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Skin Problems? Learn Why Your Gut Holds The Key To Beautiful Skin

Skin health and skin problems is intricately connected to the health of our gut. The gut, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, is responsible for processing food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste. However, it also plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall health and appearance of our skin. 

One important aspect of the gut-skin connection is the concept of “leaky gut.” Leaky gut, or increased intestinal permeability, occurs when the lining of the gut becomes damaged and allows toxins, undigested food particles, and bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This can trigger inflammation throughout the body, including the skin, leading to a range of skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and psoriasis.

Rosacea, a chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness, flushing, and small pimples, has been linked to impaired gut health and leaky gut. Research suggests that the inflammation caused by gut dysbiosis, an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, can contribute to rosacea flare-ups (*). By addressing gut dysbiosis and promoting a healthy gut environment, it is possible to alleviate symptoms of rosacea and improve skin health.

Acne, a common skin condition characterized by pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads, has also been associated with gut imbalances. Studies have shown a correlation between gut dysbiosis and the severity of acne. The presence of harmful bacteria in the gut can contribute to chronic inflammation and clogged pores, leading to breakouts. By restoring a healthy balance of gut bacteria through dietary changes, supplementation, and lifestyle modifications, individuals can improve their acne symptoms and promote clearer skin.

Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin, is another condition that can be influenced by the gut-skin connection. Research suggests that gut dysbiosis and an overactive immune system can contribute to the development and flare-ups of psoriasis. By optimizing gut health and reducing inflammation in the gut, individuals with psoriasis may experience a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in skin appearance.

Rosacea and Gut Health.

Rosacea has been reported associated with various gastrointestinal diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Video Transcription

Hey Everybody Dr Hagmeyer here and today I wanted to shoot this video on something that I think a lot of people suffer from and find themselves really at a loss of what to do and after numerous attempts at antibiotics, cortisone, creams, lotions, moisturizers, they just give up and live with it. And because we live in a society where we are constantly being judged by our outer appearance our self esteem our self worth realy at times can take a beating.

And so if that’s you….. This video ….. I hope that after watching it, you will understand some of root causes behind these problems and walk away with some things you can do to start turning this around. What If I told you that the psoriasis, acne, the Rosacea, the Itchy skin, the bumps, hives, seborrheic dermatitis are probably coming from your gut.

in other words, your skin problem is not coming from you skin…….. its coming from an unhealthy gut.

Would you believe me? Now I will tell you as a doctor who works with patients with all kinds of chronic health problems, most of my patients who have this itchy unhealthy skin, eczema, psoriasis, almost always have gut issues.

And if you can identify some of the causes behind WHY the gut is unhealthy- you can have nice healthy skin. This is a classic example of how sometimes… if we all we do is focus on the area where the symptoms are- we will miss where the actual problems are rooted.

Now I want to talk to you about a couple problems or conditions I often see with patients who have skin conditions and things that you should consider having tested if you are looking to have healthier skin.

But I will also say for the record- that a healthy gut goes a lot further than just healthy skin.

Why Gut health matters when you have skin problems

Here Are The 4 Key Areas To Think About When You Have Skin Problems

#1 Leaky Gut

#2 Infections- overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines (SIBO) Parasite, H.Pylori

#3 Liver/Gallbladder problems- especially important if you have fatigue, and itchy skin and a history of sugar cravings or you are on birth control pills.

#4- Gut Dysbiosis and Inflammation

#1 Leaky Gut and Unhealthy Skin

Let’s start with something called a leaky gut. – If you don’t already know this, A leaky gut is a condition where the gut becomes inflamed and the areas called called tight junctions are no longer tight.Instead of acting like a protective barrier they have become more porous (like Swiss cheese). You can see that here in this illustration.

The problem with this is that normally toxins, bacteria, hormones, large proteins like gluten would be prevented from entering the bloodstream because of this “tightness” but because that tight junction is more porous- these foreign agents- are now able to cross this barrier. This is not good because this causes wide spread inflammation throughout the body and this in turn can contribute to skin disease and a “leaky skin” There is a leaky gut, leaky brain, leaky lungs and there is also something called leaky skin.

Studies have shown that both stress and gut inflammation can impair the integrity and protective function of the skin specifically the epidermal barrier. This epidermal barrier produces antimicrobial peptides and can have an impact on the severity of infection and inflammation in the skin.

