What Causes Psoriasis?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of psoriasis we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow psoriasis to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind psoriasis consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to psoriasis.  Here are six possibilities:
  • Poor Digestion
  • Liver Congestion
  • Candida / Yeast
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Bacterial Dysbiosis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
frequent meal-related bloating
poor tolerance of sugars
morning stiffness lasting hours
no desire to recover from alcoholism
broad-spectrum antibiotic use
anal itching
frequent stools
significant diesel exhaust exposure
major upper-right pain after food
significant right lumbar pain
cysts in breasts
... and more than 90 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of psoriasis:
Cause Probability Status
Ankylosing Spondylitis 97% Confirm
Psoriatic Arthritis 52% Possible
Poor Digestion 23% Unlikely
Bacterial Dysbiosis 5% Ruled out
Liver Congestion 2% Ruled out
Candida / Yeast 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Existing Skin Conditions section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about psoriasis:
Have you had Psoriasis? It is characterized by frequent episodes of redness and itching, and thick, dry, silvery scales in discrete patches on the skin. It is most common on the scalp, trunk, elbows, knees, skin folds and fingernails.
Possible responses:
→ Never had it / don't know
→ Probably had it/minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate not having psoriasis, history of psoriasis or psoriasis, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis may be associated with psoriasis.  A study published found that out of 939 women with ankylosing spondylitis, 18% also had psoriasis. [J Rheumatol 1998 Jan; 25(1): pp120-4]

Dyspepsia / Poor Digestion

Incomplete protein digestion or poor intestinal absorption of protein breakdown products can result in elevated levels of amino acids and polypeptides in the bowel.  These are metabolized by bowel bacteria into several toxic compounds.  The toxic metabolites of the amino acids arginine and ornithine are known as polyamines (e.g., putrescine, spermidine, and cadaverine) and have been shown to be increased in individuals with psoriasis.  Polyamines contribute to the excessive rate of cell proliferation.  Lowered skin and urinary levels of polyamines are associated with clinical improvement in psoriasis, so digestive function should be evaluated.

Liver Detoxification / Support Requirement

Correcting abnormal liver function is of great benefit in the treatment of psoriasis.  The connection between the liver and psoriasis relates to one of the liver's basic tasks (filtering and detoxifying the blood).  Psoriasis has been linked to the presence of several microbial byproducts in the blood.  If the liver is overwhelmed by excessive levels of these toxins in the bowel, or if there is a decrease in the liver's detoxification ability, the toxin level in the blood will increase and the psoriasis will get worse.

Yeast / Candida Infection

A number of gut-derived toxins are implicated in the development of psoriasis including endotoxins (cell wall components of gram-negative bacteria), streptococcal products, Candida albicans, yeast compounds, and IgE or IgA immune complexes.  These compounds increase the rate of skin cell proliferation dramatically.  Candida albicans overgrowth in the intestines (chronic candidiasis) may play a major role in many cases.

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