It’s common that when most of us experience skin issues that we look to creams and topical applications to help reduce the itchiness, dryness, or redness that is occurring. There are companies that make lots of money selling expensive products claiming to benefit your skin – we’ve been trained to think that there’s a next best product to lather up with and it will solve our skin issues.
But most of the time, it doesn’t work.
Do you want to know why?
Skin issues start in the gut.
Today I did my first “scope”. I assume a bunch of you have no idea what that is… it’s a live streaming video on a phone app called Periscope. I’m trying it out as something fun to do to share things like this! If you want to check out my scope, go here – it’s only available for 24 hrs after it has been broadcast… so sometime tomorrow morning it will be gone!
If you want to follow more scopes then you’ll want to follow me on Twitter.
What I decided to scope about first is a facial treatment called a turmeric face mask. If you’re guessing it has something to do with putting turmeric all over your face, you are absolutely correct! You might be wondering what this has to do with allergy? Well, last week I ate something I’m allergic to: cheese (doh!) and as a result my skin broke out badly. 🙁 So I’m using the turmeric face mask to help it heal.
This month spring is seriously setting in and allergies seem to be at the forefront. In keeping with this, I’m going to share a series of posts on allergies and sensitivities.
Today’s post was inspired by a small, but relevant study by the NIH (not done by industry – a huge plus!) that shows non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) does exist. Last year another small, industry-sponsored study showed the opposite, though there were a GREAT number of flaws in that study (not the least of which the study sample was NOT representative of the greater population – it was all IBS patients). I could write a whole blog post about this particular study and why it wasn’t designed to prove what it says it does (that NCGS doesn’t exist), but that’s not the focus of this post.
Let’s just leave it at this: we are living in a culture where we seem to have a need or desire to debunk various beliefs. Whether NCGS exists or not, there are a heck of a lot of people who feel a lot better when they reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets. The final decision rests with each of us to determine which foods make us feel healthy and alive and which ones don’t. We don’t need to prove one thing or another to anyone else in order to choose how to thrive.
On the subject of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, I thought I’d share my own personal experience with you.
It’s that time of year again. Yes, new year’s resolutions – most of them to do with health and well-being. I’ve personally rarely set any resolutions. I’m more of a continually goal-oriented individual myself, but I respect that others like to take note of a new year and try new things and renew themselves. There is something nice about that.
This brings us to the topic at hand – should you do one of these detoxes that everyone seems to go on about these days? I thought we should address it, so this is my take.
First I’ll say that I think doing a detox has the potential for some really great benefits. In particular, I believe trying something new or making a change for a few weeks can give you some insight, a new perspective, may help you make more lasting changes that could impact your health and well-being going forward.
What prompted me to write something a little different on the topic was an article I read recently, stating detoxing is a myth.
Let’s examine that idea, shall we?
You can read the article here in full if you wish.
There is much about this article that I agree with:
– you need to be wary of detox products that make big claims,
– you need to assess why you are doing a detox, and
– you need to educate yourself about what is safe for you (and you in particular) and what is not.
There were also many things written in this article with which I do not agree, namely that detoxification is a myth or pseudoscience.
So, should you do a detox? Maybe. Maybe not. Ultimately, the decision is yours alone to make.
My top 3 tips for deciding if you do want to do this are:
- educate yourself and don’t buy into quick fixes, fads, or expensive products;
- make some clear goals or at least ONE clear goal for why you are doing it;
- listen to your body – don’t do it if you’re sick, stop if you feel ill, and don’t starve yourself!
Taking Care of Your Skin from the Inside
I like to say that when it comes to skin the expression: “garbage in, garbage out” couldn’t be more true.
A number of clients have come to see me to address skin issues through nutrition – smart people, because skin health is very directly related to gut health and of course, what you eat and how hydrated you are.
The top recommendations I always give for skin health are:
- Eat well – LOTS of veggies of many varieties, but especially greens, and foods that are high in essential fatty acids (EFAs);
- Eliminate food allergens/sensitivities;
- Strengthen your microbiome;
- Stay hydrated!
In my practice I see a lot of people who are deficient in a critical mineral: magnesium. Some don’t get enough magnesium in their diet simply because they don’t eat enough green leafy vegetables (or just enough vegetables in general). Others have a short term higher requirement for it due to illness or due to demand for it in their bodies (e.g. high performance athletes, or others under a lot of mental/emotional stress). Since this is a nutrient that I talk about and recommend very frequently, I thought it would be a great blog topic. Continue reading