Kim Kardashian Gets Real about Her Diet and Psoriasis
- Kim Kardashian, 41, has shared that she eats a plant-based diet to help with her psoriasis.
- Psoriasis, in general, is a condition that can cause the development of red, itchy patches on the skin. The condition affects up to 3.2 percent of the U.S. population, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
- Psoriasis is not caused by anything you eat, and there’s no one diet that we know is best for people with psoriasis. That being said, you can work with your doctor to try to figure out what foods, if any, affect your symptoms and inflammation levels.
Kim has been very open about her journey with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – a form of the disease which affects the joints.Read More
“It was all over my stomach and legs. Luckily, in my apartment complex at the time, my neighbor was a dermatologist. I showed it to him, and he said to come into the office and he would give me a shot of cortisone and then hopefully it would go away (since it was my first big outbreak).”
Kim’s psoriasis completely went away for about five years before returning in her early thirties. Now, it’s become something she’s learned to live with ever since.
“Although the spots are unpredictable, I can always count on my main spot on my right lower leg, which consistently stays flared up,” she wrote. “I have learned to live with this spot without using any creams or medication—I just deal.
“Sometimes I cover it up and sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t really bother me.”
Kim has also said that eating a plant-based diet has helped her psoriasis. In a recent article by Poosh, Kim says that going plant-based has helped her in multiple areas of her life.
“It’s made me more mindful about how what I put in my body affects me, not just psoriasis but also my mood, my stress levels, my energy, everything,” she said.
One of the things she loves to drink as a part of her diet is a sea moss smoothie.
“The sea moss smoothies are great because they’re very anti-inflammatory,” she said. “I try to eat as many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant foods as possible.”
In addition, Kim shared her advice for others struggling with their self-confidence as a result of psoriasis.
“You have to get to a place where you just feel comfortable and own it,” she said. “Be able to realize it’s a part of you.”
Before we dive into the topic of diet and psoriasis, let’s take a step back and understand the condition more fully. Psoriasis, in general, is a condition that affects up to 3.2 percent of the U.S. population, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It can cause the development of red, itchy patches on the skin. But there are many different types of the disease with plaque psoriasis being the most common.
“Psoriasis is a chronic, auto-immune skin condition where you have red, scaly patches on the skin,” Dr. Saakshi Khattri, a dermatologist/rheumatologist at Mount Sinai Health System, previously told SurvivorNet. “It is a chronic condition, which can ebb and flow. You can have good days and bad days.”
People with psoriasis are often asymptomatic, but uncomfortable outbreaks can happen. That being said, psoriasis patches can vary in how they look on the skin. You might have a few spots with scaling similar to dandruff or rashes covering a large portion of your body. The most common places to see psoriasis patches are the lower back, elbows, knees, legs, soles of feet, scalp, face and palms.
“Some patients report itching [or a] burning sensation, but that doesn’t tend to be the norm. It certainly can happen,” Dr. Khattri explained. “Then if you have psoriasis in the genital area, it can feel uncomfortable just because it’s in a very sensitive part of the body. But for the most part, it tends to be asymptomatic.”
Symptoms associated with psoriasis include:
- Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
- Small scaling spots
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed or itch
- Itching, burning, or soreness
- Thickened or ridged nails
- Swollen or stiff joints
If you ever start to notice red, scaly spots on your body, Dr. Khattri recommends you see a dermatologist right away so you get get a proper diagnosis and the proper care you need.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that does not have a cure, but there are many different ways to help manage symptoms. Treatment for the disease also varies but the three main categories include topical treatments like ointments or creams you can rub on the skin, phototherapy which uses UVB light to treat the disease and systemic treatments like drugs that target parts of the immune system you can take orally or through an IV.
Psoriasis and Diet
In general, eating healthy is never going to be a bad thing. But psoriasis is not caused by anything you eat, and there’s no one diet that we know is best for people with psoriasis.
Even still, many foods are known to cause inflammation throughout the body which can make the symptoms of psoriasis worse. Johns Hopkins Medicine lists the following foods as potential things that can make a person’s psoriasis symptoms worse.
- Foods containing refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white rice, pasta, pastries and some breakfast cereals)
- Foods with saturated fats and trans fats (like red meat, cheese, fried food, margarine, fast food and many processed snacks)
- Foods high in added sugar (like some sodas, fruit juices, candy, baked goods and other sweets)
- Foods that contain gluten
It’s important to remember, however, that not everyone reacts the same way to foods – including ones that are known to cause inflammation.
There are also foods that are known to combat inflammation, and having a balanced whole-foods diet is the best approach to reduce inflammation throughout the body. If you do eat this way, it’s possible that it can reduce psoriasis flare-ups or the severity of your symptoms. Johns Hopkins Medicine lists the following foods as “the best foods if you have psoriasis“:
- Fish, lean protein or plant-based proteins such as tofu or tempeh
- Fruits and vegetables
- Legumes (beans and lentils)
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Small amounts of low-fat dairy
- Whole grains
Overall, if you’re trying to adjust your diet to ease your psoriasis symptoms, it’s crucial to talk with your psoriasis doctor so they can help you monitor symptoms and inflammation levels. What works best for one person might not be the best option for another.