021: Using Food To Beat Psoriasis w/ Dahne Rodriguez

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With certain food-triggered conditions like psoriasis, it may seem like an impossible task to create and stick to a diet that is nourishing but also avoids symptomatic complications. It’s different for everyone and finding what works is no simple task. But, as my guest today will tell you, persistence pays off!


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Dahne Rodriguez had suffered from terrible itching for many years but could find nothing that would help. With her diagnosis of psoriasis, she had to drastically change her diet. Getting her diagnosis and finding treatment was a difficult and frustrating process, but she’s made it work. I’m so happy Dahne could join us to share her experience!

In this episode, we discuss psoriasis and how it relates to diet. Dahne shares her somewhat unconventional solutions to treating her condition. From apple cider vinegar in her hair to watching what she eats, her skin has improved drastically.

It’s so important to keep trying to solve the puzzle to your health. It can be frustrating but perseverance is so important. Dahne kept at it and is now doing so much better. The constant itching has stopped and she’s even wearing tank-tops again!


In this episode

  • Psoriasis and its relation to food triggers
  • How you can adapt your diet in order to manage the symptoms of psoriasis
  • How you can find alternatives to some of the more conventional treatments for skin issues and use them to find relief
  • The importance of moisturizing with clean, simple, and organic products



“It felt like I was going to starve. What foods are left for me to eat?… But there’s lots of food out there you can eat. I mix it up now between different proteins and vegetables and that’s what I live on.” [4:54]

“It’s a hard struggle to go through, especially with the itchiness. My hands were constantly in my hair and on my shoulders and my back. I don’t want to live like this. It’s horrible. It’s very frustrating. But you have to try different things. Because we’re so individual, what works for me might not work for somebody else.” [12:16]

“For the first time since I was a teenager, I’m wearing tank-tops!” [13:56]


“It’s a hard struggle to go through, especially with the itchiness. My hands were constantly in my hair and on my shoulders and my back. I don’t want to live like this. It’s horrible. It’s very frustrating. But you have to try different things. Because we’re so individual, what works for me might not work for somebody else.”

021: Using Food To Beat Psoriasis w/ Dahne Rodriguez FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer:              Welcome back everybody. Today we've got a special guest, someone who, this is actually the first time I've spoken with her and seen her cause we're doing this via video Skype, but we've known one another for a number of months thanks to my private Facebook group and she has a really unique and interesting story to share and it's something that I think will completely resonate with you and I think to her message is one of hope. So I'm looking forward to sharing that with you today. So her name is Dahne Rodriguez and Dahne, I don't want to give away too much here, but we met because you happened to hear about the event, the eczema and psoriasis awareness week that I hosted, which was my, it was the thing that I wanted to do to give back to a community of people that I feel like there's not a lot of good information out there about the skin and I just wanted to help in some way. So tell us a little bit about where you were when you tuned into that online event.

Dahne:                 Okay, well I had terrible, terrible itching. Mostly on my head, the nape of my neck, my shoulders, and it started to go down my back and I was seeing a dermatologist at the time and I saw the psoriasis and eczema seminar, you know, I went through the whole typical routine of creams and shots and sprays and sneezing the wrong way and nothing seemed to help nothing. I was just so miserable. I just wanted to cry. And then when I saw the seminar, I started to figure, well, maybe I have some food triggers. So I listened to what you had said and I started to eliminate different things. The first thing I did was I went to an allergists who was absolutely phenomenal and the only thing that she discovered was that I was allergic to egg whites. Now I went low carb in November of 2015 and I was doing mostly Keto, so it was a lot of bacon and eggs.

Dahne:                 I was eating eggs like they were going out of style. I couldn't get enough eggs. I always ate a lot of chicken, but now I pulled the eggs out first thing and I figured, well let me try yolk. But I hadn't the same reaction. So when I eliminated whatever food triggers I could find, I thought, I don't know how long this is going to take, but let me try some other things. So I YouTube and I found a solution that this woman had used for her psoriasis. Now I don't have plaque psoriasis, but I had biopsies done and it showed that I had, so I would heat up coconut oil, only extra-virgin organic cold-pressed that I would use, and I'd make up my own little mixture of tea tree oil and lavender. And I would put that on as a mask on my head and wrap it up my head up and plastic with a warm towel and I would sleep with it and that helped. But I think the majority of it really was to try to find the food triggers and that really helped. So I really thank you. Thank you. Thank you for helping me with that.

