SKIN HEALING SERIES: CHAPTER 3
IT ALL STARTS IN THE GUT
Our gut is home to a vast ecosystem that influences essentially every aspect of our health. We view the gut’s ecosystem as a community of living organisms that interact with one another to create physical harmony throughout the rest of the body. This ecosystem comprised of bacteria, fungi and viruses, is in direct communication with all other systems within our body that play a role to support and protect our wellbeing.
Experiencing any of the above creates disharmony within our digestive system and impacts the delicate balance of our guts ecosystem. This imbalance triggers our immune system to increase inflammation, which over time can damage the lining of our gut. Our gut lining is essentially a wall that keeps things that need to stay within the gut, within the gut. It allows for the passage of beneficial nutrients into the body but keeps harmful microbes and substances out. When it is damaged, small openings allow things like gut microbes to escape into our bloodstream and relocate to other ecosystems within the body – like the ecosystem within and on the skin.
Unfortunately, these microbes don’t belong to this ecosystem, and this disruption triggers our immune system within the skin to once again release substances that increase inflammation, causing skin issues to develop or worsen.
Skin issues are driven predominantly by inflammatory/immune influences.
So how can we protect our guts and prevent this from happening?
- Reduce/eliminate inflammatory foods and drinks in the diet e.g. refined/processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and deep fried foods.
- Consume a diverse range of wholefoods in the diet – eat less from a packet more from the earth. Fibre found in fruits, vegetables and legumes help to nourish our guts ecosystem.
- Eat three, balanced, regular meals throughout the day to encourage regularity.
- Get comfortable with eating more bitter and sour tasting foods e.g. include more dark leafy green vegetables and citrus into the diet.
- Develop a set of tools to manage stress (refer to our last journal entry for some pointers).
The gut ~ skin ~ brain connection
These three organs (gut, skin, brain) are formed from the same bit of embryonic tissue in utero and remain connected for life. To extend on this, every single internal organ and body system is in constant communication with one another to keep us functioning, so when something isn't right, we often find a domino effect with our health.