Effects of Sugar, Acidic Foods, Proteins, Sleep/Fear/Stress and Gut Homeostasis
Here are two circumstances that created flares where psoriasis appeared suddenly, in new places (over my face and neck). I have never had it like this before, and have had only scalp psoriasis for thirty years. In both situations, my diet changed suddenly.
It might sound strange, but I am excited by the patterns! I hope you will clearly see the three elements that are common to guaranteed psoriasis outbreaks. My two cents at the end.
HOW TO INVOKE PSORIASIS FLARES, A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
[Circumstance 1: Vacation at parent's house for two weeks]
[Step 1] Eat daily diet of store bought BBQ chicken (2 days in the fridge then frozen), greens, coffee, soft cheeses with processed crackers and 1-2 glasses white wine. All of this was unusual for me. The greens didn't compensate for the acidic nature of the other foods, and the sugars in the wine and crackers. Usually I'd be gluten free, or close to it, and not eat processed foods.
[Step 2] Stress involved with packing and moving to a new location & wanting to pack a lot of luggage perfectly to make travel easier.
[Step 3] Sleeplessness due to worry about being late, not wanting to say goodbye on that note. This broadly translates to fear, stress, self doubt. I've noticed this is a primary trigger with psoriasis.
[Step 4] Went on a 5 day olive oil fast to try to correct. More on this in a separate post.
[Circumstance 2: Applying for Grad School on a Deadline During Lockdown]
[Step 1] Ate 1kg of sugar over a week. It is the first time I've had sugar in the house, and I went nuts with the deliciousness. After 7 days, I noticed the start of psoriasis on my eyelid (unusual). During this time I had to quickly try to decide how to spend the next six months, and there was a lot of uncertainty. Ate three cans of Kippers (smoked herring) over three days to try to get Omega 3s.
[Step 2] Sleeplessness due to concern about application. Offset the three hours of sleep by the gift of some gorgeous coffee someone sent me. While I stopped drinking coffee, I went to town, with 3 to 5 coffees over a day. The next day, the psoriasis was out in force, forehead, eyelids, behind the ears, over my ears. What the sugar and protein began, the coffee and lack of sleep turned into a quagmire.
[Step 3] Continue drinking coffee and not sleeping well. Not drinking much water, either. My tongue is now white. Before Step 1, my tongue had been pink. This indicates that
[Step 4] Attempt to offset psoriasis by eating lots of herbs and spices (sumac, cayenne, basil, rosemary, curry) in butter beans with coconut oil. Also having Vitamin C and green powdered drink, with pea protein and digestive enzymes to attempt to offset prior misgivings.
HYPOTHESIS: Psoriasis flares are the result of inflammation and ingesting foods that promote unfavorable bacterial and fungal growth. These conditions take time to resolve, however can be resolved by restoring balance. In scientific journals, this is known as "Maintaining Gut Homeostasis." Further resources are available via Google Scholar.
1. Sugar destabilises blood sugar, causing inflammation. It is also food for "bad bacteria" and candida to grow in the intestinal system. While in mainstream medicine, small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO) is not commonly recognised, there are many studies in specialist scientific journals around Intestinal Candidiasis, accessible via via Google Scholar.
2. When the body is in a state of inflammation, it is less capable of tolerating proteins. This may be a result of changes in the intestinal structure during inflammation. It is also less capable of tolerating anything that may ferment in the intestines in a way that in open air would usually produce mold (e.g. coffee grounds, fruit, flours).
3. Caffeine and coffee contribute to inflammation by promoting acidity in the body. This may increase growth of unfavorable organisms in the gut.
3. Low quality sleep destabilises blood sugar and promotes inflammation. In part this is related to increased cortisol and stress levels, and circumventing the usual repair mechanisms that occur during deep sleep.
4. Self doubt and rejection are primary triggers for stress for all humans. The can be managed through establishing a lifestyle that promotes a healthy sense of self and good calm boundaries around that. An unbalanced gut promotes anxiety.
5. Die-off that can occur when we suddenly change the diet after promoting unfavorable gut organisms. The gut takes time to respond to changed conditions and heal. It takes less time to become unbalanced. Removing the triggers will remove symptoms, however the gut also needs to be healed. Olive oil fasting may help with this.
6. Early and focused intervention to maintain gut homeostasis after a dietary trigger results in a controlled and shorter psoriasis flare. Longer periods of gut imbalance lead to longer recovery times for the resolution of gut inflammation.