Jennifer:              Well, you know, it's one of those things that we were just actually talking to, we should share this during this interview is that, you know, a lot of times people will assume that eczema a is more complicated than psoriasis as far as food triggers. But a lot of people will assume because there's these really strict elimination diets for skin that apparently you can't eat like anything. And that includes night shades and foods that contain a lot of salicylates, et cetera, et cetera. So I put up recipes that have all different things that I eat and that I recommend a client some work for some, some don't. You know, it is, it's kind of a mixed bag. And you know, the thing that you and I both share, it is like for me, I can have tomatoes and night shades and I don't have a flare up of my eczema. However, you were saying, we were talking about tomatoes specifically and you're okay with tomatoes, but what also bothers you?

Dahne:                 Dairy? I had to stop dairy because I also have Hashimoto's besides the type one diabetes. So I eliminated soy dairy. Now with dairy, the only thing I can use is ghee. I can't use full fat butter because that makes me go crazy. I don't eat any grains and really that's about it. I mean, I, it felt like I was going to start because what foods are left for me to eat. I never really ate a lot of beef and pork because of digestive issues, which I think is all tied into all the triggers that I had. But there's lots of foods out there you can eat. I mix it up now between different proteins and vegetables and that's what I live on and I'm, I'm not starving, I'm not having any bad problems as long as I stay with my trigger foods. Like I had a chicken crust pizza the other day, so I could feel it starting a little bit.

Jennifer:              And you were sharing with me, like you said, maybe some onions and peppers also bother you.

Dahne:                 Onions and peppers, I cannot do.

Jennifer:              Isn't that interesting, seeing how everyone's issues are different? Like for me, it's eggs.

Dahne:                 Oh yeah. Eggs. Eggs. I love eggs.

Jennifer:              I love eggs, too, even the smell. When my husband will make eggs, I'm like, Oh my gosh, I wish I could have eggs. But you know what's interesting, and I'll share this with everybody. If you do test positive for a reaction to eggs. So eggs typically are tested. It's usually chicken eggs and so you can try duck eggs or some other type of eggs. I will admit. Okay. So my food sensitivity tests was done 10 years ago. Okay. 10 years ago I have been really, really afraid to add or just try duck eggs. I've even bought them and they've gone bad in my refrigerator cause I'm just, I got so sick the last time I ate them and Dr. Terry Walls and I have had multiple conversations about this cause she too has an issue with eggs and she said no, don't worry. I'm the same way. I know that I can do it.

Jennifer:              I've had, I've personally had clients that have been able to do duck eggs after finding they're highly sensitive to chicken eggs with no problem. But I'm just so afraid I was. It's interesting how having these reactions in our lives, it can almost scar you and make you afraid, you know? Oh yeah, definitely. So I want to just ask a question because I think that this is important for people to hear. So I'm sure that there's some level of frustration for you as far as like going to dermatologist. How did it feel going and getting the, I would assume you got the run around just like everybody else.

Dahne:                 I stopped going to see her about two months ago and at that point I was going to her office three times a week, three times, three times a week because she had me going for radiation therapy and I have a big concern with that because of the thyroid part. And she says, well it's such a low level, it's not going to affect you. Well, my husband said, well why do they leave the room if it's such a low level radiation? No, I didn't think about that. But that makes a lot of sense. And it didn't do anything. Nothing.

Jennifer:              And so did you ever feel like you were getting straight answers? I mean we're not in any way, shape or form, by the way, trying to bash dermatologists.

Dahne:                 I love my dermatologist, she's a really a wonderful person. She's a good doctor, but you know, she's just a conventional medical doctor and she treats the same way as every other conventional medical doctor prescriptions and all of that and it just didn't work for me.

Jennifer:              Did you ever feel like she was almost like running out of options in like what her toolkit?

Dahne:                 Yeah. Yes, definitely.

