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DMH Functional Medicine takes a holistic approach to psoriasis, seeking to understand and treat the root causes of the condition rather than just addressing the symptoms.

Symptoms of psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, itchy, scaly patches of skin. It can also affect the nails and joints, leading to psoriatic arthritis in some people. The severity of symptoms can vary widely from person to person. PMID: 29489239.

Causes of psoriasis

Functional Medicine recognizes that skin health has to be seen in a wider context of the whole body and the environment. Thus, root causes of psoriasis vary greatly and may include genetic predisposition, immune system dysfunction, gut dysbiosis, chronic inflammation, stress, and certain environmental triggers such as infections or skin injuries. PMID: 31535509

Diagnosis of psoriasis

Psoriasis is typically diagnosed through a physical examination and review of the patient’s medical history. While looking for root causes, we may pay further attention to

  • The diet
  • Lifestyle
  • Any stressors that are pushing inflammation and immune system dysfunction
  • Presence of nutrient deficiencies
  • Tests for food allergies and sensitivities
  • Stool analysis to examine gut health.
  • Other tests as needed. PMID: 30928209

Treatment Options for psoriasis

Functional Medicine aims to manage psoriasis by addressing its root causes:

  • Dietary adjustment
    • May involve an elimination diet to identify food triggers
    • An anti-inflammatory diet to reduce systemic inflammation. PMID: 30844963
  • Stress management may include mindfulness, meditation, prayer or yoga. PMID: 22838082
  • Gut health restoration with a high-fiber diet, probiotics, and sometimes specific interventions like antimicrobials or digestive enzymes. PMID: 31450911
  • Supplements that may be considered if the diet does not ensure sufficient micronutrients:
    • Omega-3 fatty acids. 1-6 grams daily and even higher doses under the supervision of a Functional Medicine Doctor. PMID: 30359578
    • Vitamin D: This vitamin is important for skin health and the innate immune function. Often much higher doses than recommended in conventional medicine, may be required. PMID: 29667794
  • Herbal Treatment with Aloe Vera, Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), and capsaicin have shown benefits in psoriasis when applied topically. PMID: 25255817
  • Curcumin 500mg – 2g. PMID27213821

DMH Functional Medicine sees psoriasis in the context of the whole body rather than something that is confined to the skin without any links to the body that the skin dependent on for its survival.