Sabtu, 25 Mei 2013

Healthy Skin From the Gut

Healthy skin and digestive health are related. How?

The lining of the digestive tract is similar to your outer skin in that it interacts with the outside environment. Its lining comes into constant contact with food and other things that you consume from the outside world.

We often look in the mirror and notice when our skin seems dry, oily, blemished, or just plain irritated. Although we can't look into a mirror to see our digestive health, the gut gives us regular clues about what is going on in there. Bloating, gas, constipation, and nervous stomach pangs are all indications that your digestion is asking for some extra T.L.C.

Bloating, gas, and constipation are all measures of how long waste matter from food and drink has been hanging around in the large intestine. Just like we wouldn't want anything greasy to hang around on the skin for fear of acne popping up there, we also don't want food matter to sit idly in the digestive tract.

Irritation and inflammation that can come about from stagnant digestion easily spreads to the skin because the two systems are connected. You want to take care of the digestive lining with similar care that you would the skin to prevent unnecessary irritation to both.

Just as you wash your face daily, the digestive lining likes being washed with water and other beverages that are hydrating. Beverages containing high amounts of sugar will have the opposite effect in drawing water out of the gut lining.

Something else you do for your skin is exfoliate it so that old skin cells don't sit around and prevent fresh skin cells from surfacing (often leading to blemishes). Your digestive lining likes regular exfoliation as well, with digestive fiber. Adding fibrous fruits and vegetables to your diet can help food and old gut cells move along to allow the gut lining to breathe. It's as simple as eating an apple or a carrot a day.

Finally, there is that big S word that affects both the skin and digestion in ways we don't want. STRESS. Stress increases a hormone from the adrenal glands called cortisol that puts your body in a state of high alert. High alert is the opposite of relaxing, and what the skin and digestion crave is a more restful and restorative environment. Just think how much better skin looks after a great night of sleep.

When the digestion is stressed out, it will perform its job less efficiently, leading to more waste matter sitting around and more opportunity for irritation and inflammation to spread to the rest of the body (including the skin). For this reason, it's important to check in with stress levels regularly and ask, "Am I doing too much?" or, "Am I worrying too much?"

When you take care of your digestive health, your whole body, including your skin, will thank you for it!

Health Constellations is a fun and interactive website that offers free tools and other services to help you improve your health. We help you connect the dots between your chronic health symptoms so you can achieve long-lasting health to look and feel better.

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