It has been seven weeks and two days since I began an attempt to treat my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis with water fasting and a vegan diet.
I am now on my third water fast, with amazing results so far.
Maintaining a Vegan Diet While Traveling
I was worried about how to maintain a vegan diet while on the road. I stayed in a hotel in Southern California that did not have a kitchen. Luckily, there was a health food store nearby, and I was able to buy a lot of fruits and vegetables, as well as some cooked brown rice and precooked beans.
When I ended up at restaurants a few times, I was able to order minimal salads (just lettuce and onions) or steamed broccoli with nothing on it.
I did not count calories, but I expect that my caloric intake was a little bit lower than normal. I did eat avocado and nuts every day, but other than that, it was mostly just fruits and vegetables, with a small amount of brown rice and beans. My salt intake was extremely low during the trip too.
I’ve maintained my habit of eating papaya in the morning.
I can’t say that it was easy, but my health was still improving there. The food did not taste great, but it’s was a worthwhile price to pay for health.
One thing that may have helped my back and hip is that I was not sitting at a computer all day.
I was away for about a week. After returning, I continued as before, eating my normal, high nutrient, restrictive vegan diet without cheating at all.
My skin psoriasis has greatly improving over the past 7 weeks. At this rate, I expect the skin psoriasis to be gone within months. (If that sounds unbelievable, another person’s experience with psoriasis and vegan diet has been posted on Psoriasis Buddy.)
In the 16 years of having skin psoriasis, I have never seen such amazing improvements in my condition, even when using topical medication. It is still very bad, but it is clearly fading. In some areas, it has faded to almost nothing already.
One of my fingernails was getting badly mangled from the psoriasis, but that has cleared up as well. That nail is growing normally now.
Since the last fast, I’ve maintained my body weight at about 175 pounds with no effort. Previously I’ve been up as high as 215 pounds. I expect that after the current fast, I will drop down below 170 pounds and will maintain my weight somewhere around 165-170. I think that it would be ideal for me to stabilize at about 155-160 pounds in the long term.
The arthritis has had some good days and bad days, but I would say that it is significantly better than it was at the beginning of this experiment. The point where it got worse, is when I had some very stressful news at the end of the trip. By the next day, the arthritis was worse. A few days ago, the arthritis was not good, but today it does seem to be very mild.
The Current Fast
I’ve scheduled this current fast so that I will have a total of four water fasts between my two visits to the rheumatologist. I’m hoping to show up at the doctors office with enough improvement to have the support of the doctor for this course of treatment.
I’m feeling fine on this first day of the third water fast. I’m hoping that it is easier than the last two fasts. I think that this fast will only last for three days. I have already started ketosis within 24 hours of my last meal. The measurement was about 20 mg/dL.
What I Am Doing
From memory, this is what I have been doing over the past seven weeks:
- I have been water fasting about once per month. The previous two fasts were three days and five days.
- I eat a very strict, high nutrient, vegan diet without any exceptions. By “high nutrient,” I mean that I do not eat any refined foods: no white flour, no sugar, no empty calories. I’ve limited grains as part of the dietary restriction experiments, but I have had small amounts of brown rice as well as some corn on the cob. For the most part, my “grain” intake has been from buckwheat groats and amaranth seeds. I cook nearly everything from scratch. I go out of my way to avoid any animal protein, because I suspect that animal proteins may be part of the problem. (I will write more about that in a future post.)
- I eat ripe papaya every morning. I doubt that it will cure my psoriasis, but I like having a consistent pre-breakfast routine that can only have beneficial effects. Papaya is very nutritious.
- At least once per day, I eat a large salad as my main meal. Normally, I dislike raw, leafy, green vegetables, but I have been achieving this goal successfully for the past 7 weeks.
- I try not to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. I set an alarm for about 20 minutes whenever I sit down at the computer. When the alarm rings, I get up and do some stretches and core strength exercises, which should take some of the pressure off of my joints. I have not been entirely consistent with this, but I have noticed that when I don’t do it, the arthritis pain in my back and hip is worse. I work with computers and programming, so I do normally spend too many hours sitting in front of a computer.
- I know that this one will sound strange, but I stopped using all shampoo, and most soap. This is based on some research I’ve done on the hygiene hypothesis, and on the no-soap movement. I recommend not brushing off the idea until you have researched it. My conclusion is that soap is necessary only in small amounts, and that shampoo is not necessary at all. I think that the soap industry is largely a scam in many ways. You can be perfectly clean by showering every day in mildly warm water and gently scrubbing yourself with a washrag. I do use soap in some places, and I do wash my hands with soap, but other than that I clean myself with water. After you get past the greasy hair period, which may last for a couple of weeks, things normalize and hair regulates itself. It has a nicely conditioned feel without needing any shampoo or conditioner. I did these soap and shampoo three times over the past couple of weeks, but other than that, this experiment has been going on for at least two months. I will write more on that topic another time. In the meantime, you may be interested in human microbiome and skin conditions.
- I live in California, and it is summer. I try to get 15 to 30 minutes of sun per day, preferably before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
I hope that I’ve remembered everything in the list above.
I don’t take as many photos of my food as I did previously, but here are some examples of dishes that I’ve been eating:
Sorry for the long delay between posts. I will try to update the blog more frequently as I continue these experiments. My next doctor appointment is at the end of August, so I will finish this fast, do another fast right before the doctor appointment, and then see what the doctor says about the improvements. I would like support from the doctor, but I would also like to hear a professional opinion about whether I am proceeding in a safe direction. I’m very optimistic about the progress, and feel like I have stumbled across a treatment that will work in the long term.