• Deanne Panday

The Gut-Skin-Stool Connection

Have you noticed how your skin automatically gets better when you increase your probiotic food intake? Or have you noticed the changes in your skin and stool when you amp up your junk food consumption? Our gut is the root source of all processes in our body. This mainly because the core digestive processes take place in our gut. The process of Digestion is crucial for one’s health. This is because, our digestive system encompasses many organs and function right from the mouth to the anus. Thus, everything is connected. A healthy body means having ways to get rid of waste and toxins through different pathways: kidneys and urine, skin and sweat, and through bile and the intestines. The two biggest indicators that something’s up with your gut: your skin and your stools. For example, if there is inflammation in your gut, there will be inflammation on your skin and fluctuations in your bowel moments, some may even face constipation or diarrhoea. That is why, If you suspect something is up with your microbiome, look to your skin and your stools for validation.

Skin as an indicator of health

For the proper functioning of our skin cells, our skin needs to eliminate the toxic waste products and absorb nutrients. This is facilitated when our gut helps in breaking down the food we intake. Thus, if our digestive health is affected, our skin gets affected too. We cannot touch or externally examine our gut on our own. But since our skin, the largest organ of our body, is closely related to our gut, keeping a check on our digestion becomes easier.

The primary role of the gut is to absorb the nutrients from your food that your body needs for growth, repair, and normal functioning. There are many things that inhibit proper absorption of nutrients, and when the body doesn't receive enough nutrients, it begins to prioritise which organs will get the few nutrients that are available. Our hair, nails and skin are usually the first places in which we notice changes. This is because when nutrients are in short supply, the body drives nutrients towards essential organs like the heart, brain and liver. Also, Gut bacteria has a massive influence on the health of your body, and especially the health of your skin.

This is how our skin acts as an indicator of our digestive health. Acne, facial redness, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, and rosacea are all skin conditions which can have the same root cause; poor gut health and gut function. So, in order to have a great glowing skin, a healthy gut is quintessential. Likewise, to validate a healthy gut, skin can be used to validate the same.

Stool as an indicator of health

It may sound odd, but paying attention to your bowel movements is actually pretty important. Your bowel habits are a strong indicator of your digestive health. Changes in the colour, shape and texture of your stool can reveal signs of infection, digestive issues, or more serious health problems, such as cancer. The main purpose of the lower gut is to excrete substances that the body doesn't need any more. Ideally you should be using your bowels at least once per day - this ensures that waste products do not sit in the body too long. Excretion is as important as Ingestion. If we nourish ourselves with healthy food but do not get rid of the toxic substances of the body, then it will adversely affect our health. Besides, excretion being the end process of digestion, our stools are in direct connection with the gut as it facilitates the elimination of waste products from our body. Thus there is no better indicator of inner health.

Maintaining a healthy gut

To get things clear on skin and stools, the key is hydration. Your cells, your body, and your gut thrive on water. Proper hydration also helps in flushing out the toxins from your body and keep fluids circulating through the body.

Next is Probiotics. Probiotics are essentially beneficial bacteria that can exert positive effects on your gut as well as your skin as they are passing through. Yogurt is the most classic example. But there are plenty of other probiotic foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, and fermented cheese.

They help in excreting the harmful bacteria and increasing the amount of good bacteria.

As far as your diet goes, keep it greens-heavy and full of fiber. There are two types of fibre; soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is found in foods like oats, rye, barley, flax meal, chia seeds, and some fruits and vegetables. This type of fibre helps us to feel satisfied after eating, and has the special ability to bind to substances and slow their absorption, or can bind to substances helping them to be excreted. A healthy digestive tract provides a good dose of polyphenols. Cutting out sugar i.e bad bacteria will also improve your gut health.

Skin and stool are the best indicators of your gut health. Significant changes in these two connote significant imbalances in your digestive tract. This is the Gut-Skin-Stool connection. Being observant about the changes in your skin and stool functioning can help your maintain your health to a great extent!

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