Heal Your Gut for Beautiful Skin

Hi Friend!

Leaky Gut is a bit of a buzz word these days, and rightfully so. With the decline in food quality over the past several decades, we are seeing more and more breakdown in our digestive systems which has a direct affect on our immune system, our energy levels, and our skin. The gut-brain connection has been a major topic of interest for many researchers, and now we are looking closer into the gut-skin connection as well.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and offers us a unique opportunity. The skin can reflect the health of your internal organs and give us a glance at the internal state of balance. When there are issues going on with the gut, the skin may reveal this to us with redness, itching, breakouts, or even bleeding. Common issues that may arise include psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea, dryness, or hives.
These skin conditions are often tricky and bothersome to treat, but when we focus on the gut, major improvements can be made. In Chinese medicine, the gut is considered extremely important for the health of the whole body. As we learn more about the connection of the gut to other systems, this idea continues to be relevant. If you are struggling with troublesome dermatological conditions, or just want to improve the overall health of your skin, take a deeper look into your gut.

What is Leaky Gut?

The term “leaky gut” comes from the idea that the gut, when damaged, becomes semi-permeable. This means that the lining in the intestines can lose its integrity and let things such as food particles, waste, bacteria, etc… leak out into the blood stream. The body must then respond to this foreign matter by mounting an immune response.

This immune response is a normal reaction when the body detects unwanted substances where they shouldn’t be. But over time, with consistent leaking, chronic inflammation from this autoimmune response can become a big issue. To top it off, some of the important digestive enzymes are interrupted in leaky gut and it becomes more and more difficult to extract the good nutrients from our food as well. This can leave us tired, moody, and weak, in addition to potentially causing other health issues.
Different people may react in different ways, some developing migraines or irritable bowel syndrome, others may feel chronically fatigued. For many of us, frustrating skin conditions are what alerts us of the trouble in the gut.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

Diet is a big one here. The gut absorbs and processes everything you eat, good and bad. Some common culprits include gluten, soy, refined sugar, alcohol, and dairy as these can weaken the digestive system in many people. Medications like antibiotics, steroids, and some OTC medications have been known to irritate the intestinal lining as well. With regular use, this can break down the lining of the gut and allow for that permeability.

Do You Have Leaky Gut?

Because the health of the gut can impact so many other body systems, the symptoms of leaky gut can be wide-ranging. Many times, people feel chronic fatigue, have poor digestion, or just feel blah. Other symptoms can be more obvious such as serious migraines or angry skin rashes. Below is a list of common signs that leaky gut may be affecting your health:

Digestive: Chronic diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, nutritional deficiency, sugar cravings
Immune: poor immune response, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease
Brain: headaches, migraines, brain fog, memory loss, fatigue, pain, anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD
Skin: rashes, redness, itching, acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis

How to Heal Your Gut for Beautiful Skin

If you are suffering from some of these conditions, and particularly notice issues with your skin health, the next step to get your gut under control. Once you’ve repaired your gut lining and your digestion is on track, your skin will transform. With digestive issues and leaky gut, we often think of healing in a 4-step process.

Remove

We start by removing processed foods, sugar and some of the biggest offenders when it comes to food sensitivity – gluten and dairy. Cut out as much as you can; the cleaner your diet, the faster your skin will improve. Expect to steer clear of these irritating food for 30-90 days. Once your gut is healed, you can start to reintroduce some foods, but you might find that you no longer crave them anymore!

Replace

Once you have removed the culprits, replace them with organic fruits and veggies, wild fish, and grass fed beef. Some people may be able to tolerate raw dairy.

It is a good idea to talk to a health care practitioner about adding digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid to help break down food. Leaky gut will affect how well you process your food and you’ll want to make sure you are getting as many of the nutrients from these good foods as possible.

Hi! I'm Angela

Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Integrative Wellness Consultant and Mood-Gut expert.

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Reinoculate

The gut needs bacteria to thrive – but the good kind! Reinoculate with these good bacteria strains and a good quality prebiotic.  Start introducing fermented foods like raw goat’s milk yogurt and sauerkraut, and add a probiotic supplement to your daily routine.  Feeling overwhelmed with where to start? Come in for a consult to help you determine which pre and probiotic supplements will best suit you.

Repair

Lastly, we have the repair stage. Adding back vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients to repair the lining of the digestive track is the final step in returning the gut to brilliant health.
Bone Broth is my favorite way to sooth and heal the digestive system. I recommend chicken broth, check out the products from Thrive Market. Some other favorites for this are L-Glutamine and Collagen powder. L-Glutamine is a special enzyme that will actually help to rebuild the lining of the digestive tract and prevent it from getting “leaky” again. Collagen is also important to help repair the intestinal lining and is fabulous for the skin as well.

Love Your Skin

The skin is a mirror to our internal health, and its close connection to the gut makes it a good gauge of how well our digestive system is functioning. After spending some time healing the gut, the skin will naturally balance out. You might find that you have a greater sense of overall wellbeing as well, as your digestion, energy, and mood will also improve! If you are ready to repair your gut and revive your skin to it’s healthy, glowing past, contact me to get started on the path to beautiful skin.  

I want to hear from you:
What is your experience with Leaky Gut? Please let us know! Leave a comment below.

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