At The Healthy Gut, we know that the saying ‘Beauty is only skin deep’, couldn’t be further from the truth. How you look on the outside is a great reflection of how well you are on the inside too. How many of us have been told by grandparents and parents that, ‘you are what you eat’? It might be old-fashioned advice but it’s as true to today as the first time someone uttered it. If someone has a healthy, well-functioning gut you can usually tell just by looking at them, they’ll have clear, glowing skin, clear eyes and no puffiness.
When you have gut issues, such as SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), IBS or Coeliac disease, to name a few, your gut isn’t functioning correctly. There are many ways that your gut can give you signals that all is not well. How many of us get that stubborn patch of Eczema when we are run down, dry skin when we are hormonal, or acne when we’ve been burning the candle at both ends? This is our system telling us that we need to slow down, be kind to ourselves and be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies.
If your body starts reacting in more extreme ways such as hives, rosacea or psoriasis then it’s worth giving some thought to your overall health and wellbeing. These more extreme skin issues can be a sign that your gut is struggling. With SIBO, for instance, there is a 10 times greater chance that people will have acne rosacea than the general population. So don’t ignore your ‘gut reaction’ it could be the key to amazing skin, along with our 6 top tips below.
6 Nourishing Tips to Support Your Skin from the Inside Out
1. Drink plenty of water
It’s an oldie but a goodie. When your gut is struggling and it becomes inflamed, water will help to flush toxins and other irritants out of the system. It will also help to ensure that you get your gut moving and have good bowel motility, which is essential to feeling good too. The advice is for at least 8 glasses of water a day, but if it’s hot or you’re exercising then you need to listen to your body and increase this. If you’re feeling like your gut has become inflamed then increasing this amount and perhaps making it warm water, rather than cold, could feel more soothing.
2. Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet is important for your skin, with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods to fight free radical damage. However, this can sometimes be hard to achieve when you have SIBO. You may have certain foods that you avoid because of reactions such as bloating, skin rashes or stomach pain. If you do then it’s important to keep a close eye on what you are taking off the menu. When the spectrum of what you can eat narrows because you’ve begun to react to certain things, then it’s time to seek advice. SIBO, for instance, is often diagnosed once someone has already removed many normal day to day ingredients from their diet.
3. Use natural skincare
What we put on our bodies is every bit as important as what we put in it. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and it is exposed to all of the environmental toxins that we are come across day by day. Lessening the load by using products that aren’t loaded with Parabens, for instance, just gives our systems a little less stress to deal with. If you find that you are suffering from skin issues one of the first things to think about is, ‘what am I putting on my skin every day?’
4. Deal with stress
Stress is not always bad, sometimes it can be a positive force to motivate us to perform at an interview for instance. But, more often than not, when we are expecting too much from ourselves, it can be a negative force. SIBO is a chronic condition and brings with it its own stresses too, so it’s key to learn to manage this. The gut is particularly vulnerable to acute stress, manifesting itself as symptoms such as stomach cramps or diarrhoea. Knowing the difference between tired and wired is a good place to start. Find an activity that enables you to switch off, whether it’s watching a TV series on the sofa, a massage or a yoga class.
5. Get moving
Movement is key to good gut health and getting moving will increase your heart rate, which in turn makes your skin glow as all that lovely oxygen gets to work. If you’re suffering from chronic gut health issues such as SIBO, or are extremely stressed, then it’s a good idea to keep your exercise gentle. It’s all too easy to give ourselves excuses as to why we aren’t exercising but your gut will thank you for getting moving regularly, in more ways than one. Physical movement can help our bowels out too, so if you’re struggling to have a bowel movement then getting active will help.
6. Sleep well
What do we mean by sleeping well? We all know we should be getting 8 hours a night as a minimum, but why? One great reason is that your gut, which has worked hard all day long, can take a rest. The migrating motor complex kicks in overnight, sweeping up any leftover food from the day. The health of your microbiome (the bacteria in your gut) is a big part of your body being able to produce those lovely, restful sleep-related hormones. Quality sleep aids the production of collagen, which helps to prevent wrinkles, so it really is worth making sure you get a good night’s sleep. If you’re struggling with sleeping it’s worth considering whether your gut health is compromised because people with poor gut health are more likely to suffer from insomnia.
Do you need extra help to live well with SIBO?
Are you struggling with the day to day practicalities of living with SIBO? Do you feel confused over the volume of information that’s out there but you don’t know what’s accurate? Do you wish there were people you could talk to who totally get what you’re going through? I felt exactly like that when I was diagnosed with SIBO. I felt lost, totally alone and if I’m honest, scared. I’d been sick for so long that I didn’t know what to expect with SIBO. Fast forward 6 months… As soon as I recovered from it I knew I wanted to help others. I launched the SIBO Coaching Program earlier this year to do just that. Since its launch, the program has been helping people from all around the world to learn to live well with their condition.
The program members are now part of an incredible community of like-minded people. They feel supported and encouraged to keep moving forward, and no longer feel so alone and isolated. You can read more about the program here.