Several recently published articles have confirmed a correlation between patients with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and those who also suffer from psoriasis and eczema, and that gluten sensitivity runs in the family. These studies finally bring to light something people who have chosen a gluten free lifestyle have known for years. Skin disorders can be caused by gluten sensitivity and living a strict gluten free diet can alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. And, gluten sensitivity is often present in several members of the same family.
Patients now have a new tool in working the medical profession and physicians have reason to suspect a patient might have gluten sensitivity when presenting with psoriasis or eczema or when considering a patient's family medical history.
An article published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that 34.1 percent of patients with psoriasis also had elevated antibodies to anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA). Gliadin is a peptide of wheat that those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities can't digest. It is this antibody that causes the many symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity including nutrient deficiency and gastrointestinal distress. Additionally, the longer a patient had suffered from psoriasis, the more likely the patient was to have a positive AGA serum test. This study proves a link between psoriasis and gluten sensitivity.
Psoriasis and Eczema as Symptoms
For many years, those in the medical profession did not consider psoriasis or eczema a primary symptom of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. And, often enough, patients who had lived with gluten sensitivity for many years had enough other symptoms, particularly gastrointestinal symptoms, which allowed physicians to look past psoriasis and eczema as being caused by celiac disease.
However, the significant correlation between psoriasis and gluten sensitivity highlighted in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology has changed the game. Additionally, an article published in British Journal of Dermatology in 2011 found that 16 percent of all psoriasis sufferers also had high levels of AGA. Physicians who treat both patients with psoriasis and eczema and those who treat patients with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities should be aware of the skin disorders as a symptom of the body's inability to digest gluten. Patients may present with intestinal symptoms. However, they could also have several other extra-intestinal manifestations of gluten intolerance including the presence of psoriatic lesions.
Gluten Free Diet Treatment
Moving patients with psoriasis and eczema to a gluten free diet as a treatment for these skin disorders should be considered a viable treatment plan instead of or along with pharmacological approaches.
A study published in World Journal of Gastroenterology discussed the efficacy of a gluten free diet as a treatment for psoriasis. In the study, 33 patients who tested positive for AGA strictly complied with a gluten free diet for a specified period of time. During the gluten free diet trial, these patients did not use other pharmacological treatments on their lesions. Of those patients, 30 of them reported a significant improvement in their skin lesions after three to six months on the gluten free diet.
Given the radical success of a gluten free diet for this group of patients, physicians should consider prescribing a gluten free diet for sufferers of psoriasis and eczema as a primary treatment for the skin disorders.
Finally, a study published in World Journal of Gastroenterology found that the single most important risk factor for celiac disease is having a first degree relative with already defined celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, particularly a sibling. The risk factor was at least 20 percent for people who have a first degree relative with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
For many people who live with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, these findings only confirm what they have known for years. Gluten sensitivity runs in the family and choosing a gluten free diet can dramatically reduce the presence of psoriasis and eczema. The medical profession must consider these factors in addition to the more severe intestinal distress and nutrient deficiency symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to help diagnose more people earlier. The sooner patients can begin living a gluten free diet, the better they will feel and the healthier they will be.
Fortunately you can obtain the proper testing for gluten sensitivity from Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson of Johnson Chiropractic Neurology & Nutrition in Shelby Township, Michigan. He has access to the latest, most specific lab tests the enable an accurate diagnosis and in turn non-drug treatment for those who suffer from psoriasis and eczema.
Did you know....
34.1% of psoriasis patients have elevated antibodies to alpha-gliadin (AGA), a peptide of wheat. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 36, 302-304, 2010
We found a highly significant correlation between positive serum AGA and
duration of psoriasis. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 36, 302-304, 2010
Recent studies showed an association between CD and psoriasis and an improvement of skin lesions after 3-6 mo of gluten free diet
Recent studies showed an association between CD and psoriasis and an improvement of skin lesions after 3-6 months of gluten free diet (GFD), without other pharmacological approaches.
Thirty of 33 patients with positive AGA antibodies strictly complied with GFD, and showed a significant decrease of psoriatic lesions. World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13(14): 2138-2139
16% of patients with psoriasis have been found to present high levels of anti-gluten antibodies. J Intern Med 2011;269:582-590
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