My son has psoriasis and I know it is related to something he is eating and it has been driving me batty. I mean I put people on anti-inflammatory diets all of the time and my son is one of them, along with his other food sensitivities (gluten, soy, dairy, fruit, tree nuts, peanuts, coconut, eggs, oats, corn, sugar, honey) to name a few…and still his psoriasis flares up and it stumps me. Until two weeks ago…
I have been to various doctors including my doctor’s in house allergist whose bedside manner has to be desired. She told me his skin rashes couldn’t be due to what he was eating. However, he tested positive and had hives for some tree nuts (almonds the highest reaction) from his scratch test yet she told me it would be ok to put them in his diet. Yeah, no thank you.
I saw my Dr. Griffin, my naturopathic medical doctor who diagnosed me and provided some great insights to my son’s sensitivities, so I took those items out and while things got better it wasn’t 100 percent.
Then there was Dr. Howard, MD, graduate of Loyola who did the same type of testing as my naturopathic doctor, but was a little more comprehensive and provided us with some more answers, including one more food elimination: corn. (ouch tough one!)
We did that for about a year and were convinced he had possible candida overgrowth, so we saw Dr. Gina Schirio for a stool test. I learned he had a strain of bacteria that didn’t belong in his gut and actually causes skin issues and he had mild candida but nothing crazy as we all have mild overgrowth and was not concerning to her. Suggested treatments were not working.
Heartbroken and myself desparate for answers I just left it at that until my chiropractor told me about NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique). It is a lengthy process and I’m not quite 100% convinced though I’ve learned folks I know who have seen her with great success. So I’ll wait and continue the treatments because I like her and believe she can help. We haven’t finished our foundation of treatments, which is key before we can get to treating the real issues.
I have had the instincts that a polyphenol called salicylates may be the culprit. I’ve told a dietician friend of mine about my instincts. A girl at my church is on an oxcylate free diet for her chronic kidney stones with great success. I went to the University of Google and put in Salicylate Allergy and Psoriasis and came across this blog and I felt like a light shined down on my computer (I even left a comment for her). I became obsessive about researching salicylates all night. (I know a real fun Saturday night).
I saw the list of foods that contained salicylates and knowing my son’s charts, all of his trigger foods are high in salicylates. I learned that salicylates also stimulate the Central Nervous System (CNS) and these kids have a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, can be aggressive and often diagnosed with hyperactivity or ADHD. In fact the old Dr. Feingold Diet is based on a diet that is free from food dyes, artificial sugars, and salicylates. A diet that is still well respected today. My son has a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep and also has a Sensory Processing Disorder which actually improves when his diet is clean of his triggers.
Then of course I called my mom as she told me my dad had a life threatening allergy to Salicyclic Acid found in Aspirin. Reading up on Salicylates those who are allergic to Salicylic Acid often have a sensitivity to foods high in salicylates. They are divorced but we talked about his skin issues among other things.
Since many food allergies are often hereditary, it just made sense to me. I felt like I finally cracked the code with my son. Yay me, but my husband wasn’t so much on board, he didn’t want to take another thing out of his diet. But he eventually agreed to it.
That week I put him on a low salicylate diet and what I found made me relieved, his psoriasis was clearing up. I mean his cheeks looked peachy again, his bowel movements were beginning to look normal looking. Our therapists noticed his cheeks too and he was more focused. Then I put it back in his diet and his cheeks got more pink again, not splotchy like they use too until I put an essential oil blend on the bottoms of his feet to help with his congestion and the next morning he had a total flare up.
Peppermint is very high in salicylates and it was obvious, wow obvious. His behavior changed and he became super clingy, whiney, and refusing to communicate to us to use his words.
While I feel like I got my answers, and my husband sees it too, we are still seeing an allergist at the end of this month. I need to know if he has this allergy. If he does he will not be able to have aspirin or Tylenol. Many of the creams I was using had salicylates in it like California Baby which I like their stuff, but it did make it worse. (In case you are wondering I use an African Shea Butter to relieve him of the itchiness).
While this diet is very plain and it breaks my heart, if it helps him find relief, then we will work to make sure he is well nourished, psoriasis free and a happy little boy.
If you don’t believe diet can affect our behavior, skin issues, tummy issues, think again. I’ll keep you posted on my son’s doctor appointment, for now we have gone back to this way of eating for him.