My name is Jeff, and I suffered terribly from psoriasis. Here I share information about a treatment that worked for me.
I Was Struck With Psoriasis
This story is all true. I felt it, I lived it, I suffered from it. I am sharing my story with you—as well as my experience with a natural treatment recommended by Dr. John O. A. Pagano—in the hope that you or your loved one will not suffer needlessly, as I did.
At the age of 47, I was struck with psoriasis. This is a disease that affects the skin by rupturing the layers of the skin from below, creating white scales on the surface. If you have it, you know what it means. If you don’t have it, thank God.
I am not a guy who goes to doctors. In fact, I need to be almost dead before I even think about medical attention. Many men are like this, and I certainly understand why, because we don't want to know what's wrong with us unless there is something we can do to fix it. I suppose this is a Mars/Venus dichotomy, since most women are smart enough to get to the doctor's office when they are sick. Men, on the other hand, want to be self-sufficient, even to the point of stupidity.
A Family Connection?
I am told this disease runs in families, and yet I know of no one in my family who ever had it. I went as far as asking around at family reunions, but no one could recall anyone in the extended family who had it, either. The doctors told me it runs primarily in northern European families but can affect anyone. I am of Scottish descent, which apparently makes me a good candidate for the disease.
Finally, I Sought Treatment
So there I was with a growing problem on my skin: the red patches with white scales. This itchy, unsightly condition was spreading fast. After about six months, it had spread to 80 percent of my limbs and most of my body, including my hands. It was even underneath the hair on my scalp, and it was also underneath my fingernails.
As a last resort, I finally sought medical attention from a well-known dermatologist in the city where I live, in Delaware. The doctor took a biopsy and prescribed a ten-day course of steroid pills. I was also given a topical cream. The cream, which turned out to be more steroids, seemed to work wonders for my skin. However, I wish I had known about effect the double dose of steroids would later cause before I started applying the cream all over my body twice a day.
The Double Dose of Steroids Was a Big Problem
Since both the pills and the topical cream contained steroids, I was essentially receiving a double dose of this potent medicine. Without my realizing it, I ended up overdosing myself. I mention this for the benefit of those who might be unaware of this potential problem. I don't want others to make the same stupid mistake I unwittingly made.
For a number of months, I followed my new routine with great results. My skin was clearing up. There were no more embarrassing, visible, scaly patches. (Embarrassment, by the way, is a huge factor for psoriasis sufferers. It is a psychological weight that most people will thankfully never understand.)
Things were getting better for me, and I thanked God I had enough insurance—because this treatment was very expensive. Each tube of cream was $300 or more without insurance, although at the time of this writing the cost has fallen to around $60.
But I had insurance, and my skin was clearing up—so all was good, right?
No. Because it turns out steroids are addictive. Not the kind of addiction you might think of when you hear about street drugs or narcotics. Instead, I mean the kind of addiction where the body develops a dependency on the medication. Once you begin to wean off of the drug, the disease reacts negatively. It fights back! This is exactly what happened to me. Once I began limiting the cream, the problem came back with a vengeance.
Doctor # 2
If you're unhappy with the treatment you received from one doctor, you should seek a second opinion from a different doctor, right? To me that made sense, so after waiting months for an opening, I was off to doctor # 2, someone who had a bit more experience with treating psoriasis.
Visiting this doctor was a revelation. She told me that the topical cream I'd been using up to three times a day for nearly a year contained steroids, which I hadn't realized. She explained how steroids have an addictive quality, and how it can have a negative impact when you try to wean yourself off of it.
This doctor switched my treatment to methotrexate (MTX). This treatment is used to combat cancer, but it also works well for psoriasis and several other diseases.
For me, methotrexate worked like a charm. My dose was 10 mg per week until I was clear of the skin patches, and then 7.5 mg per week as a preventive measure.
I felt euphoric about my newly clear skin. The only problem now was that I am not a person who likes to take any drugs. As soon as my skin cleared, I quit the treatment to look for an alternative treatment.
