If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I talk about the gut and digestive health quite often. I believe that the gut is the powerhouse of the body. When you look at the root cause of any health condition or symptom, compromised gut health almost always plays a role. This is an important topic for me because I have dealt with chronic inflammation and digestive issues my whole life and developed adult acne about 2.5 years ago. Although the symptoms of acne appear on the exterior, the underlying imbalance lies within you. They say that the skin is a window to your health, specifically the gut and the liver. Diet and digestive health, genetics, hormones and liver function all play an essential role in addressing acne. But today, I would like to discuss the connection between your gut, liver, and acne.
So, let us start with the gut …
To fully repair and heal the skin one must take a closer look at their diet and gut health. Leaky gut syndrome, food allergies/sensitivities and dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance in the gut), can play a significant role in creating inflammation in the skin. Research shows a clear association between gut problems and skin disorders. A study done in 2008 indicated that small intestine bacterial overgrowth, also known as SIBO (a type of dysbiosis), a condition involving overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, is 10 times more common in people with acne rosacea than in healthy controls, and that correction of SIBO in these individuals led to marked clinical improvement.
And now, the liver …
The microbes that live in your gut can have a profound effect on the health of your liver. If you have too much of the wrong bacteria in your stomach, it can cause significant inflammation. This inflammation leads to leaky gut which sets off a chain reaction that eventually leads to inflammation of the liver. You see, there is a portal vein which directly connects the GI tract to the liver. This portal vein makes it easier for suspect content in the gut to be deposited directly into the liver. When the liver overloads with inflammatory bi-products, too much hormone such as androgens or estrogens, too much alcohol or sugar, the resulting overload can result in skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. When the liver is congested and unable to break down toxins, your body makes every attempt to evacuate these toxins through other ways, such as your skin.
How to nurture your gut & liver for better skin
- Your diet should consist of fresh, organic vegetables, and raw nuts and seeds. If you eat animal products, purchase organic and free-range kinds when possible.
- Reducing the intake of alcohol, fried foods, sugar, and drugs.
- Figure out what foods are causing inflammation and remove them from your diet.
- Support your liver with liver-specific herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion, and burdock.
- Heal the lining of your intestines with an L-Glutamine supplement. L-Glutamine helps to heal and seal the gut because it provides fuel for the intestinal cells; helping to repair and regenerate them.