• Victoria Purdon

How Leaky Gut May Be Causing Your Skin Issues ( & What To Do About It)

More and more research is showing that gut microbiota plays an integral part in modulating skin health.

Is it a coincidence that it is common for gut and skin disorders to present together? IBS and rosacea, leaky gut and eczema, bloating/ constipation and acne...

Skin disorders are commonly caused by inflammation and infection.

The gut plays a key role in removing toxins that may cause inflammation and damage, or infection from the body. When these toxins aren't removed via the gut, they are reabsorbed and excreted via other 'exit routes', like the skin.

Our gut also hosts 70% of our immune system: the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue. The vast majority of our immune system lives here because is also where the largest number of infiltrators are. The GALT maintains homeostasis in the gut and can affect the function of the immune system as a whole.

Not only does the gut host this powerful infection and inflammation fighter, but it also holds these pathogens to be excreted IN while only allowing certain small particles that have been "cleared" to pass through the gut lining into the bloodstream.

But what happens when our gut starts to leak...

How Leaky Gut Affects the Skin

What is leaky gut?

Fairly self-explanatory by its descriptive name, leaky gut is when the lining ( the tight junctions that hold everything together) of our gut becomes loose and too permeable. These tight junctions are crucial in upholding the integrity of our gut lining. When they become loose large proteins and pathogens that should be kept within the gut walls, are leaked into the bloodstream.

This can be caused by stress factors in our diets, lifestyles, environments, medications and more.

What happens next is our immune system identifies these large 'foreign' substances from the gut in the bloodstream and attack them as invaders.

Now, remember, the immune system engages inflammation to acutely attack invaders. This is useful for cleaning up acute experiences, but If leaky gut is persistent, chronic inflammation can stress the body.

How does this affect this skin? Our blood vessels run right under our skin tissue. Our skin tissue is also our largest detoxification organ. You better bet that if there is inflammation in the bloodstream, it is likely that those identified toxins will want to be excreted via the skin. Alternatively, at low levels, they may collect in the tissue, causing an imbalance in the homeostasis of the skin causing issues like acne, eczema, urticaria, redness...

Do I have a leaky gut?

The symptoms of a leaky gut are varied depending on your bodies health history. They can present as:

  • chronic diarrhoea, constipation, or bloating

  • nutritional deficiencies

  • fatigue

  • headaches

  • confusion

  • difficulty concentrating

  • skin problems, such as acne, rashes, or eczema

  • joint pain

  • widespread inflammation

Symptoms of leaky gut can lead to:

  • skin issues

  • digestive issues

  • inflammation

  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Crohn’s disease

  • celiac disease

  • chronic liver disease

  • diabetes

  • food allergies and sensitivities

  • polycystic ovary syndrome

  • autoimmune diseases

I Have Symptoms Of Leaky Gut - What Next?

The next best thing to do would be to consult a professional. Symptoms of leaky gut don't necessarily mean you have it. As we know, prevention is the best treatment and the below suggestions stand in good stead for both. Treatment will be different for each individual, but a good place to start for most is to:

Focus on removing inflammatory components such as:

  • processed foods

  • food sensitivities like gluten, dairy, FODMAP foods

  • sugar

  • alcohol

  • stress

  • environmental toxins

  • smoking

And increase gut nourishing components such as

  • targeted probiotics ( via supplementation/ food)

  • prebiotic foods

  • leafy greens

  • water

  • fibre

  • breathing techniques

A Standard Gut Healing Format You Can Use Is The 4 R Protocol

First - Remove the thing(s) that are causing the damage

Second - Replace those inflammatory items with anti-inflammatory ones

Third - begin to nourish the microbiome by Reinoculating with pre and probiotics

Fourth - Repair the damage by addressing any insufficiencies and using specific nutrients and components to restore the tight junctions and intestinal lining.

This is a protocol I often use with clients, mixing up the order of the "R's", nutrients and supplements as fit for the individual. As you can imagine, this is not an overnight fix. Think about how long it took for your gut to become damaged... The body needs time and the right components to repair so have compassion with yourself through the journey and most importantly, get clear on your reason to stick to the changes.

Working with a qualified practitioner can take a lot of the guesswork out to save you time, and keep you accountable and on track through the process. Let's work together to find out the root cause of what is causing disruption in your digestive system and how to get it back on track.

Feel like it's time to start sorting out your gut? Feel free to book in for a call to see how I can help you!

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