Our skin is a reflection of how well our body is eliminating the toxins that build up on a daily basis. Chronic skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and Lupus stem from toxicities in the liver, digestive tract, and immune system, as well as dietary deficiencies, obesity, hormonal disruption and an overabundance of stress.
The liver, lungs, gut, kidneys, brain and skin all rely on the body releasing toxins. For our skin to be radiant and clear, it is very important these organs of elimination are cleansing the body effectively. If not, the skin will be overtaxed, pores will become clogged, and eruptions of one form or another will result.
Let’s begin with inflammation. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system. When hormones are out of balance we experience inflammation in our body and mind. Inflammation disguises itself as brain fog, obesity, psoriasis, indigestion, joint pain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mood swings, weight gain and more. When we have inflammation, our immune system is in a chronic state of alarm. Inflammation begins in the fat cells themselves. Fat cells swell your belly, disrupt hormones, and your gut microbiome, leading to leaky gut syndrome.
Inflammation of the fat tissue leads to insulin resistance. “Fat cells, themselves, produce the inflammatory messengers that cause inflammatory disease. The more fat cells you have and the bigger those cells are, the more inflammatory messengers you will produce, increasing the likelihood that you will have an inflammatory disease.” (1) In fact, the more fat cells one has the more likelihood for estrogen dominance. “Adipose tissue is not simply an inert storage depot for lipids but is also an important endocrine organ that plays a key role in the integration of endocrine, metabolic, and inflammatory signals.”(2)
So, what’s the connection between our skin, central nervous system, endocrine and metabolic systems?
The modern view of the skin is that it receives hormonal signals from other glands, and it produces hormones and enzymes – making it a true endocrine organ. “Just as the ovaries can release hormones into the body through the bloodstream, the skin can also produce hormones that are released through blood circulation.”(3)
The brain and nervous system influence the skin’s immune cells through various receptors and chemical messengers. “The relationship between the central nervous system and the endocrine system have been known for many years. Indeed some of the hormone secreting glands are actually located in the brain. The notion that the CNS and hormones are also involved in the bi-directional cross-talk with the immune system has been the target of intense research in the recent decades. We have seen an explosion of scientific advancements showing the close interconnection between the central and the peripheral nervous system, the immune system, and the endocrine system.”(4) Psoriasis has its roots in immune dysfunction.
Psoriasis is also related to depression. Mood disorders are created from poor quality food choices that can cause disruption in our microbiome. The connection: depression leads us into inflammation. “Because of this, chronic psychological stress prolongs epidermal permeability barrier recovery following disruption.”(5)
The endocrine system is responsible for metabolism, sleep, sexual function and tissue function. It’s not only necessary that we have a healthy and functional central nervous, we also need to include a healthy immune and digestive system along with an uninterrupted endocrine function.
Endocrine disruptors include: GMO’s, sugar, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, junk foods, pesticides, toxic skin care products, BPA’s, perfumes, candles, shampoos, laundry detergents and more. In today’s world, 95% of people have constant chronic exposure of endocrine disruptors that are linked to heart disease, depression, psoriasis, digestive disorders, diabetes, RA and more.
In putting two and two together, endocrine disruptors disrupt more than just the endocrine system. The endocrine system has it’s fingers in every bodily function. For instance, your digestive tract is the largest endocrine organ. Sugar, alcohol and a poor diet are linked to a disruption of liver enzymes. “Liver enzyme abnormalities are common in psoriasis patients and are mostly associated with drugs, alcohol and fatty liver disease. The consequences for abnormal liver enzymes means cirrhosis may develop.”(6) Vascular changes and fingernail changes in the skin follow.
According to the World Journal of Hepatology, psoriasis is related to obesity and metabolic syndrome. It is known that psoriasis and obesity are strictly associated: obesity seems to predispose to psoriasis and psoriasis seems to increase the risk of obesity. Research tells us, lifestyle modification and changing dietary habits can play an important role in the treatment of metabolic complications of psoriasis.(7)
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions. Heart Disease is one. According to the World Journal of Cardiology, an increased incidence of cardiovascular risk factors and major cardiovascular events has been found in psoriasis. “A low-grade chronic inflammatory process seems to represent the major component linking psoriasis to its comorbidities and leading to insulin resistance, to dysmetabolic profile and to endocrine disruption and thus predisposing psoriatic patients to atherosclerosis and higher cardiovascular risk.”
“Many studies have been conducted to investigate the role of oxidative stress in psoriasis and have evidence demonstrating an imbalance from oxidative stress. As a multi-organ pathology, psoriasis needs a multidisciplinary approach and a certified, integrative, nutritional, holistic health coaches can evaluate a holistic vision in order to promptly identify and manage psoriasis.”(8)
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What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates, lifeless Foods (sugar, gluten, dairy, corn, flour, alcohol, pesticides and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils from corn, soybean, and sunflower oils that are found in many processed foods.
“By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from real unprocessed foods from mother nature, we can reverse years of damage in the arteries and throughout the body.”(9)
When everything is working properly, the skin, liver and kidneys team up to help synthesize vitamin D in the body. When we experience vitamin D depletion we need to focus on the cause of this depletion, instead of supplementing with a synthetic replacement.
For instance, there are consequences when we limit sunshine and increase toxins. Since the invention of toxic sunscreens, along with disruption in our internal environment, we have become a nation depleted of vitamin D.
Vitamin D disruptors include: junk foods, GMO’s, caffeine, sodas, smoking, alcohol and drug therapies. Drugs that deplete Vitamin D include: Aromatase inhibitors, statins, and anti depressants. Vitamin D influences our immune system, metabolic system, intestines, hormones, and our brain.
Psoriasis provides strong evidence for the relationships among psychological factors, the brain, the “diffuse brain” contained within the skin, and disease. Interventions targeted at improving psychological well-being in this population of patients who endorse high stress and depression may be particularly well-suited to dampening the inflammatory response. (10)
What happens when we include meditation? According to Dr. Herbert Benson, “Meditation is a well-established antidote to the harmful effects of the body’s response to stress and stressed skin.”
1- Inflammation Nation, by Floyd Chilton, page 25