It is rapidly becoming better understood that many diseases and medical problems begin in the gut.
After all, our digestive system is key to fueling the body’s natural functions, so when there’s a problem somewhere in that system, it stands to reason that imbalances can occur and issues arise as a result.
If you suffer from acne-prone skin, you may be wondering whether your gut is causing your problem, and indeed it does appear that this could be the case. Let’s take a closer look at how the digestive system and acne are connected.
How Would I Know If My Acne Was Caused By A Digestive Problem?
It can be tricky to determine whether your digestive health could be causing your acne, however there are a few key questions you can ask to help pinpoint the answer:
- Do your breakouts usually occur 24-48 hours after you eat specific foods such as fatty food, red meat or sugar?
- Is there no clear cyclical pattern to your breakouts?
- Do you break out in specific areas? Your forehead is most likely to be connected to your gut, so if you regularly suffer from pimples here, this is a good sign that your digestive health is to blame.
- Do you experience stomach aches regularly, or have any other kind of gastrointestinal problems?
- Do you experience breakouts during, after or before periods when you’re experiencing gastrointestinal problems?
How Does Gut Health Cause Acne?
Your digestive health affects your skin in several ways:
What are you eating? Firstly, take a look at the foods you regularly consume. Is your diet high in bad fats, trans-fats and sugar? Do you eat lots of highly processed food? Are you eating a well-balanced diet? If not, you’ll find that your whole body will experience imbalances, and acne is a key symptom of this.
How do you process foods? Active digestion begins with saliva in your mouth. That means you should focus on chewing food thoroughly to allow the saliva to begin breaking down starches and proteins.
Once you swallow, the food will travel to the stomach where digestive secretions are produced. A common problem is insufficient digestive secretions to break the food down completely. If this is the case of you, food will then travel down to the intestines without being fully digested. This means your intestines need to continue the work that the upper GI tract should have finished in breaking down the food completely before moving onto its own role of taking out the nutrients which feed your whole body.
When your lower GI tract has to work extra hard like this, it cannot metabolize fats properly and they end up getting into the bloodstream and liver. With time, this will slow down your body’s complex systems.
It also results in your liver creating collateral veins which put blood which remains unfiltered into general circulation around your body. This, in turn, results in bodily imbalances including acne.
How Can I Get Rid Of Acne Which Is Caused By Poor Gut Health?
Once you’ve determined the cause of your acne, you can then address it. You may have an allergy to a specific food type which means your body can’t digest it properly resulting in acne.
Alternatively, your body may be too stressed, and you may need to find a way of calming down. Here are some steps to take to help you eliminate your gut-related acne problem:
- Drink more water – this will flush out the build-up of toxins in your body to improve your skin health.
- Keep a food diary – this will help you to pinpoint any foods which are causing your breakouts.
- Take bitter herbs like lemon balm which will help to improve the digestion in your upper tract and avoid the problem of undigested food moving down to your intestines.
- Eat more probiotic foods. Foods which have been fermented such as sauerkraut, pickles, natural yogurt, kimchi, kefir and kombucha are all known to have probiotic properties which promote a better level of balance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut. You could also consider taking a probiotic supplement which will help to restore that natural balance.
- Eat more prebiotic foods. Foods like wholegrains, fruits and vegetables contain natural fibers which also promote a healthy digestive system. By including lots of these healthy and wholesome foods in your everyday diet, you’ll find that your gut health will improve, and you’ll experience fewer breakouts as a result.
- Protect your liver and lower GI health by taking herbs which are known to help your liver to function more effectively. Demulcent herbs such as marshmallow will coat your intestines’ lining, protecting it from the corrosion which can occur as part of the digestive process. Marshmallow is known for its excellent ability to reduce distress in the lower GI tract. Burdock is another useful herb to take which helps your body to increase the secretions through its digestive system and process toxicity more efficiently, while milk thistle taken as a supplement will protect and strengthen your liver.
- Eat more good fats. There are good fats and bad fats. Good fats are found in foods like olives and avocados. Fat is a vital energy store and building block in your body, and without these good fats, your body cannot be properly sustained. It’s important to make sure that you get sufficient good fats without increasing your consumption of the bad ones like animal fats.
Improve Your Gut Health, Reduce Your Breakouts!
If you’re experiencing acne breakouts on a regular basis, it’s definitely worthwhile putting changes in place to improve your gut health.
Not only may you reduce the number of breakouts your experience, but you will also enjoy a number of other benefits.
From reduced digestive discomfort to a more restful sleep, and from higher energy levels to reduced bloating and improved weight loss, switching your diet to a healthier one which includes the right supplements, prebiotics and probiotics could not only hold a host of advantages for your complexion, but for your whole body too.