In my practice I see a lot with clients with skin complaints whether it be acne, psoriasis, eczema or simply skin ageing.
Conventionally skin problems are treated in isolation with lotions and potions applied topically to the skin to treat the symptoms.
Note the use of the word symptoms here!
Yes skin complaints are symptoms and they are symptoms of an underlying problem which will not go away if you don’t endeavour to dig deeper and discover the root cause.
So what can be done?
The answer lies in taking a holistic approach to health as my profession Nutritional Therapy indeed does and which I do at Zing Nutrition.
If I could have a pound for every time a client has said to me that their GP or skin specialist has said that diet has nothing to do with acne, eczema etc I would be a very rich lady. Correcting skin conditions has absolutely everything to do with diet albeit the route might not be a direct one.
Did you know for instance that skin health is very tied up digestive function? Well it is big style!
If a client comes to me with a skin condition and has poor digestion too, then it would definitely be the poor digestion I would be looking to fix.
So how do you know if someone had poor digestive function?
Well, gas, bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain or cramp, diarrhoea, constipation are all symptoms of poor digestion. Note the use of the word symptoms again!
So here’s a question for you, do you treat the symptoms of poor digestion to help with the skin condition?
That's right, no you don’t, you look for the underlying causes of the symptoms of poor digestion, you got it!
There are many causes of poor digestion but one cause might be that the gut may have been damaged by eating allergenic foods. The most common allergens associated with eczema for example are milk, soy, gluten, eggs and peanuts. So one strategy going forward might be to test for allergies, another might be to cut all of these foods out of the diet. This would be the first step in repairing the gut, but adding foods into the diet which will specifically help to heal the gut would be important here too. Foods high in Vitamin A such as oily fish, turkey, beef, sweet potato, and Vitamin D such as oily fish, again, or shitake mushrooms would be of benefit, as would including foods in the diet which would provide the gut with beneficial bacteria such as sauerkraut and fermented foods like yogurt and kefir. This in itself can be a bit tricky if there is a problem with dairy but both yogurt and kefir can be made with almond or coconut milk.
Gut damage is just one example of a root cause of a skin condition, there may be many other factors at play too. It also needs to be said that this it is not a one size fits all approach as the root causes of one person’s skin condition may be very different to the root causes of another person’s skin condition and different dietary measures may need to be put in place to nip the problem in the bud.
It is only through taking a very careful health history and looking at someone’s diet and lifestyle that we can attempt to establish such links, but it is very much worth the time and trouble.
You might like to read my blog post on how to improve digestive function