Psoriasis is one of approximately 80 health conditions which are classified as autoimmune conditions, but what does this mean, and how can naturopathy help?
Autoimmune conditions are health issues where your immune system attacks your normal cells instead of bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells, which is what they should be protecting you against. Autoimmune conditions are normally called a different name, depending on which organs or tissues are being attacked by the immune system. Such conditions cause a lot of inflammation in your body, which can cause many other symptoms other than just in the area being affected.
Examples of a few more common autoimmune conditions and the organs or regions which are affected can include type 1 diabetes (pancreas), Coeliac and Crohn's disease (digestive tract), Multiple Sclerosis (nervous system), Grave's and Hashimoto's disease (thyroid), Rheumatoid arthritis (joints), psoriasis (skin), lupus (connective tissue all over the body), and many others.
The typical medical approach to autoimmune conditions is to suppress the immune system with anti-inflammatory medications, immunosuppressives, corticosteroids, chemotherapy and other medications to try and slow down the damage. But this is a bandaid approach in that it covers up the symptoms and lessens them, but doesn't do anything for the cause or any real treatment. Suppressing the immune system is never a good idea as it can lead to a greater risk of other infections and even cancer.
The cause of autoimmune conditions is from lifestyle and dietary factors. Stress and nutrition always influences every disease, especially autoimmune conditions. There are other factors involved too, with some triggers being alleries and food/chemical intolerances, microbes and parasites, and toxic chemicals. Another major factor influencing autoimmune conditions is how well your digestive system is functioning, or the integrity of the instestinal wall.
Naturopaths are the best practitioners to help with autoimmune conditions as we do look at the bigger holistic (whole body) picture of your food intake, lifestyle, digestive system, food intolerances and all the other factors involved! With a treatment plan which treats all factors, autoimmune condtions can be slowed, prevented and even reversed!
I have treated many cases of psoriasis in the past, and some have responded very quickly to treatments, with some skin areas clearing within a few weeks, and some taking a little longer. But in many with psoriasis who have suffered for years or decades, seeing the skin improve within weeks gives a great sense of relief! Symptoms will continue to reduce over time, and the skin can clear, without the need for dangerous medications. All because the root causes are being identified and treated, along with symptom relief.
If you or someone you knows has psoriasis, or any another autoimmune condition, and your treatment isn't getting better, I'd love to help!