Fumaric Acid an Effective Treatment for Psoriasis

Skin diseases can be physically and emotionally draining for patients because of the discomfort and cosmetic disturbance they produce. This has never been truer than in the case of psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder, which affects between 2 – 4 percent of the population. A sharply bordered reddened rash covered with overlapping silvery white scales is the characteristic lesion. The scalp, nails, backs of elbows, knees and ankles are commonly involved, however any skin region can be affected. An arthritis associated with psoriasis can occur which may lead to severe pain and general debility. Onset is usually between the ages 10-40, but no age is exempt. A family history is common in about 50 percent of the cases.

The typical course is one of chronic remissions and recurrences that vary in frequency and duration. Local trauma, sunburn, various drugs, alcohol, infections and emotional stress have been known to precipitate eruptions. Conventional treatment includes cortisone creams, coal tars, ultraviolet light therapy and drugs which block rapid cell growth such as prednisone and methotrexate. Unfortunately, the long-term use of these therapies can lead to significant adverse effects.

The cause of psoriasis lies within the skin cells themselves, which divide many times faster than normal. This accelerated division is simply too fast for the cells to be shed, so they accumulate resulting in the silvery scale. Why this happens is of great debate, however recent research has shed some light on this topic.

European and Asian studies have shown that psoriasis results because of a metabolic error in fumaric acid metabolism. Fumaric acid is normally present in every cell of the body as a component of the citric acid cycle, which is responsible for cellular energy production. In healthy individuals, fumaric acid is formed in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Patients suffering from psoriasis cannot produce enough fumaric acid and therefore cellular division becomes abnormal. When fumaric acid is supplemented orally and applied topically, a majority of patients improve dramatically.

Supporting digestion, limiting food sensitivities, and making sure optimal nutrition is maintained helps fumaric acid therapy work even better. This treatment is remarkably safe and benefits even the most difficult, chronic cases.

 

Copyright © 2003 by Dr. Garrett G. Swetlikoff

Kelowna Naturopathic Clinic