Today I will be covering Digestive health. This is a key area for anyone suffering from Rosacea to focus on. The fire in the belly manifests as fire on the face!
A very common imbalance called Dysbiosis, which is a term used to describe an imbalance between beneficial bacteria and non-beneficial bacteria. It is generally agreed in the field of natural health that these microbes should exist in a particular ratio of 80-85% beneficial bacteria and 15-20% non-beneficial organisms.
Most organisms that are non-beneficial are potentially pathogenic (have the potential to cause disease). They only have the potential to become a problem and an increase in potential occurs by the amount of space available for them to attach to the gut wall where they can proliferate. Once they grow to a certain excess they begin to influence the expression of your own genes, and especially by suppression of disease fighting genes, which promotes diseases. Beneficial bacteria protect against this gain in potential, by crowding out the open spaces.
There are four general causes for the intestinal ecosystem to become unbalanced:
1. Putrefaction (decaying / rotting of foodstuffs leading to the release of obnoxious gases). This is due to a diet high in fat and animal protein with a deficiency of fibre). Bacterial enzymes release toxins that destroy beneficial bacteria.
2. Fermentation of carbohydrates by bacteria in the stomach and small intestine. These areas of the digestive system do not usually house many bacteria. When there is low stomach acid, constipation, and/or malnutrition bacteria migrate from where they are supposed to be (in the colon) up the digestive tract. This often leads to carbohydrate intolerance and especially to sugars. When sugars are fermented by bacteria, it produces ethanol which is destructive to the mucous membranes in the intestines making it leaky.
3. Deficiency of beneficial bacteria (caused mainly by the use of antibiotics) or a diet low in soluble fibre (fuel for beneficial bacteria).
4. Sensitization (abnormal immune response to normal intestinal flora). This often occurs in those with a poor diet, heavy toxic load (high intake of alcohol, non-organic foods, genetically modified foods, additives & preservatives)
To assess if your digestive Ecosystem if out of whack, check your potential risk from the following two lists below:
List One: Risk Factors for development of Dysbiosis (are any pertinent to your history?):
Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen)
Synthetic Hormones (Contraceptive pill, HRT)
Intestinal Parasites (travelled to foreign parts of the World and had strange digestive issues since?)
Eating a diet that is low in fibre, low in vegetables while being high in fats and animal proteins
Persistently high stress levels without sufficient relaxation/sleep
Intestinal trauma or surgery may also play a role
List Two: Symptoms commonly experienced by those with dysbiosis:
Candida overgrowth and it’s associated symptoms (e.g. thrush, itchy skin, bloating, excessive flatulence, fatigue within an hour of eating, especially in the afternoons)
Hormonal changes such as difficulty losing weight (gained without apparent cause), PMS, menstrual irregularities, loss of libido in both sexes, and/or your ‘get-up-and-go’ ‘got up and went!’
Anxiety and depression
Mood swings and foggy thinking processes
Alternating constipation and diarrhoea (often diagnosed with Irritable Bowel by mainstream medicine)
Poor appetite and/or pain in the upper abdomen after a few mouthfuls of food.
Excessive appetite where one does not feel full for longer than an hour or two after eating.
Difficulty gaining weight
Itching around the rectum
Excessive emotional response to things that never used to bother you before
Development of immune problems such as allergies, hives, frequent colds/infections, onset of auto-immune diseases of the bowel and connective tissue.
The Natural Approach To a Diagnosis of Dysbiosis:
Identification of the underlying causes is essential in order to eliminate it.
Laboratory testing of the microbiological environment is highly recommended where Dysbiosis risk is high. This requires a random stool sample for which a postal kit can be arranged by our Nutritional Therapist.
Replenishing the system with high potency/high quality probiotics
Providing high dose, quality omega 3 fats to assist the beneficial bacteria to adhere to the gut wall, and to provide the anti-inflammatory and soothing actions of omega 3 fats.
Supporting the immune system via diet, supplements and lifestyle factors (more on that later in the series)
Excluding all foods that are allergenic, chemically manufactured and/or processed.
Following a whole food diet supplying all required nutrients with specific increase in those that assist in building a healthy and strong intestinal lining.
If you suspect your Rosacea is due to Dysbiosis, contact Lisa@nutritionalessence.com for an assessment.
This Week’s Quote:
“All Disease begins in the gut” – Hippocrates