A woman who has battled with skin condition psoriasis for more than 35 years says she has cured herself in just two weeks after turning vegan.
48-year-old Paula Taylor, from Preston, was diagnosed with psoriasis when she was 11 years old, with skin rashes so bad that she was hospitalised.
Over the years she had tried every solution doctors threw at her and none helped.
But after finding a plant-based diet, which claimed to cure psoriasis, through browsing on Instagram, Paula thought she had nothing to lose by trying.
After swapping meat, dairy and alcohol for juices, nuts, fruits and vegetables, she claims she is now psoriasis-free in 17 days.
Paula said: ‘When I was a child my mum would find me standing in front of a mirror crying my eyes out.
‘Nobody knew how to stop it and it kept getting worse.
‘I didn’t have the teenage life everyone is supposed to have, I spent my years inside, fully clothed and away from other people – it made me feel abnormal.
‘The effects of the condition carried on throughout my life, it hospitalised me twice, it played a part in my divorce and my interactions and activities with anyone I met.
‘I couldn’t go swimming or sunbathing, or even wear a skirt and I couldn’t say why.
‘Being intimate was tough because I’d be horrified at the thought of showing my body without any clothes on – I didn’t feel like anyone would be attracted to me.’
Paula says her skin condition drastically affected her confidence, at one point making her terrified to share a room with her partner in case he saw her skin.
In February Paula woke up in severe pain and began searching online for anything that would help to treat her skin.
She found a recipe book recommending an anti-inflammatory diet, cutting out dairy, meat, junk food and alcohol.
Paula said: ‘Day-by-day, my skin was getting better, I was gorging on nut roasts, fresh fruit, vegetables and corn instead of chips, gravy, crisps, bacon, sausages and everything I usually had.
‘After 17 days, my skin was clear, I was cured, and I can’t even begin to explain how my life has changed.
‘I wear bikinis, skirts, shorts, I go to the gym, and my life is finally mine again, I’m not a prisoner in my own skin anymore.
‘I know I put the hard work in, and I thank myself every day, but I also thank Hanna and her book. In a way, Hanna has given me back my life – everyone should be speaking to her if they suffer with psoriasis.’
The book Paula used is Radiant: Recipes to heal your skin from within, by Hannah Sillitoe, who also suffered from psoriasis until she started a plant-based diet.
Paula discovered Hanna’s plant-based diet plan online and then bought the book. In under three weeks later, Paula says her painful rashes had disappeared.
Paula said: ‘I can’t even begin to describe the difference between myself a year ago and now.
‘It’s not just the physical appearance of my body, which is important, but the mental side is like another world.
‘I’m proud of my body again, I feel like a totally new woman and this diet has saved me.’
Hanna Sillitoe suffered from psoriasis for 20 years before deciding to try and a find a way to cure her skin condition.
Hanna said: ‘During my worst flare I was offered chemotherapy treatment, cancer drugs.
‘When I heard that, I thought there must be a better way to heal myself without going that far.
‘I looked online and found other people who had swapped their diet to anti-inflammatory, and a plant-based diet, and their results were amazing.
‘The diet I recommend is plant based and anti-inflammatory, for the best results I’d advise cutting out meat and dairy entirely, but this can be a gradual process if going fully vegan feels a little overwhelming..
Paula is now spending her time doing everything she had to stop for most of her life – she wears clothing that shows her body off, sunbathes, exercises, takes beach holidays and feels like a new woman.
Paula said: ‘If I had never seen this book my life would have continued to be a battle, and would have continued to be so limited.
‘After following what Hanna has written and published, I can finally be the woman I always wanted to be.’
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales.
These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body.
Psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the UK and often develops in adults under 35 years old, and affects men and women equally.
It is a chronic disease that happens due to an increased production of skin cells.
In the standard person, skin cells are made and replaced every three to four weeks, but in psoriasis the process only takes three to seven days.
If you think you are suffering from the condition, it is important that you see your GP for a diagnosis.
While natural diets may work for some, professional medical advice should be taken before making radical changes to your lifestyle.
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