Often I am asked the secret to having clear, glowing, radiant skin without medication, harmful products or even *gasp* make up. The answer, truly, is the shits.
Your skin is an organ of elimination meaning waste products, toxins and other crap is released through the pores in your skin and in your sweat. I sweat a lot, and my bet is if you’re active, so do you. Sweating itself is not the issue, it’s what’s coming out with your sweat.
Now, what’s another organ of elimination you can think of? That’s right, your guts.
Optimizing your digestive health will assist in balancing your hormones and effectively eliminating wastes taken the burden off your skin. Better waste excretion out your rear means less skin eruptions seen in conditions like acne. Your gut also has it’s own link to your immune system. ‘Good’ bacteria and ‘bad’ bacteria have a home in your intestines and they’ve been shown to modulate your immune response. That means immune-mediated skin conditions like eczema or atopic dermatitis can also be impacted by your gut health.
What do ‘better poops’ look like? Well, your bowel movements should be regular, at least 1-2x daily and well formed (not too watery, not too hard) – That’s about a ‘4’ on the chart below.
So, how do you fix your gut and get glowing skin? Here are 3 simple ideas.
1) Drink MORE Water. I know, you’ve heard it before, but now you’ve got an even better reason. Being fully hydrated can make stools easier to pass as more water is retained in the fecal matter and the intestines stay lubricated. Carry a water bottle and check out this app to track your water intake and set reminder alarms.
2) Fat and Fiber. Increase your fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds. Ground flax for example, provides a healthy dose of essential fatty acids AND a mega dose of fiber – just make sure you’re drinking enough water. If you increase your fiber intake without increasing your water intake you can actually end up more constipated. Your body needs the water to help eliminate the fiber effectively. Fiber will also assist in hormone modulation as it encourages cholesterol excretion and cholesterol is the building block for many of your hormones including cortisol, estrogen and testosterone.
3) The Good Guys. I’m talking bacteria. Speak to your Naturopathic Doctor or healthcare provider about a probiotic supplement that could be right for you. If you’ve had a recent course of oral antibiotic treatment OR you’ve taken lots of antibiotics in the past, chances are your gut flora’s not doing so hot. Antibiotics are a necessary treatment in specific situations, however, while they’re killing of the bacteria causing your illness they may also be killing off the bacteria in your gut. You’re going to want to replenish that bacteria via a probiotic or consumption of fermented foods (no, not beer).
If you’ve got questions about how your poops impact your skin, or how to optimize your digestion, shoot me a comment or come visit me at Green Apple Health Care in Edmonton!