Skin Health and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Part I

By Ashley Watson

Healthy-skinInflammatory bowel disease (IBS) has become a hot topic in human health news. Also referred to as leaky gut syndrome, the symptoms of IBS range from digestive issues to asthma and sinusitis. Now there’s new research on the connection between skin disorders and the yeast overgrowth typically associated with leaky gut.

That’s why it is important to educate yourself and your patients about the connection between GI issues and itchy skin. People who suffer from Candidiasis could also develop food allergies. This two-part blog post will explore how to find the right support for a healthy digestive system, which may take a comprehensive approach that includes diet and natural alternatives.

How is IBS Related to Dermatitis?

Allergic dermatitis is one of the most common problems seen in patients, but there are a variety of potential causes. The connection between itchy skin and leaky gut is mainly related to how a yeast infection develops in the body. It is widely accepted that candida overgrowth in the GI tract causes inflammation when yeast cells penetrate the gut lining and damage the tissue. This damage allows undigested dietary proteins to enter the bloodstream.

Blood X VirusTypically, the immune system will treat these proteins as antigens and develop an allergic reaction to that specific food. Once the immune system becomes even more compromised, the yeast can also trigger other allergic reactions and a variety of symptoms in distant parts of the body. Studies have shown that an inflamed GI tract can affect the skin barrier function, resulting in a decrease in antimicrobial peptides produced in the skin. This can lead to an inflamed epidermal layer and increased risk of infection.

Symptoms depend on the level of toxic by-products in the bloodstream and the overall health of the immune system. Support for gut-related skin issues should begin at the source of the problem—a GI tract overrun with candida. This may involve a combination of dietary restrictions and supplements for the skin and digestive system. There are a variety of natural ways to support the gut and skin barrier function.

N-acetyl Glucosamine

N-acetyl Glucosamine is a form of glucosamine that is found naturally in the glycoprotein layer of mucous membranes, such as digestive, genitourinary and respiratory tracts and other organs. It helps to support the production of glycoproteins, which supports structural integrity and healthy function of various glycoprotein layers.* N-acetyl glucosamine also helps to support the body’s natural protective barriers against acids, enzymes and invading microorganisms.*

Through supporting protection against harmful microorganisms that can cause IBS, N-acetyl glucosamine can be used as ongoing support for a healthy immune system.* Clinical trials show GlcNAc as an inexpensive and nontoxic way to treat chronic inflammatory bowel disease.* The mode of action for N-acetyl glucosamine is not like that of conventional treatments, such as antibiotics that can add to the problem.*

Grapeseed Extract

GrapeseedGrapeseeds are a by-product of wine manufacturing, and they contain oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) that may help scavenge free radicals.* Certain OPCs help support a healthy inflammatory response to skin that has been damaged by free radical processes.* Lipids in the skin are susceptible to free radical damage directly from the environment, as well as from endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) production subsequent to the inflammatory response in atopic dermatitis.*

Grapeseed extract can be use to help manage histamine levels, support circulation and protect against free radical damage.* In clinical trials using grapeseed extract containing 300 mg of grapeseed procyanidins, the results suggest an increase in protection against free radicals in healthy people.

Look for Part II next week for more suggested solutions.