The Link Between Digestion & Your Skin

June 03, 2022

How does your digestive health impact the health of your skin?  

Many people, of all ages, struggle with skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, dry skin, psoriasis and more. It can be very upsetting when a solution to skin concerns has not been found. A key part to understanding how to address skin concerns is to look at the health of your digestion.  

The skin is our largest organ and first barrier of defense against physical, chemical and bacterial challenges in our environment. Millions of bacteria live on your skin and when in the right balance they maintain your skin’s overall health. 

Your digestive system also hosts trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that help keep your system working properly, called the intestinal microbiome. The bacteria are needed to help digest food, regulate hormones and neurotransmitters, excrete toxins, produce vitamins and other key tasks to keep your gut healthy. Your stress response, mood, sleep, metabolism, weight, hormones, and skin health all depend on the health of your digestive system.  

When the integrity of the intestinal microbiome is impaired it can have an impact on skin. This connection is referred to as the gut-skin axis.   

The gut-skin axis communicates through a complex connection between the intestinal microbiome and the nervous, immune, metabolic and endocrine systems as well as environmental factors.

Bacteria and bacteria byproducts interact with your immune system, metabolism, and endocrine pathways. When this system is compromised due to intestinal dysbiosis, it creates stress-related responses in the skin through the gut-skin axis. The bacteria in the gut can then impact things like skin cell turnover and different skin conditions including rosacea, dermatitis, and acne.

Intestinal dysbiosis is the imbalance of helpful and not so helpful bacteria in the intestinal microbiome.  It impairs the immune system and increases skin inflammation.  

A number of factors can influence intestinal dysbiosis.

  • Nutrition is a major factor. Processed foods, sugar, low fibre, alcohol and genetically modified foods can all negatively impact your gut microbiome. 
  • Antibiotic use depletes the level of helpful bacteria alongside pathogenic bacteria.
  • It’s important to recognize that many lifestyle factors not related to food or medication are equally important.  Ongoing stress, poor quality sleep and environmental toxins are also factors for disrupting the gut-skin axis.

To discuss your digestive health concerns book a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Ramlal, ND and we can create a strategic plan to get your sleeping and feeling better.

 Click here to book an appointment with Dr. Ramlal, Naturopathic Doctor.

Dr. Ramlal believes that we can all be the best version of ourselves and this starts with taking care of our health.  We are worthy of having the life we want and doing all the amazing things we want to do. She is passionate about looking at the bigger picture of the factors that shape our health and curating strategies to help others reach their greatest potential. Dr. Ramlal has a strong belief in creating a space to cultivate growth, awareness and fostering the mind-body connection to nourish the foundations of health. As a clinician, her area of focus is helping those with digestive concerns such as irritable bowel syndrome, break free from the constraints of diarrhea, bloating and constipation that are keeping them from living and feeling their best.

I would love to hear from you, let’s connect on Instagram @drroxanneramlal

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