Link Between Dermatitis, Bile, Leaky Gut
Dermatitis, an umbrella term for various skin conditions characterized by inflammation, irritation, rash and itching, can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. In this blog post, we delve deep into exploring the link between dermatitis, bile function, nutrient deficiencies, leaky gut, stress and the role of skin barrier function.
Many of my functional medicine clients experience some form of dermatitis. However, the good news is that after completing my Functional Medicine VIP 3 months program, their dermatitis and other symptoms, disappeared.
The Role of Skin Barrier Function
A healthy skin barrier is crucial for protecting the skin from irritants and allergens, which can trigger dermatitis. Clinical studies have shown that individuals with dermatitis often have impaired skin barrier function. To strengthen your skin barrier, consider incorporating these strategies:
1. Avoid harsh soaps: Choose gentle, pH-balanced cleansers to minimize skin irritation. I recommend Environ Skin EssentiA Pre-Cleansing Oil
2. Limit hot showers: Opt for lukewarm water and avoid long showers to prevent skin dryness.
3. Regular moisturizing: I recommend Environ Super Moisturizer that helps to improve and maintain skin’s hydration as well as reinforce the skin’s barrier.
Stress Effects on Dermatitis
Stress can be emotional but can also physical or physiological. Examples of physical stress(ors) are food sensitivities, microbial imbalance in the gut, environmental toxins. These are quite common ongoing stressors that when not addressed can contribute to immuno-suppression which can then trigger dermatitis flare-ups. As a functional medicine practitioner I can help you to identify and address stressors that are causing your dermatitis, so you can get rid of it for good!
However in a meantime, I recommend to engage in stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, box breathing and/or yoga.
Stress-reduction techniques can also improve your sleep which is absolutely critical in healing the skin and immune regulation.
Unfortunately, a substantial number of atopic dermatitis patients (33–87.1% of adults and 47–80% of children) experience sleep difficulties, per this study. This makes sense since this condition is associated with itching and scratching. As a result, this increases stress hormones like cortisol which competes with melatonin at night, therefore leading to sleep disturbances. Increased stress hormone levels increase body’s demands for magnesium. A magnesium deficiency in the body will increase the body’s sensitivity to stress. Thus, creating a vicious cycle. Magnesium is also our primary relaxation mineral which is essential for sleep. If you are experiencing sleep problems, you may consider Unique Verve IdealMag. This formula supports stress management, improves sleep quality, and a healthy mood.
The most common sleep disorders in atopic dermatitis patients include: difficulties with falling asleep, frequent night awakenings, problems with getting up in the morning, sleepiness during the day, sleep apnea and even a restless legs syndrome. Consequently sleep disturbance itself can have many negative consequences, including anxiety, depression, food cravings, impaired neurocognitive function, poor concentration.
Bile Function and Dermatitis
Bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, plays a critical role in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for skin health.
Poor bile function can lead to insufficiency or deficiency of these essential nutrients. This study shows that vitamin D and vitamin A levels are significantly lower in children with atopic dermatitis than in normal children.
Vitamin A and vitamin D play a role in innate and adaptive immune function. Deficiencies in vitamin A and vitamin D have been linked to an increased susceptibility to skin infection and inflammation. Vitamin A plays a role in innate and adaptive immune function by regulating mast cell activity. These innate immune cells increase in number and are functionally altered in atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and chronic urticaria, per this study.
The majority of studies suggest that vitamin D is protective against atopic dermatitis. This study shows that obese individuals with vitamin D deficiency, (serum 25[OH]D level < 25 nmol/L), were 5 times more likely to report atopic dermatitis than counterparts who were vitamin D replete (serum 25[OH]D level ≥ 75 nmol/L).
To replete vitamin A and vitamin D levels, you may consider these pharmaceutical grade supplements:
You will also benefit from using a topical vitamin A along with other antioxidants, such as:
This gel has an instant cooling and calming effect on the skin. It’s enriched with vitamin C which is essential in improving skin’s integrity, strength and inflammation.
Environ Skin EssentiA AVST Moisturizer helps to replete vitamin A levels topically which is very helpful in improving skin’s condition. I recommend layering all 3 mentioned topical products in the following sequence: Antioxidant Gel, AVST Moisturizer, Super Moisturizer – this combo will give you the best relieve and fastest improvements.
However, it does not treat true root causes of dermatitis. As a functional medicine practitioner I can help you to identify true root causes as to why you have developed dermatitis and reverse it. As I’ve mentioned above, one of the reasons to dermatitis is a poor bile function. So, I can help you to identify the drivers that contribute to sluggish bile flow. And as a seasoned skincare therapist, I can help you to with the skincare needs and your skincare routine customization:)
Omega 3 Essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD) significantly affects skin function and appearance. EFAD contributes to hyperproliferation of the epidermis in patients with psoriasis, dermatitis and increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL leads to impaired barrier function of the skin and is directly related to the EFA composition of structural lipids in the skin. In humans, dermatitis may not be present for weeks to months, while the biochemical signs of EFAD manifest within days to weeks, per this study. Omega 3 fatty acids also play a role in reducing inflammation and wound healing. Therefore you may consider this pharmaceutical grade supplement to replete your levels:
Leaky Gut and Dermatitis
Leaky gut, or increased intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the lining of the gut becomes compromised. This allows toxins and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. Undigested food particles turn into food sensitivities. This triggers inflammation and immune system dysregulation, contributing to dermatitis, per this study.
Leaky gut and food sensitivities are very common dynamics that I see in my functional medicine practice while working with my clients.
I’ve already mentioned vitamin A role in contributing to dermatitis. The same study explains how vitamin A deficiency exacerbates extrinsic atopic dermatitis due to augmentation of Th2-mediated inflammation. Th2 responses are generated against largely innocuous antigens, such as food allergens.
To support the gut health and the integrity of gut lining, consider the following pharmaceutical grade supplements:
As a functional medicine practitioner, I can assist you in identifying the underlying causes and factors that contribute to your dermatitis and other health issues and help you reverse them. With my affiliation with a wellness testing company, we can identify specific triggers such as food sensitivities and toxins that may be contributing to your dermatitis. It’s important to understand that dermatitis is merely a symptom or outcome of a range of internal hidden triggers, drivers, and imbalances that must be addressed if you wish to achieve true healing.
As a practitioner trained in Functional Medicine, I will educate you on ways to optimize your health. My approach involves a thorough examination of imbalances in the body, and an investigation of the underlying causes of disease. By identifying and addressing the root causes, we can restore balance and achieve a genuine transformation in overall wellbeing. Start your health journey by signing up for a Comprehensive Health History Consultation and Assessment appointment.
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I am not acting in the capacity of a doctor, licensed dietitian-nutritionist, therapist, or psychologist
and will not diagnose, treat or cure any disease, condition or other physical or mental ailment of the human body. Rather I serve as a mentor and guide who helps a client to reach her/his own health and wellness goals through implementing incremental, positive, healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes that help the client to live and thrive using simple methods.
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