Effective management of psoriasis involves taking control of your diet and lifestyle choices. These factors play a crucial role in reducing the frequency and severity of psoriasis flare-ups.
While water fasting has been known to decrease psoriasis inflammation and improve skin health, it may not be the ideal solution for everyone. To learn more about the benefits of water fasting for managing psoriasis symptoms, continue reading as we break it down for you.
What Is Water Fasting?
Water fasting is a practice that involves abstaining from all forms of food and drink except for water for a set period of time. It is a type of fasting that has been used for centuries as a means of promoting physical and mental health, as well as for spiritual purposes. During water fasting, the body is forced to rely on its stored energy reserves to function, which can lead to weight loss and other health benefits. It is important to note, however, that water fasting can be potentially dangerous for certain individuals and should be approached with caution.
Benefits of Water Fasting for Psoriasis
Water fasting has been suggested to have potential benefits for managing psoriasis symptoms. Some of the possible benefits include:
- Reduced Inflammation: Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation and irritation in the skin. Water fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which may lead to a decrease in psoriasis symptoms.
- Detoxification: Water fasting can help to flush toxins from the body, which may be beneficial for individuals with psoriasis. Toxins can contribute to inflammation and other health problems that may exacerbate psoriasis symptoms.
- Improved Immune Function: Water fasting has been shown to boost the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells. This can help to improve the body’s ability to fight off infections and other factors that can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
- Weight Loss: Excess weight can put additional stress on the body, which can worsen psoriasis symptoms. Water fasting may lead to weight loss, which can help to reduce this stress and improve overall health.
How to start a Water Fast for Psoriasis
Water fasting for psoriasis should only be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Here are some general guidelines that may be followed:
- Preparation: Before beginning a water fast, it is important to prepare your body by gradually reducing your intake of solid foods and increasing your intake of water. This can help to minimize the risk of side effects.
- Duration: The length of a water fast can vary depending on individual circumstances. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate duration for your specific needs.
- Water intake: During a water fast, it is important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
- Rest: It is important to rest during a water fast to conserve energy and avoid stress on the body. Avoid strenuous exercise or other activities that may deplete your energy levels.
- Breaking the fast: After completing a water fast, it is important to slowly reintroduce solid foods to avoid digestive upset. Start with small, easy-to-digest foods and gradually increase your intake over several days.
Who Should Not do a Water Fast for Psoriasis?
Water fasting for psoriasis is not recommended for everyone. Individuals who fall under the following categories should avoid water fasting:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Water fasting can lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies, which can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby.
- Individuals with a history of eating disorders: Water fasting can trigger disordered eating patterns and exacerbate existing eating disorders.
- Individuals with certain medical conditions: People with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease may not be able to safely undertake water fasting due to the risk of complications.
- Children and adolescents: Children and adolescents require a balanced diet to support their growth and development. Water fasting can lead to nutrient deficiencies that can interfere with their health.
- Individuals with a weakened immune system: People with a weakened immune system are more susceptible to infections and may not be able to tolerate the stress of water fasting.
Cons of Water Fasting for Psoriasis
While water fasting may offer potential benefits for managing psoriasis symptoms, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. These include:
- Dehydration: Water fasting can lead to dehydration, which can cause a range of negative side effects including fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. Severe dehydration can be dangerous and may require medical attention.
- Nutrient deficiencies: Water fasting can lead to nutrient deficiencies, particularly if done for an extended period of time. This can interfere with overall health and exacerbate psoriasis symptoms.
- Fatigue and weakness: Water fasting can lead to fatigue and weakness, particularly in the later stages of the fast. This can make it difficult to carry out daily activities and may interfere with work or other obligations.
- Increased risk of infection: Water fasting can weaken the immune system, which can increase the risk of infection. This can be particularly problematic for individuals with psoriasis, who are already at increased risk of infections due to the nature of the condition.
- Mental health concerns: Water fasting can be emotionally and mentally challenging, particularly for individuals with a history of disordered eating or other mental health concerns. It is important to consider the potential impact on mental health before embarking on a water fast for psoriasis.
It is important to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of water fasting for psoriasis and to seek guidance from a healthcare professional before attempting it.
Does water fasting help with psoriasis?
Initial studies indicate that fasting may decrease systemic inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory T-cells and cytokines, which are involved in plaque psoriasis, while increasing anti-inflammatory T-cells.
Can fasting help scalp psoriasis?
Fasting twice a week was associated with reduced scaling and thickening, and a 30% decrease in psoriasis-related itching among study participants.
Can fasting reverse psoriasis?
Studies have shown that fasting can lead to a significant decrease in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scores, as well as improved disease activity scores in patients with psoriatic arthritis.