The Women's Journal

Functional Medicine & Psoriasis

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By D
r. Cynthia Crosser  

Are you bothered by those reddened patches covered with overlapping silvery scales that itch and can even elicit pain? This hyperproliferative skin disorder affects males and females equally and can have an onset as early as 2 years of age.

The basic defect is within the skin cells themselves as well as abnormal immune system stimulation. We have internal control compounds called cAMP and cGMP which dictate increased cell growth and enhanced cell maturation. In the skin of individuals with psoriasis, we have higher levels of cGMP and lower levels of cAMP leading to an increase in skin cells. This is accompanied by an increase in cytokine production, thus inflammation.

Natural health care seeks to bring balance back to the cAMP/cGMP ratio by way of controllable factors that contribute or cause this imbalance. One such is incomplete protein digestion which results in an increase in amino acids in the bowels which bowel bacteria metabolize into toxins. Digestive function should be evaluated and this is accomplished by several methods, one being a comprehensive digestive stool analysis.  

Bowel toxicity can also contribute to psoriasis by way of gram-negative bacteria and Candida. Lipopolysaccharides, which are the toxins produced by these bacteria, may be found in the blood and become systemic. We utilize PCR technology in stool samples to detect bacteria, yeast and other disease-causing organisms that may be contributing. Testing for and treating specifically is important for a good therapeutic response.

Liver function must be assessed by way of bloodwork. The connection here lies in the liver’s most basic function, one of detoxification. If the liver is overwhelmed by toxins, or if there is a decrease in the liver’s detoxification ability, the systemic toxin levels rise, which will lead to an exacerbation of psoriasis. In the discussion of the liver, it is critical to mention that the consumption of alcohol significantly worsens psoriasis due to the fact that alcohol increases the absorption of toxins from the gut as it damages the gastric mucosa and it also impairs liver function. There are herbal extracts that improve liver function, inhibit inflammation, and reduce cellular growth.

Many nutritional compounds may be used following the assessment of each patient. These include EPA, and Omega-3 Fatty Acid, Vitamin A, zinc, glutathione peroxidase, Vitamin D, and even the consideration of a gluten free and elimination diet. Topically, aloe vera extract cream has been shown to be effective. As with most conditions Functional Medicine addresses, valuable information is gleaned through testing, and the therapeutic approach is designed around that.

From a dietary viewpoint, one should limit sugar, meat, animal fats, alcohol and gluten. You should increase intake of dietary fiber and cold-water fish, and you should bring your weight to normal levels. Lastly, identify and address any food allergies. I utilize Cyrex Laboratories for much of my immunological blood testing. Now let’s relieve that itch!!!  

For more information, contact us at 302-994-1010 or through our website at

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Pike Creek   302-994-1010

5700 Kirkwood Hwy., Suite 101, Wilmington, DE 19808

Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Weight loss, Neurofeedback, Nutritional Counseling