Searching for a Natural Treatment
As a lover of nature and all things natural, I tried everything I could find that might possibly be a cure. Nothing seemed to work. I cruised YouTube for videos; no luck. Tea tree oil? Ineffective. Believing that the good Lord put everything on the earth to be used for the human purpose, I kept at it.
I began subscribing to alternative health publications (at great expense, I might add). I read everything that had to do with psoriasis, and I began reading about what some people in Eastern medicine were calling “leaky gut syndrome.” And that is when good fortune smiled upon me.
I came across a bestselling book by Dr. John O. A. Pagano entitled Healing Psoriasis, which I studied at every opportunity. According to Dr. Pagano’s research, the most effective treatment for psoriasis involved avoiding certain foods that contributed to "leaky gut" and taking two natural teas on a daily basis.
Read More From Patientslounge
Pretty far-fetched for a person who was more accustomed to Western medicine, but when you are desperate, you may be surprised at what you are willing to try.
Dr. Pagano's Treatment Worked for Me
If you guessed I avoided the foods mentioned in the book, you’re right. I drank the teas daily, too.
The two teas are:
- Slippery elm tea (also available in capsule form, which I recommend as the taste of the tea is awful).
- American saffron tea, which is very nice and quite tasty.
You can find both teas, as well as the capsules, in your local health food store, or you can search online. Neither ingredient is expensive on its own; just avoid buying bundled packages that include creams, as this only runs up the price. I would suggest just getting the minimum until you see how well it works for you.
So, what were the foods I avoided, and did it work? The short answer is yes, it worked! As instructed by the book, I avoided:
- Nightshades - primarily tomatoes (including tomato sauces and ketchup), peppers, eggplant, white potatoes, paprika, and tobacco.
- Red meat
Avoiding red meat and sugar was really hard for me, because I love them both. But I do it because following these guidelines works to calm my psoriasis, and it still works for me today.
There are a few non-food related recommendations, as well. For instance, in the winter, I keep a humidifier running 24/7 to prevent my skin from becoming dry.
Another benefit of this treatment is that it's inexpensive. From my perspective, that means there's hope for the millions of people worldwide who are affected by psoriasis. If you have insurance, you can and should use a combination of this natural treatment alongside Western mediations. I would, because I know how difficult the disease is to manage. If you cannot afford both slippery elm and American saffron, I'd suggest starting with slippery elm and saving up for the saffron. I believe slippery elm does a great job of helping your digestive system eliminate food and cleaning the intestines.
Of course, this is just a quick summary of some of Dr. Pagano's main points—it is not the complete story. However, I am pleased to let psoriasis sufferers know there is a natural treatment that works for me—and may perhaps work for others, too. People who lack medical insurance can try this treatment, and those who are fortunate enough to have insurance can combine it with their standard, Western treatments. I strongly encourage everyone to continue seeing their doctor regardless of their circumstances.
Read the Book Before You Try
I am in no way suggesting that you just drink the teas and avoid these foods without reading Dr. Pagano's book, first. I strongly believe that this book can provide an important knowledge base for anyone suffering from psoriasis, and I feel it's important that patients education themselves on about their disease. Please, don’t just give up these foods and expect to see the results I did.
Oh, by the way, I am told it takes two to three months, without the steroids or methotrexate, for every year you have had this disease before your skin will clear. For me, it took about seven months in total.
If you combine Dr. Pagano's treatment with methotrexate, the psoriasis should clear up and probably never return if you stay true to the treatment. I must admit, however, that it can be difficult to adhere to the dietary restrictions—because once your skin clears you begin to feel pretty good, and it's natural to want to eat your favorite foods again. Of course, this is a trap. Once you start eating the foods you love, the psoriasis comes back. I know, because it's happened to me.
My Skin Today
If you are wondering if I ever get the red patches now, the answer is yes, but they are minimal. Psoriasis strikes more in the cold months, when the skin is more prone to drying. Now, however, I have a choice of treatments, and I am much more knowledgable about my options. I do sometimes stray from the diet, as I want variations in my meals, but I know when I need to back off. Whenever I see a red patch, I return to a strict diet and stay there.
