Did you know that statistically, acne affects 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24? Acne, which includes pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, boils, and acne rosacea, is the most common skin condition in the United States.
Many sources share that acne stems from overactive sebaceous oil glands producing too much oil, which combines with skin cells to plug pores. When the pores in the skin come plugged, the bacterium P. acnes (present on everyone’s skin) multiples and leads to lesions on the skin. Most dermatologists and doctors believe this is the cause of skin conditions, but this is just a symptom of something much more serious going on within the body.
One can use all the creams, potions, and pills they like, but until they understand and remedy the root cause of their ailments, be them skin conditions or not, true healing will not take place.
For that reason, I am sharing one of the most common, yet most overlooked, contributors to acne (including adult acne), hair loss, bloating, malabsorption, and a list of other ailments.
As someone who suffered from acne for over ten years, I can definitely attest to the emotional burden that is caused by living with a skin condition – or other ailment. It always feels like the world is looking only at your exterior, not the inner essence which is shining brightly. There were times growing up I couldn’t find a single patch of clear skin on my face, back, or shoulders, and the stress caused by not understanding what was going on in my body drove me to depression, and eventually an eating disorder to try and ‘control’ my world.
But as many of you have read before, it was this traumatic experience that helped ‘awaken’ me to the cause of what was going on internally. I learned that I am more than my body – as are you, and that for every effect, there is a cause. My skin healed 90% when I followed the tips I’ve listed for you down below, as well as once I began to view the vessel I am in as more than a thing, instead as an intelligent, beautiful aspect of nature which knows (like all animals) what it needs to thrive.
But over the years, I have still experienced flare-ups and other digestive ailments, therefore have used myself as an experiment to understand more… Until I understood the link between an underactive stomach, poor protein digestion, leaky gut, and inflammation/allergies in the body, I didn’t truly understand how my food choices affect my skin. But this – and more – is what you are about to learn below…
What Does It Mean To Have An Underactive Stomach?
Underactive stomach is when the stomach does not produce and/or secrete enough hydrochloric acid, which then affects our ability to properly digest and absorb nutrients, especially protein, minerals, and Vitamin B12. A low secretion of digestive enzymes usually also occurs.
It is very important to be aware of this condition since so many people experience indigestion and heartburn, which they then take acid suppressing medication for.
The common misconception, even in the medical community, is that heartburn is the result of too much acid in the stomach, however, this is very rarely the case (Hyperchlorhydria does exist but is very uncommon).
When the stomach does not have enough acid for digestion it has to work harder mechanically to break the food into smaller pieces, and proteins will be maldigested leading to putrefaction and gas release. The pressure from the gas and extra mechanical action leads to the small amount of acid that is in the stomach to be physically pushed up the esophagus, leading to the burning sensation.
Longterm, this can lead to malnutrition due to malabsorption, leaky gut (resulting in allergies and/or chronic inflammatory conditions), dysbiosis, and esophageal irritation.
As I’ve talked about before, leaky gut is no joke, as it is present in at least 75% of the population. Jack Kruse gives some excellent advice in his Leaky Gut Prescription article here.
But you see, if you have an underactive stomach, ‘treating’ leaky gut is still treating one of the effects of the true issue: poor diet and underactive stomach. We need to go back to the beginning of where a lot of skin concerns and other ailments stem from.
If you experience any of the following common symptoms, it is very likely you have an under-active – not overactive – stomach.
- Mild, diffuse heartburn
- Bloating, fullness after meals, belching
- Abdominal distention and discomfort
- Sleepy after eating, feeling heavy after meals
- Longitudinal striations on fingernails
- Undigested food in stool
- Rectal Itching
- Hair Loss
- Iron Deficiency
- Various Autoimmune diseases
- Undigested Food Particles In Stools
- Diet high in animal products (these require high amount of stomach acid)
- Diet high in processed and refined foods
- Eating when rushed, ‘on the go’, when stressed and/or distracted
- Not chewing properly
- Drinking liberally with meals (dilutes stomach acid and enzymes)
- Drinking ice cold drinks with meals (or up to 30mins before meals)
- Improper food combining
- Aging (stomach acid naturally decreases after the age of 40)
- Malnutrition (lacking the basic building blocks for producing stomach acid and enzymes)
The Good News: What You Can Do About It!
