Half-good news for all of us who suffer from psoriasis, you’re not alone, as it affects around 7.5 million people here in the United States. The bad news is that while psoriasis is often considered little more than an irritating skin condition, research shows it can lead to psoriatic arthritis, heart disease, Crohn’s disease and cancer, so it’s nothing to take lightly. .
Not to mention that it is considered incurable. And don’t even let us start all treatments for psoriasis relief. After all, many psoriasis treatments seem to contain questionable ingredients like steroids, petroleum jelly, or some kind of pharmaceutical crap that you don’t know whether to trust blindly or just go to the toxic waste dump.
But you need at least something that will relieve the annoying psoriasis symptoms, and preferably something natural that won’t cause a list of other side effects.
Enter probiotics that not only help you improve your condition but also provide other health benefits rather than unpleasant side effects. Even better, these beneficial bacteria are natural and necessary not only for reducing the inflammation that causes psoriasis, but also for digestion, healthy hormone balance and overall body health.
How Do Probiotics Help With Psoriasis?
As many of us already know, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live inside, on, and around us, and without them, we wouldn’t be able to digest our food or have a healthy immune system.
However, our modern lifestyle causes us to be deficient in these important microorganisms. This is because most of us do not live in environments such as farms or ranches where contact with friendly microbes is more common than in urban areas, and we also overuse disinfectants, disinfectants and antibiotics.
One of the many problems with this deficiency is that probiotics help control inflammation-causing bacteria by stimulating our immune-regulating T cells, so the result can be chronic inflammation. Because psoriasis is caused by inflammation, low levels of gut bacteria can make us vulnerable to it.
Plus, probiotics play a role in other aspects of skin health, such as preventing acne, healing wounds, skin rejuvenation, and boosting the skin’s (and body’s) overall immune health. This is due not only to the ability of probiotics to help reduce inflammation, but also to control other less desirable bacteria that can take over in the absence of probiotics.
But Which Probiotic Strain Should I Use for Psoriasis?
There are trillions of species of bacteria that make up ecosystems within us, and each of us has our own body chemistry that can support different kinds of microorganisms. In fact, it has been noted that the bacterial species in us can be likened to fingerprints because no two are the same.
However, different bacteria also affect different conditions, such as studies showing Lactobacillus, B. bifudum, and L. Acidophilus to be effective in treating acne.
And while using any probiotic may be better than nothing to improve your gut flora, some strains do better than others for skin conditions like psoriasis, such as:
bifidobacterium bifidum Perhaps the most widely known probiotic strain, B. bifidum is essential for skin health as it plays a key role in maintaining a strong immune system. B. bifidum works to control a variety of unwanted bacteria in the gut, which not only aids digestion but also boosts the body’s immune response to inflammation and allergies.
Lactobacillus plantarum. L. plantarum helps the body produce L. lysine, an amino acid that promotes calcium absorption and hormone production, and is also key in supporting a positive immune response to protect against inflammation. Not only does this protect us against psoriasis, it also has anti-aging, digestive and immune health benefits.
Yogurt starter. It’s also one of the better-known probiotics for its long-lasting association with digestive health, especially for those who have trouble digesting dairy products. L. acidophilus is also an immune booster that helps produce a healthy response to inflammation and related skin conditions.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus. L. rhamnosus receives antibodies to prevent infection and inflammation. This helps protect against inflammation as well as boosting the immune system.
How to Take Probiotics for Psoriasis
To start taking probiotics for psoriasis, you don’t need to add another supplement to your stash.
Instead, you can go for the more enjoyable way of adding another dish to the table. Cultured foods can be a simple and delicious way to add bacteria to your diet. Try some yogurt, raw sauerkraut, kefir, or kimchi, but be sure to buy unpasteurized, cold-processed produce because the heat kills bacteria.
Some manufacturers, namely yogurt, also list the types of bacteria on their packaging to help ensure that the product contains live bacteria. However, if not, you should be able to detect a sour odor and taste in most culture products, which indicates that bacteria are alive.
You can also go out and play in the dirt for your probiotics, which may not be very practical for most of us city dwellers. However, if you have a garden, you’re in luck because soil can also be a rich source of probiotics, and there are several satisfying ways to get them. Lower your grocery bill, beat psoriasis AND fresh vegetables to enjoy? Completed!
Finally, taking a daily probiotic capsule is the easiest and most consistent way to get our germs in. When looking for a good probiotic, be sure to look for a variety of strains, including some bifida and some lactobacillus.
You may have to try a few different companies and products before you find which one works best for you, but look for a product worth at least 6 billion. You should also buy only a perishable product. Look for a timestamp or expiration date that helps ensure the product is fully viable and alive. Finally, look for a dark glass container as light can kill bacteria as well.
Final Notes on Probiotics for Psoriasis
Leave the cleaning supplies, they make you unhealthy! Seriously, most of us make a little more disinfectant than we really need, which is only understandable because we want to keep ourselves and our families healthy and safe.
But by overusing hand sanitizers, counter disinfectants, and other antibacterial products, we kill not just the bad guys, but the good guys as well. Also, many disinfectants are endocrine disruptors that can cause rashes and conditions like eczema – hmmm, could this have something to do with your psoriasis?
But even if the sanitizing agents aren’t the cause of your psoriasis, they’re likely getting in the way of healthy probiotic populations, so use soap and water—it’s really the best way to clear it up. Better yet, use a natural soap that is good for psoriasis.
Instead of trying a “cure” for your psoriasis that could only cause more health problems, why not try probiotics? After all, you may find that these can not only help relieve your psoriasis but also improve your digestion, immune health, and mental health.