More and more people are becoming aware of the fact that gluten and acne may have something in common, as whole grains can lead to all kinds of health issues, with cystic acne being one of them.
It is estimated that nearly 85% of people living in the United States alone suffer from acne at some point in their lives. Acne is not a harmful health condition, but cystic acne can be downright painful and embarrassing, and it can also lead to psychological issues like depression or social withdrawal.
Most people make the mistake of thinking that acne is just an aesthetic issue, but new research is now showing that it is increasingly a problem of the gut (digestive tract).
Unfortunately, even top dermatologists are refusing to acknowledge the wheat allergy cystic acne link, and more innocent sufferers are spending huge bucks on antibiotics and other topical acne drugs that do not cure the problem.
Gluten And Acne Symptoms
Adult-onset acne is a common complaint, and the American Academy of Dermatology has cited studies that have shown that women after age 20, in particular, develop acne at greater rates.
People who get acne in adulthood often have beautiful clear skin throughout adolescence. Women with acne caused by menses-related hormone imbalance are a familiar sight, but gluten, and the havoc it wreaks on the gut that, in turn, affects the skin is also another common sight.
When we eat grains, it causes our bodies to produce a substance called zonulin. Majority of the grains like wheat, barley, and rye also tend to make our intestines more permeable, leading to a Leaky Gut syndrome.
When this occurs; the partially undigested proteins leak from the gut into the bloodstream, causing the immune system to attack the body (itself) in defense.
This is one of the main reasons behind wheat allergy and cystic acne. The attack causes inflammation which then arises in the form of acne, headaches, depression etc…
It is important to note that only certain people are known to have celiac disease which causes their gluten intolerance and not everyone needs to give up on wheat.
For those with gluten intolerance, grains cause their immune system to literally attack their intestine. Furthermore, non-celiac gluten sensitivity could also trigger inflammation and acne. This is known to affect only 30% of the population.
In sensitive individuals, gluten alters the integrity of the gut, creating cracks in the gut lining that allow toxins to recirculate back into the system, and since gluten-sensitive people cannot properly digest gluten, these large molecules enter the bloodstream, and the immune system recognizes them as invaders, activating an immune response that increases inflammation. This kind of immune response also triggers the release of insulin, which results in raised hormone levels, another known cause of acne.
Approaches To Fighting Wheat Allergy Cystic Acne
If you have been diagnosed with gluten-related acne symptoms, you must take the following approaches to fight it, and clear up the skin:
- Avoid starch, fructose, sugar, and grains, and eat more healthy fats and proteins including Avocado, walnuts, fatty fish like salmon, etc.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water, as proper hydration is the key to good skin. So make sure you drink adequate amounts of liquids with a minute amount of sugar.
- Green tea is another beverage that can give you healthy skin, so, make sure you drink enough.
- Stress plays an important role in hormonal secretions, which makes stress relief in the form of daily exercise, Yoga, and meditation an excellent approach to clear skin. Also, ensure to get at least 8 hours of sleep daily.
- Eat naturally fermented foods and foods with live bacterial cultures like Miso, kefir, probiotic drinks, yogurt etc to increase friendly bacteria that will help ward of inflammation-causing bacteria and clean up your gut.
- Take an Omega 3 EFA supplement if you are not consuming enough fish and other foods rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. This will help heal dry and irritated skin and also fight inflammation.
- Use natural organic and gentle skin care products, and apply a few drops of oregano oil or Aloe Vera on the acne to heal it completely without leaving blemishes.
- Magnesium glycinate will also help to get your bowels moving.
- Diindolylmethane is a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables that helps the body excrete excess estrogen. This will help reduce the effect of Gluten’s aforementioned side effect of increasing hormone levels, which can result in more breakouts.
- Biotherapeutic drainage is a system of homeopathy that is useful for detoxifying specific organ systems. You can specifically choose remedies that would help clear the gut and skin.
- Castor oil applied topically or dabbed on the face at night, can be a wonder-oil that cleanses and heals acne lesions.