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Granuloma Annulare & Diet

author image Darla Ferrara
Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.

Granuloma annulare, or GA, is a skin condition that presents as reddish or skin-tone bumps. Although it is unclear whether there is a relationship between diet and this illness, there is an association between granuloma annulare and diabetes mellitus. Diet is an important part of the treatment protocol for diabetes. Managing your blood sugar through diet may help to control outbreaks and keep lesions to a minimum.

Granuloma Annulare

Granuloma annulare affects appearance more than overall health. MayoClinic.com reports that this condition has no long-term effect but can be unsightly. Sufferers from granuloma annulare develop raised lesions that may form ring patterns over their hands and feet. Skin might itch slightly. When the lesions spread over the body, this is known as generalized granuloma annulare. The exact cause of outbreaks is unknown, but many patients with this condition also have diabetes mellitus. According to MayoClinic.com, there are no other health concerns or symptoms with granuloma annulare.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a catch-all phase for a group of illnesses that affect the body's processing of glucose, or blood sugar. Chronic diabetes are generally type I or type II. Type I diabetes is an immune system disorder. The system attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves the individual unable to produce insulin. Type II occurs later in life. With type II diabetes, the cells change and become resistant to insulin. The organ responsible for insulin, the pancreas, cannot produce enough to effectively process sugar in the blood. Both conditions are associated with the development of granuloma annulare.


Since granuloma annulare often occurs in those who develop diabetes, it is important to know the symptoms of the latter disease. These vary based on the type of diabetes you have, but in general they include increased thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, weight loss, fatigue, vision blurring, sores that will not heal and an increase in infections, such as bladder, skin or vaginal. If you have diabetes, you can identify granuloma annulare by watching for raised bumps that will develop in a circular or ring pattern. The lesions from granuloma take a few months to heal.


There is little proof that diet can prevent lesions from developing. Diet is an important part of managing diabetes, however. A 1985 study published in "Diabetes Care" investigated the effect of glucose tolerance on granuloma annulare. The researchers found that there may be increased insulin resistance in those who develop granuloma annulare. It is possible, but not proven, that following the diet protocol for diabetes can not only improve your glucose levels but may control outbreaks of GA lesions as well. Diabetics must follow a diet rich in nutrients and low in fat. MayoClinic.com recommends that those with diabetes focus on fruits, vegetable, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy product. Dietary fiber helps control blood sugar levels.

Treatments for GA

Granuloma annulare usually disappear son its own, according to MayoClinic.com. If the rash is itchy or causes other problems, your doctor may suggest a corticosteroid cream or give you an injection of the drug. Another option includes cryotherapy, or freezing of the lesions. Cryotherapy should remove the lesions and stimulate new cell growth. In some cases, light therapy has proven effective. One treatment program, known as psoralen plus ultraviolet A, combines ultraviolet light with a drug to promote healing.

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