I have psoriasis. Can eliminating gluten from my diet improve my symptoms?
The answer is maybe.
Gluten is a type of protein that's found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It's common in breads and pastas, but it also can lurk in less obvious places, such as sauces, dressings and processed meats. Research suggests that some people who have the chronic skin condition psoriasis might also be sensitive to gluten. In these people, a gluten-free diet might improve psoriasis symptoms.
Keep in mind that it can be difficult to determine what affects your psoriasis symptoms because the condition tends to fluctuate over time — with periods of remission alternating with times when your psoriasis becomes worse. If you have psoriasis and you're concerned that gluten sensitivity might be affecting your condition, talk to your doctor. He or she can test you for celiac disease, an immune reaction to eating gluten.
If you are gluten sensitive and want to see if avoiding gluten can improve your psoriasis, start checking food labels to make sure that they don't contain wheat or wheat products. Your doctor might also refer you to a dietitian, who can help you plan a healthy, balanced gluten-free diet.
May 17, 2018
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- Bhatia B, et al. Diet and psoriasis: Part 2. Celiac disease and role of a gluten-free diet. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014;71:350.
- Gluten-free diet. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/treating-psoriasis/complementary-and-alternative/diet-and-nutrition/gluten-free-diet. Accessed Nov. 27, 2016.
- Do gluten-free diets improve psoriasis? National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/do-gluten-free-diets-improve-psoriasis. Accessed Nov. 27, 2016.