Symptom? Chronic Constipation. No, wait, maybe the symptom is acne. Neither of these two symptoms is a “disease” and they don’t sound related but they have much in common. Both conditions are reflective of digestive issues.That seems weird I know because the symptom shows up so differently. But most of the cause is the same, revolving around the condition of your gut.
As I described in my March blog, Western Diets Damage Gut Microbiota, perhaps the most important result of a processed food diet is the damage done to your “gut.” The natural fiber in a whole food diet is food for the good bacteria that are supposed to be in your intestines. Some 80% of your immune system resides in your intestinal walls and that system is kept healthy by the action of the good bacteria.
A diet, often called the Standard American diet (SAD), chock full of processed grain and sugar lacks fiber as well as many important nutrients. For clarity that means stuff made from flour and sugar that fills the shelves in the middle of your grocery store. The absence of fiber allows an overgrowth of bad bacteria and candida (yeast) in your intestines. That overgrowth has serious health implications for your whole body including your brain. So now we have constipation and acne as two of those health implications.
Constipation occurs when the waste from your diet isn’t flushed out regularly. The primary causes are
- The Standard American Diet described above which is largely absent of fiber,
- failure to drink enough water to keep the waste material soft (typically about 8 glasses per day), and
- many medications such as diuretics, blood pressure meds, antidepressants, antacids, antihistamines, various dietary supplements as examples.
A constipation problem is made worse by overuse of laxatives. The bowel muscles get lazy and begin to depend on the laxative to do their job.
Unfortunately, most of us are familiar with the discomfort constipation creates. What we may not know is that chronic ongoing constipation creates an ugly toxic condition. One of the jobs of the liver is to filter out toxins in your body. Sources of toxins are many — in the air, the soil, water, on and in the food we eat, chemical cleaners, and cosmetics just to name a few. The liver delivers those toxins to the gut for removal. When the waste material hardens instead of moving on out, the toxins hanging around are reabsorbed.
That brings us to acne. Failing to remove toxins through the gut, the body will try to eliminate those toxins through the skin, creating pimples, infections, and sometimes scars — not a pretty picture.The pain is often emotional and embarrassing, psychological rather than physical. While it is tempting to treat acne with medications it is largely a waste of time. While the symptom is on the skin, the source of the symptom is deeply rooted in your gut.
Nothing is ever simple in the human body and many factors can come into play. So if either acne or constipation applies to you, you will want to know more. There are a few jillion information sources available on the internet. Or you can start with two articles I think are helpful.
I found this article, Get Rid of Adult Acne From the Inside Out -..to be accurate and practical in explaining and dealing with acne. This article written by Dr. Mercola provides broad description and guidance on constipation, Chronic Constipation May Be a Sign of Something Serious.
The ultimate answer for constipation and acne (and all those other symptoms) is likely to be prevention. You won’t fix anything until you fix your diet. In the end It’s All About the Food. If you haven’t already read it, I encourage you to click on the link and let Amazon deliver it right to your door.