The Skin Series
Our resident nutritionist Brittany Darling talks about managing skin conditions.
"I see a lot of skin conditions in my clinical practice. Generally the best place to start looking is on the inside (the gut). Patients that are experiencing skin problems usually have additional gastrointestinal symptoms, underlying exacerbating factors such as food allergies and intolerances, bacterial, fungal or parasite infestations. Occasionally there is immune or endocrine involvement and inadequate detoxification. While every person is different, I have tried to highlight the main exacerbating and perpetuating factors in hope that I will be able to help so many of you that are struggling to manage your skin condition. I'm going to kick off the Vida Glow Skin Series, with something I have personally managed, Rosacea."
If you are suffering from rosacea you have likely read about the triggers. Usually these triggers include coffee, alcohol, dried and fermented foods, vinegars, hot or spicy food, dairy, hot saunas, baths and warmer weather plus more. Similarly to acne vulgaris, rosacea can be related to your hormones and gastrointestinal infections. Most commonly, it is related to a Helicobacter pylori (H.Pylori) infection, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) and increased intestinal permeability. You can test for H. Pylori using a simple breath test, ordered by your GP. SIBO and intestinal permeability can be ordered though functional pathology by your naturopath or nutritionist. Generally speaking, patients with flushing are most often H.Pylori positive while those with papules or pustules are generally SIBO positive. People with rosacea usually present with gastrointestinal symptoms relating to gastrointestinal infections. These have been outline in the table below
Rosacea can also be triggered by a histamine reaction. Histamine reactions occur in two ways; (1) Food/s you consume contain histamine (mainly fermented foods, processed meats, alcohol, vinegars, yeasts, dried fruits, mature cheeses, avocados, tomatoes, mackerel, sardines, smoked or cured fish) or (2) you a consume food/s you are allergic to (commonly wheat, eggs, dairy or seafood) and the histamine is released from your mast cells in this allergic reaction. A diet and symptom diary is the best way to identify these food triggers. If food allergy is suspected, a skin prick test is the best way to diagnosis this histamine mediated allergic reaction. Another valid test is an allergen specific IgE blood test.
Capillary health and integrity is important to reduce redness and flushing. I commonly use antioxidants and venotonics including horse chestnut, ginkgo, bilberry, gotu kola, vitamin C, marine collagen and grape seed extract. A lot of these nutrients and herbs have antioxidant properties so are beneficial in reducing the redness of Rosacea.
I find that skin conditions are driven by a combination of dietary and lifestyle factors. As I mentioned above, the best place to start is the gut. Ensure adequate elimination (bowel motions every day), rule out infections such a SIBO and H. Pylori, and look at dietary and lifestyle triggers.
If you have any questions or are interested in a consultation with Brittany Darling please email Brittany@wholefoodhealing.com.au
I am a nutritionist and herbalist providing nutritional counselling focusing on natural and non-invasive alternatives for optimum wellbeing. All the information provided in this blog is general and not to be used without the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Whilst I am highly qualified and experienced in nutrition, I am not a medical doctor and therefore I do not diagnose, treat or give medical advice in relation to any medical conditions nor do I claim to do these things. You should consult your medical practitioner in regards to your conventional treatment or medication or conditions requiring medical attention and inform them of any fitness, dietary or supplement changes could affect any illness. Any recommendations for laboratory tests, diet or nutritional supplements made will be to support and not replace any medical treatment that you may be receiving.
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