Gut Skin Connection
Gut Skin Connection
By Anne C. Willis, LE, CME
Do you suffer from skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, inflamed acne, or candida/yeast overgrowth? Many health factors affect skin such as digestion, aging, poor brain function, poor diet, and more. If you are experiencing acid reflux, indigestion, slow gut transit time, or feeling like there’s a brick in your stomach after eating, often the problem isn’t food itself, but a hypersensitive immune system reacting to food proteins that are not broken down properly.
Many people with poor digestion also have poor pancreatic enzyme output. Similar to stomach acid, these enzymes are critical to break apart food proteins so the immune system doesn’t react to them, causing inflammation.
In addition, low stomach acid can contribute to these inflammatory skin conditions. It may sound contrary that low stomach acid can cause acid reflux-like symptoms. In many cases individuals are mistakenly prescribed acid-blockers intended to cut stomach acid, when in fact it’s low stomach acid causing the problem — the low stomach acid results in undigested food becoming rancid and moving back up the esophagus to cause the pain and burning sensation.
So how does the stomach make its gastric acid?
Specialized stomach cells called parietal cells are the ones responsible. But in order for these cells to make the hydrochloric acid, they need to contain adequate amounts of certain minerals – the most important being zinc, magnesium, and chloride.
Being deficient in these minerals means that parietal cells do not have the raw materials they need to make enough hydrochloric acid. This means the food digests slowly and incompletely and it ends up sitting in the stomach much longer than it's supposed to be.
The longer the food stays in the stomach, the greater the chance of the esophageal sphincter (the "valve" that joins the esophagus to the stomach) relaxing and allowing acids into your throat.
Low stomach acid also makes it difficult to properly utilize B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium from food (protein too!). So your parietal cells become more and more depleted and make less and less hydrochloric acid. This leaves your body even more deficient in the nutrients it needs to be healthy, so your body pH becomes more and more acidic causing inflammatory conditions.
How to Get Tested
The Gold standard medical test for low stomach acid available right now is called, “The Heidelberg Stomach Acid Test.”
Here’s the Quick, at Home Way to See if You Have Low Stomach Acid
1. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 4-6 ounces of cold water first thing in
the morning before eating or drinking anything.
2. Drink the baking soda solution.
3. Time how long it takes you to belch. Time up to five minutes.
4. If you have not belched within five minutes, stop timing.
In theory, if your stomach is producing adequate amounts of stomach acid you’ll likely belch within two to three minutes. Early and repeated belching may be due to excessive stomach acid (but don’t confuse these burps with small little burps from swallowing air when drinking the solution). Any belching after 3 minutes indicates a low acid level.
Because the time frames can vary person-to-person, as well as how they drink the solution, this test is only a good indicator that you might want to do more testing to determine your stomach acid.
This test is not accurate enough to rule out low stomach acid. To rule out low stomach acid, you will want to look into the Heidelberg test.
If you have tested for low hydrochloric acid you would want professional recommendations for taking supplements with each meal. The hydrochloric acid supplements, allows your body to properly process the nutrients in your food. Eventually your mineral reserves will be replenished, your body pH will become more alkaline, and your parietal cells will once again be able to produce enough hydrochloric acid on their own. During this process skin condition such as rosacea, eczema, inflamed acne, or candida/yeast overgrowth will diminish.
During this course of treatment you will want to follow the De La Terre Skincare protocol utilizing Comforts Skincare System. Leaving the skin in a perpetual state of inflammation, will not only prompt your immune system to be actively engaged further exacerbating the condition, but it will also cause the skin structure to weaken, which can lead to cellular damage.
Consult a physician before trying the recommended tests or any test related to this topic, as well incorporating any supplementation into your diet. De La Terre Skincare has products and therapies to support skin function as it recovers from the effects of medical health conditions. To schedule a consultation to explore more about your skin concerns, please call the company headquarters at 828-252-8400