It’s easy to forget the importance of our skin as a functioning organ, which makes up six to 10% of our total body weight. It is our largest organ and comprises of our nails and hair, too. If your skin doesn’t look good, this may be a sign that there’s something wrong with your health. Whether you have acne, eczema, dermatitis, or rosacea, you will be surprised that these skin conditions could signal you have a gut problem.
Primer on Gut Inflammation
There are two types of bacteria in the digestive system: probiotics or the good bacteria and the bad bacteria. As long as they are balanced, you are safe. But if the bad guys take over, this can become a problem, such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or gut dysbiosis. The bacteria will attack the walls of the gut and can lead to leaky gut syndrome, causing substances to leak, including:
- Undigested food
- Toxins coming from the breakdown of bacteria
As they leak, consequences arise, such as increased chronic inflammation in which skin becomes overloaded with acne and other impurities.
The Skin-Gut Link
The connection between the skin and the digestive system isn’t just speculation. There have been a number of studies that showed the link:
- A study showed that out of 114 patients with acne, 54% of them had SIBO.
- A Korean study discovered that a dairy beverage with lactobacillus can reduce acne inflammation by up to 40%, while lowering pimple count up to 23%.
- Another study showed those with SIBO have 10x the risk of developing rosacea acne.
To address the acne problem, the key lies in your gut. You have to get rid of gut issues, which can be a result of the following habits:
- Too much antibiotic consumption since antibiotics can kill both good and bad bacteria especially when used in the long term
- The inability of a person to manage stress
- Not getting enough sleep
- Low levels of stomach acid
- Eating too much processed food
- Lack of fiber intake from plants as well as other prebiotic foods
The truth is there is no exact treatment for gut inflammation. But this doesn’t mean you can’t deal with the problem with some common sense. Take note of the causes of gut issues and start from there. For instance, since too much antibiotics can lead to gut problems, you should not take them unless you really need them. Avoid processed foods and consume fermented and probiotics instead to keep your gut healthy and your skin clear.