Gut health. Metabolism. Skin Health. Eczema

How Gut Health Impacts Skin Health

Throughout the last 3 years I have learned that gut health is so important for our body to properly function. This also includes our skin! Skin health and gut health go hand and hand, what we consume will reflect on our skin. When we consume foods that are inflammatory, often times this will also lead to inflammation of skin, acne, and irritation. But let’s start on the basics.

What is gut health and how does our gut function?

Gut health refers to the physical state and physiologic function of the many parts of the whole gastrointestinal tract. Our organs like the esophagus, stomach and intestines all work together and allows us to eat and digest. (Unfortunately this is not the case for many, research shows about 74% of people in the U.S today have digestive issues.) The foods we consume get broken down in the gut by the enzymes and acids our stomach has. Our stomach acid is strong enough to kill some of the potentially harmful bacteria present in the diet. Once the foods are broken down it then proceeds to our small intestine. The small intestine sorts the foods out into protein, fats, and nutrients. It also absorbs all the vitamins, minerals, and other components the body needs to properly function. Whatever the body didn’t use then gets sent towards the colon and is considered waste.

It’s also important to know that 80% of the immune system resides in the gut. Research has also shown that the gut flora can influence the way the immune system behaves. Our gut flora is home to over 100 TRILLION bacteria. The flora is found in different parts of the body, but they are usually found in the skin and the large intestine. The highest concentration is in the latter, particularly in the cecum a pouch that connects the small intestine to the colon.

Now how does our gut health impact our skin health?

When our gut is not functioning properly this can show up on the surface of our skin. Research shows links between gut issues and skin issues such as eczema, rosacea, and acne. In one study they found that 54 percent of people with acne had significant alterations to their gut flora. Remember, our skin is the first indication when something in our body isn’t properly functioning. Skin issues like eczema, rosacea, dermatitis are indicators of when our gut is in distress. This is because our skin is the largest organ in our body, it’s job is to expel the toxins and waste in our body. It’s designed to protect us from bacteria and pathogens. So whenever our gut is compromised, it will surface up on top.

A study that was done in 2017 also showed a correlation between rosacea and gut health. Individuals with rosacea had a higher occurrence of gastrointestinal disease.

This is why it’s so important to be aware of the foods we consume and how it makes us feel and how it reflects on our skin.

While this can be overwhelming, especially if your your trying to heal your skin. It’s important to remember that the best thing we can do is listen to our body.

We should ask ourselves what is our body trying to tell us, and how can we better support it.

Eliminating processed foods from our diet, avoid using vegetable oils, slowly removing toxins from our household, moving our bodies everyday, and most importantly being graceful with ourselves are all great steps in helping improve our gut health and skin health. Making informed decisions that will help you as an individual.

Remember, this is a lifestyle not a race, so taking it slow and doing the best within our means are all great steps to better healthier skin.

It’s also important to note, while gut health is important in order to maintain healthy skin, there are other factors that can also impact your skin’s health.

Other factors can be but not limited to,

- Emotional stress can alter the intestinal microflora.

- Toxic chemicals from products we use can alter the skins flora and as a result cause skin irritation and rashes.

- Environmental toxins can also affect the body and as a result cause skin issues. Things like mold can greatly affect your skins health.

- Dehydration can cause dry skin and dry skin patches.

- Pregnancy and hormones can cause changes to the skin.

Healthy skin starts from within, so let’s take those first steps in nourishing our bodies and ditching the toxins!

(as always this is not medical advice)


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