It’s a very familiar concept in naturopathic medicine that the health of the skin is directly linked to the health of the gut. Often, when we’re experiencing skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and seemingly “random” rashes, we can track the root cause back to the gastrointestinal tract.
Most will agree that what we put into our bodies (food, drink, etc.) will shape our overall health. When we take this a step further, we realize our small and large intestines are a perfect microcosm of balanced flora – naturally occurring bacteria that work in synergy to keep the pathogenic bacterial strains and yeast in check. A multitude of things may imbalance our flora; a few of the most common causes are constipation, eating foods we are sensitive or allergic to, and too often eating on the run.
At the cellular level, inflammation is occurring in the lining of the digestive tract which impacts the immune system – it now is in a state of heightened reaction in order to deal with the inflammation. The link between the gut and the skin is this: immune complexes are formed as the body attempts to repair the inflammation in the gut and it is these complexes that are ultimately deposited in the skin which leads to skin conditions. We are left wondering, “what did I do to cause this eczema??”
The digestive system is one of my favorite areas of focus, as so much can change when we optimize the functioning of the gut: skin rashes disappear, colds become less chronic, lethary fades to a state of healthy, sustainable energy, sleep improves, hormones normalize, moods balance…you get the idea!
Basically, the health of your digestive system greatly impacts the health of your entire body – no one organ system functions independently from the rest.