Leaky gut and Skin problems

Here is some great news if you suffer with acne!  “Various probiotics—particularly Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum have been shown to regulate the production of those inflammatory cytokines,” this means they have the ability to reduce inflammation at the skin. This is really about the loss of immune tolerance. While many people are increasing becoming aware of this leaky gut, the skin and even the brain can also become leaky, leading to problems in their respective areas. As you can see here, this a test of a patient who tested positive for a leaky gut

Testing For Leaky Gut

Click on the button below to learn more about testing for Leaky Gut.

#2 SIBO and Rosacea

The next problem worth considering when you are struggling with unhealthy itchy skin and especially Rosacea is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines known as SIBO. SIBO occurs when the bacteria in the large intestines migrate up and into the small intestines.

There are all kinds of bacteria in the large intestines, but you shouldn’t have the bacteria found in the large intestines present in the small intestines. To detect this you need to have a special test call a Hydrogen and methane breath test. If you have bloating, belching, gas, constipation, diarrhea, intolerance to probiotics, you eat fruit and you feel bloated- if you have all of these things and you skin problem you might be suffering with SIBO. (I did several videos on SIBO so if you want more information on that just google- Dr Hagmeyer and SIBO or search for it on YOU TUBE)

With SIBO- This is not the kind of infection you get when you have an ear infection or respiratory infection. The problem with SIBO is that it is not very responsive to antibiotics and if you have SIBO you will need to work with a doctor who will have you follow a special low FODMAP diet in addition to getting specialized tests to uncover why you have SIBO.

If you have SIBO, you will need to work very hard at getting rid of it. Not only are you dealing with an infection, it’s not something you just kill and it’s gone. You need to address the root cause of why the SIBO is there in the first place.  A bigger part of correcting SIBO is gut repair. If you think you have SIBO- it’s easy to test for- you will need what is called a 3 hour hydrogen and methane breath test. Another skin condition that has been associated with Crohn’s disease, liver disease, Infection with H.pylori, chronic pancreatitis and gall bladder disease is Rosacea. Here you can see what Rosacea look like.

Rosacea and Gut Health

So to make a long story short- if you have been diagnosed with any of these GI conditions (Crohn’s disease, liver disease, Infection with H.pylori, chronic pancreatitis)  and they were negative, but you haven’t been tested for SIBO– I highly recommend you get this tested. Learn more about SIBO testing.

Other consideration along with SIBO is something called Hypochlorhydria– this is 5 dollar word we doctors use that means low stomach acid.

The thing to know about Hypochlorhydria is that it often goes hand and hand with SIBO: and this has also been associated with Acne. So low stomach acid can cause acne. Another area from infection standpoint implicated in unhealthy skin stems from Parasite or yeast infections: Heres why……..Chronic low-grade infections are often a source of continual inflammation of the gut-skin axis. So as a summary we talked about SIBO, parasites, low stomach acid and H.pylori all being potential root causes of the breakdown in the gut skin barrier and leading to unhealthy skin. Click on the button below to learn more about testing For SIBO.

#3 Liver and Gall Bladder problems

Skin conditions are especially common in women for a number of reasons. You are dealing with fluctuating hormone levels, you are dealing with all kinds of chemicals found in your make up, deodorant, Hair care products, soaps, shampoos, and then there are things like birth control pills, bisphenol A, Phthlates, sodium laurel sulfates, etc

Dr Mercola wrote an article showing that the average woman puts on 168 different kinds of chemicals on their skin on a daily basis.

Another words your skin and your liver is being bombarded not only with chemicals from the outside but also from the inside as in the case of- Leaky gut, endotoxins from infections we just talked about-

When you think about it- some people don’t have a chance. The worse their skin looks, the more they are looking out of desperation to put something on their skin from the outside.

That’s why your liver is so important! If you don’t have a way of eliminating these toxins or your liver is compromised or you have had your gallbladder removed- these toxins can’t be eliminated as efficiently and they can build up in the body. Combine that with the standard American diet and you can see why we have so many skin problems.

Now while we are on the topic of the liver it is worth mentioning that some people especially if you are a woman, and you have a history of autoimmune disease, and you have bloating, and you have abdominal pain and you have itchy skin, and maybe you have high cholesterol, osteoporosis or osteopenia- that you get checked for biliary cholangitis or cirrhosis.

In biliary cirrhosis/cholangitis- little by little the networking of tubes linking your liver to gut are being destroyed. This is a very slow process and can’t always be detected in the early stages. Your bile ducts become scarred and inflamed and then bile can no longer flow through them. Instead this bile build up in the liver and it damages the liver cells and causes more inflammation and scarring. Remember your liver make bile, your gall bladder stores it and the purpose of bile is to breaking down fats, but also remove toxins from the body by moving your bowels. So you better not be constipated! If you remember what I just said, the purpose of bile is to also break down fats. If you can’t break down fats you become bloated, you become vitamin D deficient, your stool is a light gray or light brown. All of these signs could be an indicator of liver/GB problems.

