Hi Anna, Please tell us little bit about yourself.
My name is Anna and I have had psoriasis for about 5 years now. I got my first psoriasis spot in my first year of college when I was under a lot of stress. I also wasn’t following the healthiest diet and indulged in alcohol when going to the classic college parties.
When were you Diagnosed with Psoriasis?
I don’t remember a formal diagnosis happening, but I’m assuming the first time I got prescribed topical steroids was when the doctor came to the conclusion that I indeed had psoriasis.
What do you think caused the Psoriasis outbreak?
I believed my lifestyle when I was in college ultimately caused my initial flare. Aside from that, I think my genetics plays a big part. My mom’s side has a history of psoriasis.
What Foods do you Avoid?
I try my best to avoid really sugary sweets which seems to be a big contributor to flares. I previously tried avoiding dairy and gluten but found it caused me more stress to obsess over eliminating foods that I love. I still eat gluten and dairy, but in moderation.
What Foods do you Eat to Heal your Psoriasis?
I Think plant-based foods are always good if there are no additional preservatives. However, I can’t say what’s good and what’s not good because what may cause flares for one person, may not for another.
Do you avoid gluten and what do you think about Gluten sensitivity in Psoriasis?
I used to try and avoid gluten more, however it’s tough to completely eliminate it. I’ve come to a conclusion that while my skin is doing better in the summer that I can indulge in gluten more. But this may not be true for all. Gluten sensitivity in psoriasis seems to be a well known probable cause for flares among the community. But again, I cannot recommend anything to anyone. I think it’s important for people to find out for themselves through trial and error, how detrimental gluten really is to them.
Let’s talk breakfast
I usually eat fruits for breakfast when I’m in a rush to work. Maybe a granola bar added. If I’m at home, I do actually eat eggs quite often. I don’t find that I react poorly to eggs. Aside from that, avocado toast is great and if you react poorly to gluten I recommend gluten-free bread with whatever foods that you’ve found to not cause flares for your individual body.
Name your top 3 Psoriasis Triggers
Number 1 is definitely stress. Number 2 goes hand in hand with stress, which would be anxiety. When I get anxious I notice I itch excessively. Number 3 will probably be seasons changing. My skin worsens when I have less sun exposure and living in Canada doesn’t help much because we only get lots of sun and heat for about 4/12 months of the year.
De-stressing! Everyone has different ways to de-stress, and my favorite methods would probably be engaging in exercise that is fun or relaxing. Examples include going on walks, doing yoga/stretches solo or with a friend, rollerblading, and biking. Other ways I destress include: surrounding myself with good people, soothing baths, or watching some of my favorite shows. One final thing that helps is practicing mindfulness. It’s difficult at first but becomes easier the more you practice and can produce lasting results in your acceptance for your body and therefore skin.
What would you tell those who are newly diagnosed and looking for answers?
I would say, don’t take other people’s advice too seriously without trying things out for yourself. Yes, it’s great to learn from those who have been living with psoriasis for years. Still, it’s also beneficial to do experiments and learn about your body through trial and error, as it is completely different than everyone else’s. If your psoriasis began in response to a time of great stress, I would say practicing mindfulness can be a major tool for overcoming the anxiety and depression that may accompany this chronic disease.
Find out more about Anna’s journey via her Instagram account @psoulmates