I have psoriasis. Can eliminating gluten from my diet improve my symptoms?

The answer is probably not.

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's also in less obvious places, such as sauces, dressings and processed meats. Based on guidelines from the National Psoriasis Foundation, removing gluten from your diet isn't recommended unless you know you are sensitive to gluten. Research also shows that gluten intake doesn't increase your risk of getting psoriasis.

Keep in mind that it can be difficult to determine what affects your psoriasis symptoms because the condition varies over time. It can clear up only to return later. If you have psoriasis and you're concerned that gluten sensitivity might be affecting your symptoms, talk with your health care provider. You may need to be tested 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 health care provider also might refer you to a dietitian, who can help you plan a healthy, balanced gluten-free diet.

Feb. 15, 2023