Psoriasis and Alcohol

Today I read 3 studies on the Internet regarding psoriasis and alcohol.

The first study was done by doctors at a hospital for people with an alcohol problem. The doctors followed during a number of years 4 patients who also had rather severe psoriasis. The doctors found an amazing correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed and the severity of the psoriasis. If the patients had more alcohol their psoriasis got worse immediately, and vice versa. Conclusion : If you are a heavy drinker and you have psoriasis, you better lower your alcohol consumption (probably also good advice for heavy drinkers who don't have psoriasis).

A second study was about a large group of people with moderate to severe psoriasis. Of these people the alcohol consumption pattern was measured in some scientific way. It turned out that the alcohol consumption pattern for the psoriasis patients was not different from the pattern of the general population. Conclusion : Psoriasis is not caused by alcohol.

Please understand that these two studies do NOT contradict each other.

A third study in some way was like the second study, but differentiated between several types of alcohol. The conclusion of this study was that drinking light beer, red wine, white wine, liquor, ... did not increase one's chance to get psoriasis EXCEPT for heavy beer. Drinking beer of 5% alcohol or more increases the odds of getting psoriasis. The reason may be that heavy beer contains gluten.

By the way : Anyone here who knows a heavy beer that is gluten-free ?

I'm planning to read more about this subject and keep you informed when I find new data.


Cheers, Guido ( from Belgium, the kingdom of the heavy beers )

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have had psoriasis since may. am 21 in college in america so drinking beer was a huge part of my life and something i loved to do. honestly i wished it wasnt true but i do see the correlation between beer and flare ups. after a night of drinking it gets worse. i have cut down the drinking dramatically, along with practically eliminating gluten, and i have seen improvement (just got my 2nd shot of stelara as well). my psoriasis is only on my forearms and its going away slowly but surely. diet is the key in my opinion coupled with exercise (have lost about 10-15 pounds since end of summer)

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Thank you, interesting study results. There is a movement to stop eating grains, and beer is made from grains, it's often cited as one of the primary reasons for the establishment of agriculture. It may be that the body reacts to even the echo of chemicals in grains, I don't know.

I think there is more to it than just gluten, in general mammals don't do well digesting grains, some grains even have toxins to prevent animals from consuming them.

I like beer also, but my skin is better since I stopped having it.

If you come up with a good beer that doesn't affect people's skin, you'll have your fortune made. :^)

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I have PSA and can't even think about drinking beer. It will send me into a huge flare-up right away that will keep me incapacitated for days. I think it's the grains and the yeast that cause the problems. I stopped all alcohol for 6 months while detoxing on the Pagano diet. I've since added back wine & gin (with club soda--not tonic!) occasionally with no noticeable side effects.

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Just to be clear, OxfordMS, you have immediate flare-ups from drinking beer, and no noticeable effects from whine ? Can you share with us which type of beer causes these flare-ups and their % alcohol ? And the wine, red or white, please ? Thanks, Guido

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Dear YM25, immediately after drinking beer your flares went up. Can you please share with us the type of beer and the % alcohol ? Thanks, Guido

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I noticed it the very next day--within about 12 hours. The last time I had beer was about 2 years ago (yes, the flare-up was THAT bad). I drank 2 fairly light bodied beers--either Budweiser Lite or Corona. I can drink red or white wine, or gin with no effects.

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Thanks for the info, OxfordMS. So you are hurt by Bud Light (4.2%) and by Corona (4.6%) but not by wine nor gin. Both white and red wines have typically between 12% and 14% alcohol, and gin even much higher. Conclusion : the problems seems not to be the alcohol content, but something else. Could it be gluten ?

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It might be hops or whatever other grains are used in beer, but I think more likely it's yeast.

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honestly i couldn't really tell you the specific beer for each time but it has happened every time i drink a bit. for example at a party or something similar i would probably drink some whiskey followed by budweiser/coors/natural light/etc. to me i dont think it really matters what type of beer, if i drank 8 budweisers or 8 heinekens i still think i would flare up severely. hard alcohol seems to do it too. as skinclearing and oxfordMS said i think that wheat in general is pretty bad for a lot of people with psoriasis and beer is probably the worst thing to have (its tough because i do love it- i am hoping that the stelara will allow me to drink again but its no neccessary. if theres anything i have learned with this condition it is that you have to make yourself happy). my dermatologist has also said that drinking is one of the worst things for psoriasis because it opens up the pores or something like that. hope this helps and good luck

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Yes, OxfordMS, it may be the hops indeed. Now I remember that I worked in the Flemish hopfields when I was a teenager. I had to quit immediately because I seemed allergic for hops, after 10 minutes I had a rash all over my body. I enquired, but very few beers available without hops. I made up my mind today : I'll quit drinking beer and switch to wine.

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Thanks, YM25. The beers you mention have less than 5% alcohol content. You say "hard alcohol seems to do it too". You mean stuff like cocktails and whiskey? Have you ever experienced flare-ups after drinking "hard alcohol" only? I'm asking because OxfordMS's experience is that alcohol other than beer does not cause problems for him/her. It would be nice if other people could confirm this, then we would have learned a useful lesson.

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I don't drink beer or any alcohol at a all, neither do I smoke...I'm just unlucky to get psoriasis then :-( but I do live in hop country...I also keep rabbits, I wonder if the straw and hay may have something to do with my psoriasis..I have palmar plantar pustulosis only my hands are affected...who knows?? Thoughts.....

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My findings from a long time drinker with heavy Psoriasis and PSA

Heavy/dark beers - flare ups, dryness and itching within 6-12 hours
Whiskey - mild flare ups the next day. Tequila, not so much.
Wine - more than a glass, and my skin hates me. I think it's the sugar.

When I don't drink for a few days, it gets much better. You'd think knowing that, I would stop all together.

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that's not funny, but it made me laugh. so is it safe to assume that you have no liver damage, or abnormal lab work?

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Guido & Rattlesnake- in my opinion, as much as i wish it wasn't true, i think any alcohol pretty much flares it up at least for me. went from drinking pretty regularly to about twice in more than a month and i have seen dramatic improvement. the most recent time i drank it flared up for a day or two. unfortunately alcohol seems like one of the things to avoid, in any form

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oh, clutch the pearls! let me see.... life without liquor would be what?.......SOBER!

and who wants to walk around with your eyes wide open, fully alert, remembering what happened yesterday, plus you knew that your car keys were in the refrigerator? I can't live like that! I have a reputation to uphold.

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Thanks, Rattlesnake.
How about regular, Budweiser type beer ?
You say that wine is a big problem for you. White wine, red wine, or both ?

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My PSA doesn't like when I drink O'douls (nonalcoholic beer). It has to be the yeast/gluten in my case. I feel it almost immediately. I can drink red wine in moderation but my P will flare if I drink it too many days in a row.

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Thanks, Ramz. How about white wine, please ? And heavy stuff like cocktails and whiskey if you've tried that ?

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I don't care much for white wine but I do believe it is much more tolerable than Red. I don't notice it with the heavier alcohols but I don't drink them as often. Hope that helps.

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