26 April Your Gut Might Be Causing Your Skin Inflammation Concerns
Is it possible you have been treated for skin concerns without addressing a key underlying cause of the problem? It might be that the skin concern is a by-product of another bodily function; the gut.
What is a gut microbiome?
Our gut microbiome is a huge ecosystem of trillions of microorganisms including bacteria, yeasts, fungi and viruses that colonise the whole lining of the bowel. Some scientists identify the gut microbiome as ‘another organ’ as it plays a vital role in our health and wellbeing.
What role does our Gut Health play in our mind and body?
The gut microbiome influences both our normal physiology and disease processes, and a weak gut microbiome has also been linked to skin conditions including inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea.
The gut microbiome supports our bodies by performing some essential functions, including food metabolism, vitamin production, influencing levels of cholesterol and blood lipids, helping to protect our blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. The gut microbiome is also involved in the development of inflammatory cells, allowing it to lower levels of inflammation both in the bowel and throughout the body, reducing chronic systemic inflammation. It also plays a vital role in our immune system.
Our gut is where serotonin, our happy hormone is made. Our gut microbiome plays a big role in stress management, as it has been linked to both brain health and mental health. Research has also shown that the gut microbiome influences metabolism and may be influential with our weight and appetite, and that when functioning well it also helps to control allergies.
Disruption in the gut microbiome has been linked to indigestion, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), obesity and metabolic syndrome; conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
What is the cause of poor Gut Health?
The gut microbiome is influenced by genetics, environmental factors such as antibiotics, and our diet. When we don’t have a good diversity of microorganisms within our gut, we can start to experience many symptoms and illnesses that we wouldn’t have linked to our intestines at all. The skin also has a microbiome, and research has highlighted a link between the two. Studies into the causes of rosacea, for example, have found imbalances of certain bacteria in the gut of rosacea patients, as well as H.Pylori colonisation in the stomach, which is also linked to various gastrointestinal conditions including ulcers.
So how do we strengthen our gut microbiome and reap the health benefits?
Probiotics are live bacteria that we ingest to add beneficial bacteria to our gut. Probiotics are natural fibres that we ingest to feed all of the beneficial microorganisms in our bowel that then multiply and create a stronger, healthier microbiome. When probiotic fibres are broken down by the microbiome, they produce by-products, which support the immune system and the body’s inflammatory response, reducing allergies, and they also help glucose metabolise, so you get reduced blood sugar spikes. Some scientists believe that these by-products may also prevent some bowel cancers.
A healthy gut is a window to our overall health, and an innovative test using a simple stool sample provides a great deal of information about our gut microbiome.
The GI-MAP is a DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which allows us to diagnose disease with very small sample amounts. The GI-MAP is helpful in detecting and identifying pathogens, inflammation, malabsorption and potential autoimmune triggers. Chronic GI symptoms, autoimmune conditions, cognitive challenges, skin conditions, joint pain, hormonal imbalances, food sensitivities and many other health issues can often be traced to pathogens in the gut or an imbalance in the gut microbiome.
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