The Microbiome and Skin connection
I wish more dermatologists were aware of the critical connection between gut health and good skin. I have been suffering with a rash around my mouth for the past two years. I have tried many temporary solutions such as taking doxycyline pills and using immunosuppresent creams such as Elidel. The problem with these solutions is that they are temporary. I’ve learned that the only way to actually heal my skin for good is to fix what’s really going on: inflammation in my gut.
The gut compromises more than 70 PERCENT of your body’s immune system. That means if your gut health is failing, your immune system is also failing.
The balance of good bacteria to bad bacteria is supposed to be around 80 percent good and 20 percent bad. However, there are many ways in which this balance can be thrown off. Some examples are birth control pills, a diet high in sugar and caffeine, as well as antibiotic use (even if it is a short course, it still has extremely detrimental impact on your gut health). I have been on the birth control pill and multiple rounds of antibiotics, so therefore my gut has never had time to repair itself fully. If you have a lot of bad bacteria, there will be lots of inflammation in your body. Inflammation can show up in many different ways. One way is skin issues, which is what I have experienced. Other symptoms of unbalanced bacteria include joint pain, digestive problems and mood disorders.
So how do you fix your gut? There are four steps.
- Remove irritating foods from your diet that could be problematic. These include: gluten, dairy, sugar, eggs, nuts, corn and soy. These all have the potential to irritate your gut lining, so it is best to remove these foods. You should also remove alcohol, caffeine, grains and processed meats. This diet is meant to be completely healing and therefore should contain high quality fats, proteins, fruits and vegetables.
- Kill off the bad microbes in your gut. There are many different herbs you can use for this, but I am currently using Berberine because it has the ability to kill off a wide number of bad bacteria.
- Take L-Glutamine. This incredible supplement repairs the lining of your gut and can help seal it back up.
- Probiotics!!! You should take at least three caps of a high quality probiotic every single day. These should be refrigerated and contain multiple strains of bacteria. You should also eat lots of fermented food such as kimchi, kefir, or sauerkraut because these contain beneficial bacteria. In addition, prebiotics are important because they are food for the probiotic. Prebiotics include: Garlic, artichokes, dandelion root, banana, leeks, raw onion.
You should also supplement with zinc and vitamin D if you’re not getting enough from the sun. Aloe vera gel and apple cider vinegar are two other elixirs that can be included in smoothies or teas. Consider adding freshly grated turmeric and ginger into your tea and smoothies as well because they are both very anti-inflammatory.
I am starting this protocol, and will be updating on how it works for me. I am hoping this gets to the root of what is going on and fixes my skin once and for all.