Combining Dr. Pagano's Treatment With Western Treatments
I believe Dr. Pagano's treatment can be an excellent complement to the treatments and medications your doctor may have prescribed. Please do not discontinue any treatment that your doctor has recommended. If you are receiving UVB treatments, you should continue those. If you are taking methotrexate or receiving injections, you should continue those, too. My suggestion is that you read Dr. Pagano's book, discuss his recommendations with your doctor, and then consider adding the guidelines to your routine.
The bottom line is that you should continue working with your medical doctor as you consider this new information. Because I know how nightmarish psoriasis was for me, I want to share information about a treatment that worked for me.
A quick but important note: I have never met Dr. Pagano, I am not employed by his organization, nor do I profit from the sale of his books. I wrote this article strictly as a grateful ex-psoriasis-sufferer who is now able to live a normal life again.
If you suffer from psoriasis, I encourage you to read this book. It helped me, and I believe it will help you, too. Before you take steroids, cancer medications, or even Enbrel, consider this natural treatment to heal your skin. Or, if you are already taking these medications and feel they are effective, by all means, continue taking them. Either way, I want to once again stress the importance of consulting with your doctor.
Best of luck, and may the Lord bless you with clear skin and good health.
Video Interview With Dr. Pagano
Healing Psoriasis Cookbook
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Alan on August 23, 2015:
Yes there are so many cures in our world. and i do know many are not brought out into the open. it is time now to change our world and save money going through treatments when we have so much Herb factors that can change peoples lives, Psoriasis is a big worry to allot of people around us all in our world, there are many factors that can cure Psoriasis smoking is a big factor why it stops the healing elements working on your body. and a key factor too we do have to watch what we eat in our foods .if your body immune system is good then of course it will fight out many sources that enters our body system. I have spent many years on how to keep my body fit and from ailments too. but trying so many I do to now have to watch by taking medicines from our chemists. Tablets can help but there is another factor colours on the pills can even effect you as it did me. I preach out everyday through columns about us all and why everyone should make peace to all Nations of life to learn more about cure for psoriasis HIV and many more are out there in our world. India has an industry in cures with the knowledge of herbs and spices Tea leafs that have many factors in life. People say religion is the cause of War around us all, but I can tell you all now it is Not. it is the power lords that stops us from joining hands to cure one another and that is true. with these elements would stop us all from paying high prices in medicines in our world. and that's where corruption comes in to keep us all apart from joining hands, we are the power of our world if we all unite to one another then we would see the politicians fail in our world, and we should to benefit and be healthier to one another. the main factor to ailments is the food we buy from abroad, we should only eat food that is produced in our homeland safe from chemical that come in from abroad in product.so much war and chemicals lieing in the soils that we don't know of, I can't see proof of organic foods if the soil is contamiated through weather dust too and climate changes and in canned food and fruits can carry element factors too we can't prove it until we fall ill with it, i don't think politicians would eat out of cans but fresh foods with their income. work together and may be we could end up with a better world for us all. good night going to bed .
Raoul Teeuwen on September 01, 2014:
@Ramano Rao KV: do you know of any serious scientific studies to back that claim?
Ramana Rao KV on August 31, 2014:
Stevia Herbal green sweetener cures psoriasis in a month or maximum 2. This may not cost more than Rs.400/- Indian rupees. In addition to psoriasis many other ailments too may vanish. Large number of patients already benefited. At this rate I wonder why psoriasis can be eradicated by using stevia leaf powder or its water extract, instead of suffering and making hereditary too.
Ramana Rao KV, Hyderabad, mob: 09391157340
Jeffrey Watters (author) from Frankford, DE on April 23, 2014:
There are several comments here and I approved them all regardless of the position taken. I want to add that I added one more thing to my regiment and that is the magic bullet, a grinder/juicer that takes the green vegetables I hate to eat and liquifies them. I add to the Magic Bullet my greens, almond milk, fruit, and protein powder (vegetable based only, do not use Whey) and blend to a pleasing taste by adjusting the fruit (which is bitter a lot of the time, especially with the greens, with sweet fruit like a banana or stevia to taste. Not only is my skin better but the process has helped me lose 25 pounds in three months. So double victory. Consider this as well please.
raoulteeuwen on February 07, 2014:
My wife tried lots of stuff to battle her Psoriasis and suffered many years from it. After me reading about the Dr Pagano treatment (don't recall where), i decided to buy the book.
