discussed in the Anti-inflammatory Diet article, http://www.thealternativepress.com/articles/the-anti-inflammatory-diet, grain fed meats are pro-inflammatory due to the high percentage of omega-6 fatty acids they contain. Fried foods are also high in pro-inflammatory fatty acids and of course need to be avoided for psoriasis suffers, too.
There are several other foods that are toxic to psoriasis suffers including the nightshade vegetables and tobacco. The details of all the foods to avoid can be found in Dr. Pagano’s book Healing Psoriasis, The Natural Alternative, which has been a best seller in its category on Amazon books for many years.
For the skeptics out there, you can see the results of Dr. Pagano’s work on my TV show, The Natural Way to Better Health and Wellness. Dr. Pagano’s interview will air during the month of November 2010 on Comcast Channel 36 or Fios Channel 33 on Mondays at 10pm, Wednesdays at 4pm & 8pm and Fridays at 10:30am. He discusses his work as well as presents several case studies.
Fit is the New Thin wants you to think critically about your health and to not accept the norm as the only answer. For psoriasis and eczema suffers who have not responded to traditional medical care, Dr. Pagano’s work may be the answer. His books on psoriasis and leaky gut are informative and easy to follow for self treatment. For more information he may be reached at www.psoriasis-healing.com or 201-947-0606.
Dr. Donald DeFabio is a dual board certified Chiropractic Physician in Berkeley Heights, NJ and author of Health Management: The DeFabio Difference. He is the Director of DeFabio Spine and Sports Rehab, LLC where Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Nutrition, and Personal Training are integrated for a comprehensive approach to your health management. The office may be reached at DeFabioChiropractic@gmail.com or www.DeFabioChiropractic.com.
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