The Gut-Skin Connection: Improving Digestion for Healthy Skin

Healthy skin is the sign of a healthy body. When psoriasis, eczema, adult acne, and other common skin conditions arise, it's often because of stress - and a poorly functioning digestive system.

Healthy skin is the sign of a healthy body. We may take this for granted as adults when persistent skin issues seem to be a thing of the past. If there’s one thing many of us can commiserate over as adults now, it’s bad skin as a kid. Acne, red blemishes, and rashes have long been the culprit for teenagers swearing off social events and hiding in their bedrooms. The thing is, bad skin can happen at any age – and yes, adult acne can even creep back in during adulthood.

The enemy of healthy skin? Stress and a poorly functioning digestive system.

Stress? Okay, that makes sense, right? After all, we heard that “hormones” were to blame for acne growing up and when we’re stressed, our bodies release the biggest “red flag” hormone there is—cortisol. But digestion? How does how you process food impact your skin? Well, everything.

The Connection Between Digestion and Healthy Skin

When a patient comes to me with skin issues, the very first thing we talk about is their digestion.

  • How are they digesting food?
  • What foods are they digesting?
  • Is their immune system causing inflammation?
  • Is the food they’re eating feeding the bacteria and causing an overgrowth?
  • Could their skin condition actually be a categorized autoimmune condition (such as psoriasis) that is trying to protect itself against the cells?
  • Are they experiencing constipation?

Again, I fully understand that from the outside looking in, these questions would never be expected from someone suffering from a bad case of acne. As the largest organ in our bodies, however, our skin is a fantastic external indicator of when something isn’t balanced or working properly internally.

Common Skin Conditions: Is Your Gut Health to Blame?

Take some time and ask yourself the same questions I asked above. Do you notice a difference in your skin (or mood or energy levels) when you digest a certain food? Also, take into consideration if you’re dealing with heartburn, bloating and IBS on a consistent basis.

The amazing thing about our bodies is that they are ALWAYS working to tell us what’s happening—we just need to listen.

Common skin conditions and indicators include:

  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Pallid Complexion

Testing and Solutions to Improve Your Gut – and Your Skin

Healthy skin is possible – let’s start with testing.

  1. The first test I highly recommend is a food sensitivity panel which will test 96 different possible triggers. From there we can assess what is triggering your immune system and causing inflammation—which could also be causing autoimmunity within your body. You can do this at home with my IgG & IgA Food Sensitivity Home Testing Kit. It’s also important to note that if you do discover that multiple foods are causing inflammation, then we know you are also dealing with leaky gut. Healing your leaky gut will be key to getting everything back in balance, inside and outside.
  2. Next, a DNA panel of the gut bacteria (by way of a stool sample) can tell us what kind of bacteria is living inside of the gut and if there is too much or too little of the good bacteria your body needs.
  3. Finally, a breath test may be necessary, especially if you are experiencing a lot of bloating higher up in your digestive system, as that may be an indicator of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

Improving Digestion for Healthy Skin

While every patient ultimately receives a customized plan to treat and heal their specific conditions, the most common treatment options include:

  • Eliminating the foods that are inflammatory to your system.
  • Using digestive enzymes to help your body better digest your food with each meal.
  • Healing the intestinal cells that are damaged due to leaky gut.

Two additional holistic solutions are often overlooked or misused. The first is using magnesium to improve regularity if you are frequently constipated. Our bowels are one of the many forms of detoxification, so it’s essential that the toxins are being eliminated and far too many people live with daily constipation.

Secondly, I find that people often misuse or overuse probiotics with products such as kombucha, fermented foods, and excessive amounts of yogurt. In fact, as a culture, we went a little “bacteria happy”—and as a result, we saw an overgrowth of good bacteria in the gut. I recommend a quality probiotic to ensure a proper balance of bacteria, without overdoing the healthy flora.

Connect With Dr. Doni…

Like so many of my patients, healing your gut and the accompanying inflammations will have a ripple effect on your health – in all the best ways. You’ll find changes in your mental health such as improved mood, reduced anxiety, and more energy. You’ll also feel improvements in your physical health with decreased pain and regular menstrual cycles.

To learn more about improving your digestion, I invite you to look into my Leaky Gut Program or start yourself on my 21-Day Stress Remedy Program. Within 3 short weeks, you can be on your way to optimized health for a stronger body and mind.

Finally, I’d love for you to take a quick watch to an interview I did with Dr. Trevor Cates last year all about how stress impacts our bodies – and the SOS signs our bodies are giving us when it’s time for a change.