29 Mar Is Your Gut Health Effecting Your Skin?
There has been a great deal of attention placed on the gut lately as scientists discover more about its importance to our health. As someone who has suffered from skin issues in the past, the relationship between our gut and the health of our skin is particularly fascinating and by learning and discovering more about this relationship I was able to heal my skin issues.
At the time it was a bit of a left feild option in the hope that it would work, so it really excites me to see more and more research coming out today helping to grow this understanding of our skin and gut connection.
It was way back in the 1930’s when scientists first suspected the gut had an impact on the skin and now modern research has confirmed it. It is now well recognised that if your gut is imbalanced, your skin will pay the price.
Simply put, if you want to heal your skin, you need to start by healing your gut.
The main function of our skin is to act as a defence barrier. With an average surface area of 1.5-2.0 square metres, your skin is your largest organ and as a result it can say a lot about your health. Skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and dermatitis typically results as a symptom of something else going wrong in the body.
The majority of us spend hundreds on creams, soaps and pills which are marketed at curing your skin problems and help you achieve smooth, healthy, glowing skin. But in most cases, these topical products are not addressing the root cause of the problem.
Evidence linking the presence of gut problems and skin conditions
Over the years there has been a variety of studies linking gut disorders with skin conditions. Here’s just a few interesting pieces of research which highlight there is a connection:
Patients with acne rosacea were found to have significantly higher prevalence of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
24 percent of patients suffering from Crohn’s disease and 14 percent of those with ulcerative colitis have problems with their skin health.
Celiac patients have an increased occurrence of cutaneous manifestations.
Acne imbalance could be caused by an imbalance of stomach acid which results in an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the colon.
54 percent of acne patients have significant changes in their gut flora.
How gut health impacts the skin
It is believed intestinal permeability, commonly called leaky gut syndrome, results in both systemic and local inflammation. This contributes greatly to skin conditions and could be the underlying problem for many.
Medical professionals have known this since way back in 1916 where acne patients were seen to have enhanced reactivity to stool-isolated bacteria when compared to those who didn’t have any skin problems. Later studies have also confirmed there is a connection between increased intestinal permeability and skin conditions like acne. As the skin is our first line of defence and is responsible for creating a barrier against unwanted pathogens, when it’s integrity is impaired our skin’s health is compromised.
It has been shown that gut inflammation has a negative effect on this epidermal barrier, which can result in a decrease in the antimicrobial peptides that are produced in our skin and an increase in severity of inflammation and infection of the skin.
The balance of our gut flora also has an influence on our skin health. The gut microbiota may influence the production of lipids, tissue fatty acid profiles and sebum which all play a role in skin conditions.
When the gut flora is imbalanced, the neuropeptide substance P can be released which has been linked with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.
All in all, you can see there are a variety of ways poor gut health can result in problematic skin.
Ways to kick start your gut healing
Healing an imbalanced gut can take some time depending on the severity, so persistence is the key. Here are some tips to get you started working on correcting your gut flora and healing your skin.
1. Feed your good bacteria
Food really is your best medicine, so start feeding your good gut bacteria. Bone broth to reduce inflammation and promote healing, fermented vegetables to increase the good bacteria, coconut oil, prebiotic foods like beetroot, pumpkin and asparagus, and fibre-rich ingredients are going to improve your gut health.
2. Remove the foods your bad bacteria love
Bad bacteria love feeding on diary, sugar, fatty foods and processed grains, so by reducing your intake you’ll be starving them. Do this in conjunction with feeding your good bacteria and their numbers will reduce.
3. Take probiotics
Good quality probiotics have been shown to drastically reduce the severity of skin conditions by decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress and in the process strengthening the intestinal barrier.
4. Look at your skin care
The food you eat builds the cells you live in. Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs what we put on it. So pay attention to the food you are feeding your skin cells. Keep it natural and organic as possible and remove putting any excess chemicals and processed ingredients into your body.