THE LINK BETWEEN SKIN HEALTH AND DIGESTIVE DYSFUNCTION
There are many different things that can irritate our digestive systems, in turn causing skin inflammation.
Having personally suffered from adult acne in my mid 20s, understanding my digestive system and why it was causing me discomfort and breakouts was one of the best things I did to heal my own gut and skin long term.
Individual lifestyle factors play a huge role in digestive dysfunctions. Everything from anxiety, hormones, our food choices, sleep quality, the time of day we eat and even our mentality and how we handle stressful situations alter how well we look, feel, move, think and age.
The reason more and more people are having skin issues often comes from gut inflammation.
Gut Inflammation is an extremely broad term and can refer to everything from leaky gut, undigested food causing pathogenic overgrowth, food allergies and sensitivities or an actual gut infection caused by bacteria, fungai or parasites. All these factors can damage or irritative the digestive tract eventually leading to skin and other organs being affected negatively down the line.
WHERE TO START
Promote digestive fluid secretion
Many years ago our diets used to consist of more bitter compounds from raw foods and fruits than they do today.
Bitters cause natural digestive stimulation, and naturally promote digestive fluid secretion.
When you secrete digestive fluids such as bile and digestive enzymes, these bitters help break down food, helping your gut process and absorb nutrients more effectively.
If we are secreting enough bile and hydrochloric acid, our stomach PH will be consistently low meaning our body’s ability to fight off pathogens or bad bacteria is much stronger.
Parasites and pathogenic bacteria are all around us. We will always be exposed to them, and there’s not much we can do about that. However how our body treats pathogenic bacteria and parasites is something we can control. Increasing our bile production, promoting digestive enzyme function and lowering the Stomach PH all aid in proper digestion and protect us from bad bacteria dominating our microbiome.
Identify what is causing allergies or irritation
Food allergies are a common complaint amongst acne sufferers, and it’s no surprise that undigested proteins actually trigger food sensitivities. In fact, proteins in foods can only be broken down by stomach acid, which is why introducing bitters into your meals is so important (as per Point 1).
Undigested food causes the body to mount an immune response to those foods, creating a never ending circle of allergy and irritation.
If the breakdown of proteins isn’t effective it can lead to large particles of undigested foods passing through the digestive tract resulting in leaky gut, which is when the walls of our gut barrier become compromised leaking often toxic byproduct into the bloodstream.
The most common allergies and intolerances today also happen to be from protein rich food groups: wheat, gluten, soy and dairy
Our Tip: Keep an eye on what foods might be causing internal irritation which is causing skin flare ups by using our Journal.
Rest in order to properly Digest
If you are always eating in ‘fight or flight mode’ (on the go, stressed, quickly and mindlessly) inevitably your body is not able to break down and process that meal correctly, which leaves you with undigested food and microbial growth.
In today’s world, humans are basically not spending enough time eating in the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system.
By correcting the nervous system at a basic level and sitting down to eat without any distractions, in a calm mindspace and being fully conscious of the meal you are about to consume, you promote stimulating the vagus nerve putting you into parasympathetic mode.
It’s the quickest and easiest way to naturally encourage your body to secrete its own digestive fluids.
Linked to Point 3, if you’re eating late and are worried, stressed, or haven’t let go of the tensions of the day chances are you will go to bed with a full undigested stomach.
This will in turn cause more gut inflammation due to undigested food – meaning it not only affects digestion and skin, but also slows down the body’s ability to repair, rest and recover which happens at night during sleep.
Food, teas and supplements to help
Acidic food increases the time taken for digestion, making the intestine work harder.
Our bodies thrive off alkaline foods, and some research suggests moving to an alkaline diet strengthens the immune system and helps reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Cook and Eat Right
Try feeding your digestive fire by cooking foods to help with their protein break down.
Chewing is also a problem linked to poor digestion, but especially with raw foods.
Doctors recommend chewing 40 times before swallowing (which of course almost no one does) to fully breakdown the nutrients in raw foods, so if you struggle with digestive issues we suggest steaming or boiling raw foods, and to avoid eating them after 5pm when your body’s natural digestive enzymes are not as prominent.
Writing down what foods might be causing inflammation is vital in understanding where underlying breakouts may be coming from.
Teas and Supplements
Drink bitter teas and foods to help secrete bile 15 minutes before a meal. My favourite is dandelion tea, although it will take some time to get used to the taste.
Consuming a high Quality Pre and Probiotics in liquid format with diverse strains with Soluble Fibres to support microbiome health and control pathogenic overgrowth, which in turn also supports the immune system from within.
Supplementing with Digestive Enzymes and other proper digestive fluids (note: fluid is very important, as it is more bioavailable for the body) helps achieve a proper stomach PH which will naturally eat away pathogens and bad bacteria. Antioxidants that help support immune responses are an added plus. You can find all these ingredients within the Radiance Powder.