Jennifer:              So in all of this, what do you think are some of the like one or two biggest things that have really helped you so far on your skin journey?

Dahne:                 Apple cider vinegar. I know we have talked about this on Facebook. I use it straight. I get an organic brand. I usually use braggs. I don't know if I can say the name or not, and it has the mother in it. You have to have the organic vinegar with the mother in it because that's really what is good for the skin and the hair. My hair. It was like so limp and I was having a lot of hair falling out and yeah a lot of it could have been from the Hashimoto's but since I started using it, Oh my goodness, I can't believe it. I wash my hair with dr Bronner's Castille soap and then I rinse with Apple cider vinegar and I leave that on in the shower. My hair is so full and healthy now. I can't believe it that more than anything else has really helped.

Jennifer:              Do you rinse out, cause I'm sure ladies listening might be curious about this. Once you put the Apple cider vinegar in, do you rinse that out then before you get out?

Dahne:                 I do.

Jennifer:              Okay. I just wanted to check.

Dahne:                 This smell kills my husband so I'm good. Once your hair is dry you don't smell it. And this is because of the eczema or excuse me, the whatever I have whatever you have on the head on the scalp. So have an auto immune like in, it's an infection type of thing. On my head, they look like moles, but they bleed profusely and there's not much else except to try to straighten out my immune system, which I'm trying to do now. So you know, got a book and have to read the book and doing the best you can. Yeah. But you have to persevere in it because it's not going to go away overnight.

Dahne:                 You know? You just have to be persistent and if something doesn't work, you have to change it up a little bit. And I've done a lot of reading and a lot of searching and asking questions and watching like your seminar is really what, what did it for me and I really appreciate it. Oh well I'm glad that you got a lot out of it. I got so many amazing notes from people just also saying too, there's nowhere where there's so much consolidated information on skin rash issues and that was always my goal. I, I, when I was doing research for myself, I realized that you had to look in all these different random places. There's some information here and there, but not all of it is really well referenced. Frankly a really isn't and you can't trust Google anymore because they send you to conventional medical sites, which I had just read about a couple of weeks ago.

Dahne:                 I said, ah, that makes sense. Exactly.

Jennifer:              And so you're not really seeing alternatives and that's something that can be really frustrating. But you know when you are going through this, I actually should ask, how long have you had the psoriasis for or the skin issues?

Dahne:                 You know I had read that 95% of type one diabetics have psoriasis. Now most of the time they have the psoriasis before they're diagnosed with the type one. And did you have it before you were? I think I did cause looking back at the blisters and all that that I had on my skin, I think that's what it was.

Jennifer:              And how did it make you feel? Cause I think this is important for somebody who's listening to this going well, she seems like a pretty happy woman. She's, you know, doing good. She's turned things around. Has it harmed your self esteem or just not felt like you just don't feel like yourself having these skin issues?

Dahne:                 Definitely, I mean, you know, it's, it's a hard struggle to go through, especially with the itching is because my hands were constantly in my hair and on my shoulders in my back and it's like I don't want to live like this. This is horrible. It's very frustrating. But like I said, you have to try different things and because we're so individual, what works for me might not work for somebody else.

Jennifer:              That is so true. That is such an important point. So for everybody that's listening, just know that what has worked for Dahne and for me might not quite work for you, but I think it's important to always keep taking those baby steps forward. Right. I always say Rome wasn't built in a day.

Jennifer:              It's like piecing together this, this complex puzzle and you know, if you hit a certain point, it's okay to ask for help. I mean, when I go and get testing done, I get one of my colleagues to review everything for me because I'm too connected to my problems. I always ask for help and don't be afraid to ask for help because sometimes you don't have all the experience to know where you should be looking or if you're doing something that isn't quite right. So today, now that you've been able to resolve some of these issues and you're feeling, I would assume a bit more normalcy now that your skin starting to clear up, what has changed for you? Just as far as like now you don't have that itching, your hands aren't in your hair all the time. How does that feel now being on the other side or, or heading in the right direction?

Dahne:                 Well, for the first time since I was a teenager, I'm wearing tank tops. Because it was like a rash or red horrible oozing rash all over my shoulders and my back. And now it's all clear, completely clear. And I'm just really happy about that. So being in Florida, it's very hot. So tank tops are an asset.

