The Psoriasis 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.
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
I also recommend the companion cookbook.
This is the book that changed my life.
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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.