As far as i remember, his assumption (theory?) is that some people have problems with digesting some foods, and in those people certain elements have a toxic effect. That builds up and the body looks for a way to get rid of it; in some people the skin (largest organ) tries to help in solving the toxic problem, resulting in Psoriasis ... by following his diet, toxicity levels lower and the skin can stop trying to be part of the "toxic solution".
Anyway: my wife started it, and when she follows the diet, there is a dramatic decrease in the inflammation. When she treats herself to things she is not supposed to eat, she notices an increase in inflammation.
So for her, this is the best (and healthiest) way to battle Psoriasis she has found.
Rsense on December 11, 2012:
I've had the honor of having Dr Pagano as my Dr. In 2009. I had severe guttate p and spoke with him several times before traveling across the country to have him teach/treat me. After spending years and 10s of 1,000$, I walked away with a week of treatments and renewed excitement about life for less than 600$. It was the best money I ever spent! I was also lucky to have dinner with John Pagano and loved his youthful energy.
I am perfectly clear today without having to take any harsh drugs. He gave me my life back. It took about 6 months.
I'm sad to recently find out that he is no longer taking patients. He is in his late 80's so he deserves retirement. His book is easily available and I recommend it for anyone who suffers or for someone you love who suffers.
nairi on October 14, 2012:
Marco, They say that for every year of sickness it takes a month to heal. I've had psoriasis for 20 years - so it would take almost two years to heal. I have done everything except injections. The only things that gives me long-term satisfaction are the following - sunlight, acupuncture, and dietary changes. When I first started the diets I didn't even believe in it but I was shocked to see that as soon as I stopped drinking milk my P was better. Everything else took time. My P itself has evolved over the last few years, so different things affect it. The idea is to reduce inflammation. It actually makes so much sense. Once you realize that this requires a lot of work, and are dedicated, I promise you will see results.
Also, it's better than creams and ointments and cortisone damaging your body, really. Why is it we can't use cortisone for more than two weeks at a time? That's an indication of how harmful it can be. You are what you eat. If you eat shit, you'll feel like shit. If you eat great, you'll feel great. The first while your body is in severance so it won't feel so good. Give it a week, you'll see the results, and keep going.
Sabaruddin Rass Organik Indonesia on June 09, 2012:
Dear Mr. Jeff Watters,
You are true. I've tried to help the psoriasis patines in Indonesia since year with the same methode that combining the proper diet and the use of cut-and-sifted organic herbs to help cure the leaky gut syndrome. This tradition is also the tradition of Indonesia.
Good Luck and Best Regards,
Rosali on May 21, 2012:
Priasis is a common multi factorial, non-contagious, auto-immune skin disease. It affects adults and children in equal proportion.
The exact cause osof psoriasis is unknown. There is evidence of a genetic predisposition. A positive family history is often observed. Psoriasis, being an autoimmune disorder has autosomal dominant inheritance. People with dry skin are more likely to develop psoriasis than those with oily or well-moisturized skin.
There are many precipitating and aggravating factors so it keeps on recurring and becomes difficult to treat.
Combination of ayurvedic herbs and homoeopathic remedies gives good results. These remedies along with nutritional supplements acts on the body and balance the altered immune responses. These are 100% natural and safe, free from side effects and they are not habit forming.
Some of the frequently used remedies are C54 PSORAease formula and R65 Reckeweg PSORAease formula.
These remedies work by relieving inflammation and reducing the itching of the skin, softening your hardened skin, aidding shredding of silvery scales and working on the immune system making it less responsive to triggering factors.
Marco on March 26, 2011:
I sincerely doubt that this will cure psoriasis, it might help to ease p or even make the symptoms go away but a cure?
tarotexperience from UK on April 12, 2010: