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Ketosis – Inflammation – Psoriasis – Part 2

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On February 20, 2015, I wrote a post entitled Ketosis – Inflammation – Psoriasis a Linkage Found.

The heart of that post was my awareness that my Psoriasis had really eased up as I spent more time on a VLCHF – Ketogenic diet. It was not something that happened overnight – but I eventually realized that areas that were of concern, were no longer a problem – my elbows being one area. I can’t pin point the time – it was not quick – just gradual and probably took a year or more.

When I brought this to my Dermatologist’s attention – she pooh-poohed me telling me that diet has nothing to do with psoriasis. I later found articles indicating that one component of psoriasis was inflammation. At least I had some explanation of why my patches had abated. A Ketogenic Diet is an anti-inflammatory diet.

That dermatological practice had dissolved. One retired, the other no longer does skin checks. Today I had my first skin check in about a year or so. The new Doc listened to my tale and was a bit surprised. He did admit that the latest thinking is that Psoriasis is related to inflammation. 

He examined my body from all angles. Doc – any dry patches – “nothing worth doing anything about.”

My journey with “dry skin” actually started with my audiologist who – upon examining my ear, said : “You have a lot of dry skin in your ear canal.” And – that started the process of curing my TMJ.

I periodically had what we thought was TMJ. It turned out to be an irritated patch of psoriasis in the ear. I would scratch, put the hearing aid in – and it would end up inflamed. That inflammation was enough to push the jaw out of alignment.

I now have a liquid med to put a drop in an itchy ear. Not sure if it is a psoriasis patch or just an itch. Doesn’t matter – I need to make sure that it does not become inflamed. This does not happen often – but when you wear hearing aids – it is a problem that may occur.

I would never say that following a Ketogenic Diet will cure Psoriasis. But – Damn – it sure seems to have helped me – a helluva lot. What do you have to lose.

 

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Headaches

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I started my three pronged improvement program on March 12, 2007: (1) Exercising, (2) Eating Very Low Carb High Fat, and (3) dieting for weight loss. Since I did all three at once – it is hard to discern which individual effort or what combination of them has caused any change in my health. Oh yes – there have been changes – many of them – which I have documented on this Blog.

The changes in my blood work are ones that can be scientifically identified. The change in my weight can be measured. The change in my strength can be measured. But there are more subtle changes that happen over time and are difficult to actually measure.

Indigestion. I always had a bottle of antacids floating around. Invariably, I would pop a couple at least once a week – if not more. It wasn’t until a house guest asked me for an antacid – after she and her family spent a day touring and eating in the City – that I realized I had not taken any in years. Even now – I almost never use them.

Psoriasis. I have a mild case of Psoriasis. I slowly noticed that the amount of “patches” had decreased significantly, as did my reliance on various prescription creams.

Headaches. Over the years, I’ve relied upon aspirin when I had a headache. There was always a bottle in the medicine cabinet. It wasn’t until this Article about the possible impact of a Ketogenic diet on Migraines, that I realized I had not popped an aspirin for a headache in years. (Note – the articles reporting this study appear in many forms – some slant it – even the title of this article is at odds with the content.)

“We concluded that the ketogenic diet was the reason for that improvement,” Di Lorenzo recently told ResearchGate. A further study also found that a high-fat ketogenic diet helped reduce long-lived “cluster headaches” in non-overweight patients.

A more comprehensive discussion of the Research is contained in this Article: “Less carbs, more fat: ketogenic diet makes migraine patients’ headaches disappear.

No – I am not subject to migraines – happily – just the normal and usual (?) headache. Now – I question – is it so normal and usual?

The reality is simple – Clean up your lifestyle and you will clean up your health.

Ketosis – Inflammation – Psoriasis: A Linkage Found

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When I first started following a Very Low Carb High Fat (VLCHF) diet, almost 8 years ago, I did it solely for weight loss.  It worked like a miracle. No complaints.  I dropped 80 pounds and recently another 10.  It was only as I continued to live a VLCHF – Ketogenic life style that I came to realize the other health benefits.  The problem was untangling the possible causes of my new-found health.  That tangle still exits. Were the benefits due to a Ketogenic Diet, the weight loss, the exercise program, eating “whole foods” instead of highly processed foods, not eating wheat and other seeds of grasses, limiting gluten, adding various supplements OR a combination of one or more of these.  Who the “heck” knows.  I don’t – that’s for sure.

I happen to have a relatively (thank the powers-that-be) mild case of Psoriasis.  It was actually discovered by my audiologist who looked in my ears and exclaimed that I had some very dry skin in there.  The Dermatologist prescribed Steroids, which are a double edged sword.  They work, but thin the skin and have a re-bound effect.  As my lifestyle change ensued, I realized that the Psoriasis had retreated.  No – it did not disappear, but it was significantly lessened.  As I wrote this blog, others commented that various skin rashes and conditions had abated.  I brought this up to my Dermatologist – who immediately pooh-poohed the concept that a Ketogenic Diet could help.  The joys of Tunnel Vision. She is a great surgeon who did an excellent job in diagnosing and removing the basal cell carcinoma on the bridge of my nose – but her dismissive response was less than satisfying.

That is why I am pleased to see a connection that I believed was there – but which my Doc dismissed.

I spotted the following article on Flipboard: New Study Explains How Low-Carb Diet Reduces Inflammation.  I am not going to get into the science of it – since that is not me.  Read the article – read the study.  The Conclusion:

The study, which was published online in the journal Nature Medicine, showed that certain metabolic processes (Ketogenic Diet) could produce compounds inside the body that could aid in suppressing inflammatory response.

After reading that, I looked up Psoriasis or Psoriatic Disease.  I found the National Psoriasis Foundation web site and the following:

Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. Many individuals benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce their symptoms and lower their risk of related conditions.

Check out the web site which also references – weight loss, supplements and gluten.  The Tangle remains – but less so.

So – Doc – time to hit the books – you’ve been out of school too long.

EDIT: I posted an update to this post on 5/17/17. Check it out HERE.