Vitamin D Deficiency and Psoriasis

Psoriasis is type of an autoimmune disease that affects mostly the skin. It occurs when the immune system mistakes the skin cells as a pathogen and then sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis as disease is not contagious, but it has been linked to an increased risk of stroke.

Psoriasis affects skin, joints (psoriatic arthritis) and nails (psoriatic nail dystrophy). Cause of psoriasis is not well understood, but it is believed that several components are included:

- genetics
- skin injury
- environmental factors
- stress
- weakened immune system
- alcohol, smoking etc

There are many available treatments for psoriasis patients, but because of its nature, psoriasis is still a challenge to treat.  Treating high blood lipid levels may lead to improvement of patient condition.

One of the treatment of psoriasis is phototherapy in the form of sunlight, which has been used for a long time effectively. This phototherapy among other things, promotes natural vitamin D production - this increases vitamin D levels and helps regulate autoimmune system (among other things).

Also, treating patients with fish oils rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E has also showed beneficial results.

Unfortunately, there are no exact data regarding vitamin D deficiency and psoriasis - obviously, high(er) vitamin D intake can promote overall wellbeing and strengthen the immune system and thus can help in treating psoriasis.

Nonetheless, there are insufficient scientific studies to conclude direct relation between vitamin D deficiency and psoriasis.

If you do have psoriasis related problems, then changing a life style can be good for you in the long run (after all, psoriasis as medical condition is usually life time problem):

- spend more time on the sun, with problematic areas of skin exposed to the sun rays

- eat healthy meals with higher amounts of fat soluble vitamins (mostly vitamins A, D and E) and omega-3 EFAs

- monitor your health with your doctor regularly - if you notice drop in vitamin D levels, be sure to rectify that.

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