"Intermittent fasting has helped me to control my psoriasis"
Published 21 May 2021 • By Aurélien De Biagi
ArnaudMaceio, a member of the Carenity community living in Brazil, is living with psoriasis. He agreed to share his experience with us.
Read his testimonial below!
Hello ArnaudMaceio, thank you for agreeing to share your story with us here on Carenity!
First of all, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? How long have you had psoriasis and what were the first symptoms?
I am originally from Paris, I am married and I have been living in Brazil for 15 years near Maceio, capital of the State of Alagoas in the northeast of the country.
I am now 47 years old, I have a very pleasant life, I live on an island in the sun and I am a computer graphics designer.
My psoriasis started at the age of 18, first on my elbows, then over time it spread to my arms, legs, ears and then my nails.
At the time, the dermatologist told me that it was a condition whose mechanism and causes were not well understood. Nevertheless, he advised me to spend a lot of time in the sun.
How did you handle this diagnosis?
At first fine, but as my condition worsened I made some drastic decisions. I moved here to be in the sun (which has been proven to improve psoriasis significantly). It's not so easy to move from one country to another like that from one day to the next, especially with the language barrier.
What were your day-to-day symptoms? What impact did the disease have on your professional and private life?
At first I had constant itching, then, after about 20 years, it evolved into joint psoriasis which was much more disabling than the skin version. I had severe pain in my feet, legs and ribs due to the inflammation of the tendons and ligaments and the joint destruction caused by the disease. It was almost impossible for me to walk or to live normally. At night and in the early morning the pain is unbearable, during the day I was extremely tired.
What treatments did you try? Were they effective? Did you experience any side effects? If so, what kind?
For my skin, I used corticosteroid ointments.
For my joints, I was taking level 1 anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac, meloxicam, naproxen) and prednisone; all of them were not very effective and had many side effects (skin rash, stomach problems, nausea).
Only Tramadol works well for my pain with very few side effects.
Have you had to adapt your lifestyle to your psoriasis?
Stopping lactose, gluten, red meat, smoking and alcohol has allowed me to diminish my psoriasis by 90%. It's true that this is a lot to take on.
I have also been intermittent fasting for 3 years with good results.
Fasting is the only way to cleanse our organs; complete digestion takes 12 hours and is the most demanding process for the body. After the 13th hour, the liver and other organs are cleansed.
Skin and joint psoriasis are closely related to chronic bowel diseases, like Crohn's disease.
Fasting allows the body not to monopolise its energy for digestion but to fight our chronic disease to the full. I practice a 16-hour fast, which is equivalent to not having dinner or breakfast. However, I eat the same number of calories.
My enthesis pain (the connective tissue between tendons or ligaments and bone) and joint pain (which is the worst) have decreased significantly by applying these measures.
I now only take one drug a day, no immunosuppressants, no methotrexate, no biotherapies.
How would you rate the medical and/or psychological support you've received?
In general, relationships with doctors are very bad. Their medical ignorance about these diseases makes them feel embarrassed.
The classification of psoriasis has changed in a few years, from a skin disease to a chronic systemic autoimmune disease.
What advice would you give to other members living with psoriasis?
Psoriasis, like most autoimmune diseases, cannot be cured. You have to learn to live with it. The treatments offered are palliatives with little effect and have dreadful side effects.
Vitamin D3 (sunshine), plus a strict diet, as I said above, can help you to live almost normally. Skin psoriasis is only the tip of the iceberg.
I remind you that contrary to popular belief, psoriasis is not a psychosomatic disease, it has nothing to do with stress.
Many thanks to ArnaudMaceio for his testimonial!
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