Lets talk about this for a moment-So if you have sluggish bile flow lets say because you have been on birth control pills for a number of years then your ability to digest fats, and remove toxins from the body is going to be compromised. If you don’t get rid of toxins, your body reabsorbs them and you end up with unhealthy skin, acne, itchy skin, dry skin, hives, psoriasis, rosacea, etc

So remember unhealthy skin, unhealthy GI system. Lathering on the potions and lotions and steroids that your dermatologist prescribes topically is not going to fix a systemic problem.

In fact, if it does clear up your skin- you still have the problem on the inside- you just don’t know it because your skin and face look better. Putting a band aid over a cut doesn’t heal the cut! Let’s now talk about the 4th culprit when it comes to unhealthy skin.

#4 Unhealthy Skin and Gut Disbiosis 

When we talk about gut dysbiois we are talking about the gut microbiome and the microbiome is rainforest filled with many kinds of bacterial species. Some good, some bad and some are called opportunistic. Just to give you a little perspective on the greatness of the microbiome. I think the latest is that the human body has about 37.2 trillion cells. Your microbiome has 10 times that number. For many of my patients, they have noticed the correlation of having nice healthy skin prior to antibiotic…. and after antibiotics, very unhealthy skin. This is no surprise as this is well documented throughout the research papers.

Functional Stool Testing sheds light on the Health of the Microbiome

In many cases of skin conditions whether we are talking about Rosacea, Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne, dermatitis herpetiformis, what you see is not only a loss in the abundance of these bacteria you also see reduction in the biological diversity.(*) What that means is that not only is there a reduction in number of good bacteria but also in the various strains. The greater the number of strains, the healthier the gut. I like to use a specialized stool test which is unlike the kind of stool test a Gastroenterologists might look at.

This is called a functional stool test and this test was designed to specifically look at the various strains of the person being tested- if you look at the image you will notice several groups of bacteria that have been identified as being out of range. These opportunistic bacteria can cause gut inflammation and depending on the person various skin problems.

Functional stool testing for skin problems

What you see here is a person before they started a 7 day course of antibiotics (that is day 0). Now If you look, you will notice the bacterial diversity is wiped out come day 7. Come day 21, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months

Even 2 years later this bacterial diversity still is not back to normal. Now for just a moment- I want you to think how many rounds of antibiotics did you get as a kids? Did you have ear infections, respiratory infections? Did you have any surgeries, or hospitalizations? Even your dentist has put you on antibiotics- remember those wisdom teeth you had removed or that root canal? When you really look at our lives and how we treated our gut- you can see its been bombarded over the years. Click on the button below to learn more about Stool testing and the microbiome.

Points to Remember About Your Skin and Gut Health

#1 There are many reasons behind unhealthy itchy skin- we talked about some of the GI problems I often see with patients- we talked about SIBO, Leaky Gut, Disbiosis, H/Pylori, we talked about liver and gallbladder function and while I didn’t have time to get into it in this video, things like Sex hormones, Thyroid levels, Cortisol, Food sensitivities, food allergies, and our nutritional status are all things we talk about when it comes to vibrant health.

A healthy body has beautiful skin naturally. It is only after we have bombarded it with the toxins etc, that we end up with unhealthy skin.

#2- If you like todays information, give it a like, and subscribe to my channel. I enjoy doing these videos and the more people commenting on these videos and liking them encourages me to continue providing this information for you.

And lastly, If you want to learn more about functional medicine visit my website- there you will find over 1000 pages of health related topics, patient testimonials, recipes for healthy eating, and even more information about the things we talked about today.

#3  Improve gut health and support healthy skin, it is important to address gut dysbiosis. This can be done by incorporating polyphenols, short chain fatty acids, prebiotic and probiotics, and a diverse range of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, as these provide food that feed beneficial gut bacteria. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi can introduce probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, into the gut. Additionally, reducing/cutting out processed foods, refined sugars, coffee and alcohol can help promote a healthy gut environment.

In conclusion, the gut-skin connection highlights the importance of gut health in maintaining healthy skin. By addressing gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, and inflammation in the gut, individuals can potentially improve and prevent various skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, hives, eczema, and psoriasis. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant dietary or lifestyle changes for personalized advice.

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