clear skin

Know your sh*t!

OK, let's just cut the crap right here (See what I did there?). Poo is no longer a taboo topic and something you will just have to get use to me talking about! It is an important part of your skin and overall health, I promise! You all know now from reading my blogs, that our gut is our second brain and that 80% of our immune system is in our gut, etc etc. Well our poo (which if you didn't already know, starts in our gut) can reveal A LOT of information about our health.

It can tell us a lot about the balance of bacteria in our gut, how well we’re absorbing nutrients, and whether our body is detoxifying toxins properly. Our daily intake of food is typically three to four meals a day for most. Our body will absorb what it needs from those meals and then excrete the rest. (2)Our bodies way of doing this is via having daily bowel motions. Yes, daily! I cringe if I ask my patients/ clients how often they move their bowels and they respond with anything less than once a day. When the gut is functioning normally, you should expect to have a bowel movement at least once a day, and up to three times in a day can be normal for most.

So, you might be thinking, well aren't you a skin and gut specialist so why are you talking about poo? Well remember, your skin is our largest organ and a major form of elimination for the body. If you aren't moving your bowels regularly then the toxins will try to excrete elsewhere. The face is covered in pores just waiting to excrete toxins in the form of lovely pustules! Now, for the women reading, this is the most important information you need to take from my blog! You MUST have regular bowel motions to ensure your body does not store toxic hormones. Our bodies produce hormones, and the liver is responsible for processing and inactivating them. Our hormones go through a process of deactivation to be moved out of the body via the gut. If our bowel motions are not regular, the hormones can hang around a little too long in the gut causing an overload. Our gut then produces an enzyme called "beta-glucuronidase" which causes our body to recycle the toxic hormone. For women, this means disruptions to our bodies rhythm, causing issues such as irregular menstrual cycles, purges of acne, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety and also thyroid disorders. Not to mention increase risk of hormonally derived cancers like breast and ovarian cancers.(1)

I recently assisted my best friend through a terrible health  ordeal which started with prolonged constipation. This constipation had been getting progressively worse over three months. Every specialist she saw, prescribed her laxatives of some form or informed her that her future would require a colostomy bag as her bowels were no longer working sufficiently. This was her experience with the conventional medical approach (not to say everyone's experience is like this). No answer as to why at the age of 25, young and fit, her bowels had just stopped working, but instead, a whole list of terrifying interventions. My friend decided to take her health into her own hands and started watching very carefully what she was putting into her body and how her body was reacting. After some time and a lot of research, she had found that a certain preservative that was in her protein powder and a couple of other daily regular packaged foods, was causing the issue. Since cleaning up her diet and eliminating this preservative, her bowel motions have become a lot more regular without the use of laxatives and she has learnt to read her stools and link them to her her food intake. She found her root cause and focused on this which in turn eased the symptoms, instead of treating a symptom which would not fix her root cause (in fact it would have made it worse long term!). And to think, just a few months ago we were bracing ourselves for the life altering procedure of a colostomy bag!!!!

Knowing your own body and how it works, is so empowering. We pay hundreds of dollars for maintenance services on our cars, yet think its too expensive for testing and professional guidance when it comes to our bodies?We know the ins and outs of how our computers and iphones work, but so many of us have no idea how our body is meant to function. We seem to think that that's just the Doctors job. We didn't study medicine, so what would we know? For me that's just not good enough, the health of myself and my loved ones, is the most important thing in the world. I sure as hell don't want to leave that up to a 5 minute consult with a random Doctor once or twice a year. Know your body, know what the root cause of your health concern is. If you don't get the answer from one Doctor, see a Naturopath or a Functional treating Doctor. If they don't find the answer, go to ten more! Research yourself! There is a root cause for all of your health concerns, but the biggest problem of all is not knowing you need to find it. Don't be that patient who is on ten different medications all counteracting each other and treating the symptoms not the cause.

My online consulting will cover bowel motions and I will assist you in learning how to read your own stool and how to encourage regular healthy bowel motions, if you aren't already having them. Your skin will start to clear up and your body will thank you for it, I promise!



 

The Gut & Skin Link

Gut health seems to be a very popular topic at the moment, and rightfully so! Our gut is the root cause of majority of our health concerns, especially when it comes to the skin!

Two years ago I started working in the hospital as a Registered Nurse. I believed I had drew the short straw when I was allocated a full time position on the gastrointestinal ward. I was hoping to be placed on the plastic reconstructive ward so that I could learn all about the skin and its anatomical structure. I believed this would equip me better when treating my patients skin in the cosmetic world.

It turns out the short straw I drew was instead the universes push in the direction of my new found passion and carer and provided me with an abundance of valuable knowledge.

Working on the gastrointestinal ward, taught me the western medical diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of bowel complications. I learnt a great deal about the gut, but unfortunately found when it came to treatment, medications were the soul and primary focus.

The gut includes everything from the mouth all the way through to the anus. Its primary responsibility is to absorb the nutrients from our food, house both good and bad bacteria and then excrete any waste from our bodies.

Studies have shown, there is a direct link between both gut and skin health and gut and brain health. We know now that 80 percent of our immune system cells are found in our gut (1). 80 percent! It is any wonder we are noticing a rise in 21st century illness’ such as, food allergies, eczema, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome etc. This is why I place a huge emphasis when treating my patients on the need to heal their skin/bodies from inside out.  

When we constantly put our gut under stress with our ignorant western diet, we damage our intestinal tract and jeopardise our skins defence system. The skin's main function is to act as a physical, chemical and antimicrobial barrier.

When the gut is under stress and sparking inflammation, it can impair the integrity and protective function of the guts barrier, this can lead to a permeable gut wall. This is quite commonly referred to as a ‘leaky gut’. A leaky gut means that the gastrointestinal system is now allowing toxins and undigested food through the gut wall and directly into the bloodstream. This ‘leak’ then causes systemic inflammation. As the body is now full of these harmful toxins, its main objective is to excrete them. Due to the skins decrease in its antimicrobial defence system, we can unfortunately notice an increase in infection and inflammation as a form of excretion through the skin.

Whether you have been informed you have gut issues or not, being kind to your gut is imperative for your overall health. There are tests that can be done in clinic to determine intestinal disorders however we can all take small measures every day to ensure optimal gut health and prevent future risks.

I will be writing more in depth blogs in the months to come explaining how certain foods affect our gut health and the importance of our microbial system, but for now here are some of my personal top tips to ensure you are being kind to your gut today and creating the glow from inside out!

  • Take a daily oral probiotic. Probiotics have been shown to decrease lipopolysaccharide (an endotoxin that triggers major inflammatory response in the gut) , improve intestinal barrier function and reduce inflammation.

  • Incorporate fermented and cultured foods into your diet that are naturally rich with probiotics. Ie, sauerkraut, coconut yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi etc.
  • Start taking L-Glutamine  supplements. This is an essential amino acid and helps reduce inflammation and fuels the cells that line the intestine which can aid in the repair of the gut and intestinal lining.

  • Remove/ reduce refined sugar from your diet!

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Vighi, G., Marcucci, F., Sensi, L., Di Cara, G., & Frati, F. (2008). Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 153(Suppl 1), 3–6. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x