The following are tips you can implement to boost your stomach’s HCL production naturally:
- In a water bottle add a pinch of (up to 1/2 tsp per day) of Celtic sea saltto increase mineral consumption and allow for minerals to be utilized.
- Eating smaller meals more often instead of 3 big heavy meals per day will not require as much acid to break down a heavy meal.
- Red meat, dairy products, packaged, refined, processed foods and alcohol will ease the digestion process, as well as food combinations such as protein and vegetables and avoid carbohydrates with meat protein.
- Sugars are digested in the intestine, but protein and fats remain in the stomach for several hours. When sugars, which normally pass through the stomach within minutes, are mixed in the stomach with protein and fats, putrefaction occurs causing gas, bloating and fermentation.
- Avoid drinking ice cold, carbonated drinks with food as this will shut down the digestion process and decrease HCL production. Instead, small sips of room temperature water taken during meal are ideal.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages, and coffee and nicotine, as they promote premature dumping of stomach contents into the small intestine which means insufficient HCl, breakdown of protein, and there will be no emulsifying of fats and nutrients, which means, you will not be able to utilize vital nutrients.
- Drink plenty of water in between meals which will help flush out toxins and increase hydrochloric acid and keep you hydrated to help with digestion of foods.
- Your state of mind at mealtime will affect digestion. Eating when rushed or upset should be avoided.
- Taking a moment before eating for blessing and/or prayer, to feel gratitude and appreciation for the food you are about to receive can have a great impact on the vibration of the food on the table in front of you – the key in this exercise is not what you say or what you are thinking, but what feelings you can evoke from within yourself that can now wash all over you’re food.
- You also always have the option of taking HCL tablets with digestive enzymes, BUT I would recommend you try and shift your diet FIRST and wait 1-2 months to experience results before deciding if your body needs that extra boost. We want to support its ability to produce enough HCL acid on its own. Digestive Enzymes are always a good addition to any diet, however. Cooking eliminates enzymes, and that can contribute to many problems in the digestive tract over a period of time, which can further lead to weight gain and symptoms like those listed above.
If you adopt these tips for 1-3 months and are still experiencing problems, maybe it’s time you set up a consultation with me! I can help discern the systems most out of balance in your body, design a personalized menu plan, supplement recommendations, and long-term protocol for you to follow to help you get back to optimal health. Find all my services by visiting my Work With Me page.
My Personal Experience With Supplements & Healing:
For a long time I used to believe that we could attain optimal health without needing any supplements or aids… But I have quietly changed my tune over the past few years. Herbs, especially, are incredible aids we can utilize to benefit our overall health, and high-mineral sources from leafy greens, green powders, and blue-green algae help us to obtain minerals which we are presently not getting from the soil. (We’re only getting 3-5 minerals from food, which are added to the soil, instead of the 85+ we need for optimal health)
Like these ‘supplements’ may help us optimize our body, so, too, may taking digestive enzymes, probiotics, and DHA/Omega-3 fatty acids to generate more beautiful, healthy skin from the inside out. I have experienced this first-hand, along with boosting my HCL levels naturally, and experienced phenomenal results, which is why I am sharing.
You DESERVE Clear Skin And A Body Free From Ailments!
As I always say – and truly believe – you DO deserve to live a life you love! Until you experience first-hand how changing your diet, lifestyle, and thoughts directly affects your mentality and motivation, you have no idea how good you can feel. This is why I believe a nutritional approach to healing ailments in the body is so powerful.
You are MEANT to live in alignment and LOVE the life you lead. Let nutrition be a foundational block in helping you achieve your dreams, and remember the importance good digestion has in helping you achieve a healthy, radiant body like you’ve always dreamed.