By Zhenya Gerson; colon hydrotherapist, gut health nutritionist, and co-owner of the PROPPR bathroom foot stool.
When it comes to the health of our skin and the desire for a blemish free radiant complexion, then our gut health must not be ignored. In fact, the health of our gut (aka colon) can often be seen through our skin. From eczema and dermatitis to acne and blemishes, all of these can be signs that your gut health needs to be addressed.
The Gut-Brain-Skin Axis
The gut-brain axis is something we have been hearing and speaking about a lot lately; in the news, blogs, social media, practically everywhere. So, if the gut can affect the brain, then it certainly will affect the skin. The gut’s main job is to keep the body and our blood clean, and eliminate waste and toxins. The skin, our largest organ, is dependent on the colon doing its job and keep things moving around smoothly. Problem is; these days the colon can get overloaded from environmental toxins, toxins from plastics, household products and of course not eating the right foods.
Combine all of those things and the result is a colon that has a disrupted microbiome system, meaning the amount of bad bacteria vs good bacteria in the gut gets disrupted. Being able to properly eliminate the waste from our colons is key in keeping healthy as well as getting the glowing skin we all desire.
When we are not nourishing our insides properly as well as not eliminating well, inflammation often occurs. As the digestive tract gets inflamed the tight barrier between the gut contents and the blood stream becomes compromised. When compromised, bacteria and other micro-organisms can enter, along with food proteins and more. All of this sets the stage for the immune system to go awry leading to systemic, or whole body, inflammation – including our skin.
In simple terms, the gut helps to eliminate toxins. So if your digestive system is compromised, you may not be eliminating toxins as effectively. A poorly functioning gut can re-absorb these toxins, which can then show up in your skin – leading to blemishes, pimples, acne and other common skin conditions.
How to Improve Your Skin via the Gut
We’d love to tell you that there was a magic pill you could take but there isn’t. It takes time and work to clean up the system and have it working optimally.
Good skin health needs to include good skincare, there’s no denying that, but we must also consider what’s going on in your insides.
Minimising gut irritation and inflammation requires looking at our food, beverage, supplement and medication use. In addition we need to assess our stress levels and sleep patterns, consider any undiagnosed food allergies and do what we can to support a healthy gut microbiota/bacterial population.
While eating nutritious food is important, it’s not just about what you eat but what you absorb that’s important when it comes to both skin and overall health. This is why getting your gut health in order should be priority number one. Only then can you ensure you’re getting enough of the skin-supporting nutrients and vitamins; A, C, E, K2, B3, B5 along with the minerals; selenium, zinc, silica and sulphur, and omega-3 fats.
What Comes out is as Important as what goes in
In addition to paying attention to what you are putting into your body, consideration must also be given to how you are ‘eliminating’. Daily bowel motions are essential; which for some can be easier said than done. One in three Australians has some kind of gut issue which includes constipation. And remember, bowel motions are vital to getting rid of the toxins and bad bacteria mentioned above.
Whilst this can be a topic in and of itself, the one thing we can say is that using a footstool like The PROPPR can help you eliminate more efficiently. Using a PROPPR helps replicate the “squat” position on a pedestal toilet, which ‘unkinks’ the colon. When you PROP, or squat, the puborectalis muscle relaxes and your colon straightens. Even if you ‘go’ regularly, the practice of PROPPing generally allows for a quicker, easier and more complete bowel movement and removes or reduces the need to strain or push.
Eliminating completely and often also helps to maintain not only good gut health but our health in general, including the immune system and of course our skin!