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100% honesty here: I hate the word gut. It makes me shudder. I can’t even tell you why — it just grosses me out in a totally unreasonable way.
Everyone else seems to hate the word moist, which I have no problem with. (Moist is great! Moist sounds like cake!) For me, though, it’s gut. Gut. Ugh!
But as much as I’d like to hide my head in the sand ostrich-style, gut health has far-reaching implications and can’t be ignored. This isn’t Las Vegas; what happens in the gut DOES NOT stay in the gut.
Now, before you ask, I’m not talking about ways to downsize a cute lil’ beer belly. (Or, in my case, margarita belly.)
Gut health means tackling our overall well-being from the inside out, by encouraging good bacteria and protecting our gastrointestinal tract from damage.
It’s more important than you realize. Healthy digestion can impact everything from our mood and metabolism to our complexion!
How? It’s all about...
Or perhaps you know it by its secret alias: the gut-brain-skin axis.
When we learn about biology in school, the human body is usually broken down into different systems. You remember those charts showing just our skeleton, or just our musculature, or just our nervous system.
But in reality, it’s not so easy to untangle these systems, because they all rely on each other to function properly. Your skeletal system would be useless without muscles holding it all together. And your muscles couldn’t move without your nervous system transmitting electrical impulses from your brain.
The same idea applies to your digestive system. It’s not just sitting there, breaking down food in its own little space bubble. The inner workings of your gut collaborate with many other body processes, including your skin health.
When it comes to your skin, the gut may affect it in one of several ways:
When your gut is healthy, all this communication works to help your skin. But things can go terribly wrong if your digestive system becomes imbalanced or damaged. For example, take a condition called...
OMG guys. I thought the word gut was awful enough on its own. Leaky gut? Really? That’s what y’all want to call this condition? Come on, doctors, I expected better of you!
(Its other name, “increased intestinal permeability,” isn’t much better.)
Leaky gut pops up constantly in research exploring the gut-skin axis, and let me tell you, it is Undesirable #1. Like some mustache-twirling evil twin, it corrupts all those relationships forged by your once-healthy digestive system, causing a domino effect of chaos throughout your body.
It happens like this. The cells of your GI tract are usually joined tight like the bars of a jail cell, keeping harmful bacteria and toxins locked up inside as they are digested.
But if you develop leaky gut syndrome, those cells start to space out, developing cracks or holes. And when the bars of your metaphorical jail cell get far enough apart, the criminals start escaping. These wily bacteria and toxins then run amok through your organs and bloodstream.
This jailbreak can have all sorts of negative consequences, and not just in increased digestive problems. Leaky gut has also been linked to conditions like arthritis, depression, lupus, diabetes, chronic fatigue, psoriasis, eczema, and our old nemesis, acne.
Researchers are still debating what causes leaky gut. Some think that it’s due to genetics. Others suggest that it may be linked to stress or the overuse of certain over-the-counter drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen.
Others suspect that diet plays a role, through inflammatory foods or food allergies that gradually loosen the cells in our GI tract.
Here, we find a particularly vicious cycle: a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates causes insulin spikes, which can contribute to leaky gut. And once you’ve developed leaky gut? It turns around and causes more insulin problems by releasing toxins that encourage insulin resistance.
We can see pretty clearly now that our gut health impacts conditions all around our body.
A happy gut is like that wise old fairy from Ferngully: trapping pollutants and helping its surroundings grow strong and healthy. An unhappy gut is like the Hexxus: oozing toxins, poisoning the environment, and probably voiced by Tim Curry.
But let’s get specific. What does your digestive system have to do with acne?
As it turns out, quite a bit! The integrity of your GI tract is related to many infamous acne triggers, such as:
Digestive issues are uncomfortable and embarrassing, even before you add in the extra grief of acne. But these issues aren’t a life sentence, and there are ways to improve your gut health!
With changes like these, you can make real progress to heal your skin from the inside-out. But don’t forget to also care for it from the outside-in!
Opt for gentle, wholesome skin products that work with your body, not against it. Look for skincare that prioritizes nutrients and antioxidant-rich botanicals, like every single product in the Averr Aglow line. Our ingredients are carefully blended to nourish your complexion without disrupting its natural balance.
By addressing troubled skin from both inside and out, your skin will improve all the faster. So go on, girl — share your glow! xx
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