Psoriasis, a patchy, unsightly skin condition, has several causes. One of them is allergies to certain substance. Gluten psoriasis is a separate category that has been recognized for people with wheat allergies.
Gluten is a protein. It is found in wheat, rye, and barley. These basic cereal grains are used to make many of the foods commonly found on any table – pastas, breads, and some processed foods. Gluten, in the body, breaks down into a substance called “gliadin”. From there, gliadin is reduced by enzyme tissues into a substance than can provoke an immune response in some people. For the masses, this sensitivity is called “wheat allergy” or “gluten sensitivity” (these are misnomers since the true substance producing the reaction is neither wheat nor gluten but an enzyme-modified substance further down the chemical chain).
The dry skin patch associated with psoriasis, usually found on elbows, knees, etc., can perhaps be assigned to a gluten allergy and not garden-variety psoriasis. For those who may not be aware, dietary habits in some individuals can affect their skin’s appearance. Common eczema, (itchy, reddened, sometimes painful, patchy skin), for example, may have a basis in some patients in their diets. Meat and refined sugar ingestion in patients with this sensitivity-type eczema seem to be the culprits – eliminating those foodstuffs helps reduce the instance of eczema flare-ups.
Similarly, gluten psoriasis, which generally behaves like regular psoriasis, will not respond to much in the form of medical treatment. Most people allergic to wheat gluten probably already are aware of that fact, and do not eat products containing gluten. Therefore, they never suffer from gluten psoriasis. However, psoriasis can set in without warning in young adults and the elderly. Someone with gluten sensitivity doesn’t always display the classic symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea associated with wheat allergies. In those cases where a patient is unaware of any food allergies and psoriasis suddenly develops, it is best to see a doctor or allergist and have possible allergens identified. Treatment follows from that.
Gluten psoriasis is a symptom of another problem, an allergy to certain foods. It may be cured easily with a change in diet or a restriction in dietary glutens. The benefits of a dietary change are myriad (lowered cholesterol and percentage of body fat being two of those immediate gains). The first step, though, is to see a doctor and get answers – the simplest cure may mean a change in the foods eaten.