From a very early age Callum Lowe was affected by a skin condition known as psoriasis. Psoriasis is characterised by scaly red and white patches on the body and for Callum these patches covered up to 60 per cent of his body.
The condition is caused by overactive immune cells which speed up the production of skins cells which don’t shed as quickly as they are created. This series of events results in the development of the scaly patches.
A third of psoriasis sufferers have a family history of the disease, though injury and stress are known to be contributing factors in some cases.
In Callums case, doctors tried a variety of treatments in a bid to reduce the severity of his skin condition, ranging from steroid creams right through to immuno-suppressant drugs and even light therapy. However, whilst these treatments proved to be effective short-term solutions, the condition would rear its head again after a short time.
Desperate to rid her son of his skin condition, Callum’s mum decided to try a new approach after hearing about a new Channel 4 series – The Food Hospital. The show see’s dietitians helping individuals to treat their health complaints by making some changes to their diets.
The dietitians on the show prescribed Callum a diet that they felt would help to reduce inflammation (considered to be a trigger for the over production of skin cells), which was to include oily fish, cinnamon and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
According to dietitian Lucy Jones, psoriasis sufferers have a very high level of unstable molecules in their system which can increase the chances of inflammation within their body, and fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants which make up for that.
Callum is now regularly taking fish oil supplements and instead of a typical diet of toast or cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and perhaps spaghetti bolognese for dinner, Callums diet now includes a large variety of nutritious foods.
After taking part in the Channel 4 show, Callums diet now consists of fresh fruit or French toast with cinnamon to start the day, homemade soup for lunch and then homemade fishcakes for dinner.
According to Callum’s mum Karen, there was a noticeable difference after just one week of beginning his new diet.
‘Now four months on his skin is clear.’ She said.
The Food Hospital airs on Tuesday evenings at 8pm on Channel 4.
To find out more about psoriasis and how a nutritionist may be able to help you, please visit our fact-sheet to find out more.
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