Jennifer:              And do you find too that the heat or while you're in Florida, so heat, humidity go hand in hand there. Do you find that that seems to it seem to help you or to make it worse?

Dahne:                 It really didn't bother me in any way because really with me, anything below 80 is too cold.

Jennifer:              Fair enough. Well, you and I are from the same area, so I don't blame you. I don't blame you for moving down there. Last point I'd love to make is what you said it to persevere, to keep trying different things. If someone was listening to you right now, Dahne, and they're feeling really hopeless, like they've got rashes everywhere, they are itching, they're up all night in pain and dealing with oozing and nothing is helping. What would you say to that person having started to see actual improvements, like you can wear a tank top now and not feel embarrassed or any number of things. What would you say to that person?

Dahne:                 This is hard. It is a hard thing. I would try. The first thing I would try is to make sure that the skin is moisturized. That's really important because I have dry skin anyway. Thank you, mother. But coconut oil really, really helped. But I like to use essential oils and you have to make sure you buy really good products, clean organic products because everything else, you don't know what's in them. I would start there just to moisturize, find what works for you. Don't go into a drug store and pick something off the shelf because it probably has a lot of chemicals in it. And I tried to eliminate as much chemical processing, whether it's in shampoos or soaps or whatever. That's why I use the Castille soap because it's nothing but soap.

Jennifer:              Yeah. And so it sounds like the first step that you would recommend is A) keep the skin moisturized and B) you've got to figure out what works for you.

Dahne:                 Yeah, and the Apple cider vinegar, it gets rid of that itch. I mean, I wouldn't recommend putting it on open skin or anything like that because that would burn. It's not worth it. You might try to dilute it a little bit. Maybe in the beginning, just so you can get your skin used to it. Because one thing is is that it does make your skin look flushed, but that's just, I think the antibacterial properties of the vinegar, but that more than anything else, it's really helped. And I still, even though I'm clear, I still use it when I take a shower, I put it in a sippy cup.

Jennifer:              And I don't blame you. I still do things to, and I still always check my hands like every couple of days I will still look them over. I know I've been, my hands had been clear now for almost a year. Ah, knock on wood. But I still like, I had this weird snag on my finger and I was like, Oh no, this was yesterday. And I was like, Oh gosh, is it starting to crack? And then I realized, okay, I don't know what happened, but I peeled it off and there's nothing there. I'm like, okay, we're okay.

Dahne:                 You have to do it too though. As soon as you see something you can take care of it right away.

Jennifer:              Exactly. So vigilance and also too, I like what you said, I agree in cleaning out the chemicals and getting rid of the things that you're putting on your skin that are are being sucked in that could potentially be making things worse. I know that they say eczema relief, the ultimate dry formula, whatever their fancy marketing terms are, but you and I both know those products are not really helpful. And by the way, a lot of them are formulated and we'll have a few guests on here who have and will continue to talk about how they're formulated to actually dry the skin out. So you continue to use the product. So it's very counterintuitive. So in the moment it feels good and then it gets dryer and you have to keep using it. So it's like they keep you hooked that way.

Dahne:                 Yeah, I had gotten a book about essential oils and they have different recipes in it and things like that. So I know what's safe to use and the quantities so I can put together things myself.

Jennifer:              That's great. Well Dahne, I just want to thank you so much for joining us. I deeply appreciate you coming on the show. It's so great to have you. Nice to meet you. Thank you for everything that you've done for me. I so appreciate it. Know you're welcome and I'm glad to have you a part of the community and I'm also, I think it's important to, so for anybody who's listening to this and you're like, Hey, what's this community. I have a free community on Facebook. If you're on Facebook, by the way, you don't have to be, but if you are, I'll put the link in the show notes that you can request access to the group. It's a really great place to ask questions and as Dahne can testify. I answer questions. I'm in there.

Dahne:                 One more thing. I have been gluten free since November of November 2015. It's easy.

Jennifer:              It is. It definitely is. So thank you so much for joining us and we wish you the best of luck and stay in touch. I'd love to hear how your progress continues.

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.

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