Acne and Constipation

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Let’s talk about some serious shit (literally! LOL). Your face and your bowels may seem like completely different parts of your body, but that really doesn’t mean anything. You see, the entire body is connected. And if you don’t have daily bowel movements, chances are it is affecting your acne.

True story.

I was constipated for years and I didn’t even know it. Meaning, I did not pay attention to my bowel movements and I would go days without noticing whether or not I had gone. I did not even know that regular bowel movements were important to my health (internet was not as amazing back then). My mother never talked about it and my friends never talked about it. It was kind of a taboo subject.

So when I first saw a naturopathic doctor to help me with my skin I was perplexed when she asked me about my bathroom habits, and even more upset when I realized that I was very, very constipated.

I tried everything to get rid of my constipation, but it was not so easy. Of course I finally learned the formula, and regular bowel movements definitely helped my skin.

What is constipation?

Bottom line is that you should have a bowel movement at least once per day. Every day. Easy, complete and painless. No straining, no feeling as though you haven’t fully evacuated everything, no gas and bloating. If this is not the case, you need to heal your gut and eliminate your constipation.

How does constipation lead to acne?

After working with acne patients for over 12 years I have learned that you cannot get clear skin without healing the gut, supporting detoxification and eliminating constipation.

When you are constipated food sits in your digestive tract for a long period of time. This creates a lot of gas, and it also gives your body more time to absorb toxic materials. For instance, if you eat a seafood dinner and it sits in your gut for a few days, your body will likely absorb more mercury than if you had a daily bowel movement.

This matters because acne patients are notoriously poor detoxifiers. Often there are genetic polymorphisms in acne patients (which is why acne is often genetic) that prevents the conversion of fat-soluable toxins into water-soluable toxins so that they can be eliminated from the body. So increasing the toxic load of a person with acne will just lead to more toxicity – and more acne.

A great example of this is estrogen. The longer waste sits in the large intestine, the more estrogen is re-absorbed. This leads to increased estrogen levels which can diminish the action of progesterone in the body. A high estrogen to progesterone ratio in the body can directly lead to increased acne, especially the deep cystic lesions along the jawline.

So, how do you get rid of all the crap?

Sorry if the above headline is too vulgar. I couldn’t resist. Here are the steps to take if constipation is an issue:

1. Eat more fiber, especially fruits and vegetables. Fiber is undigestable material that remains in the digestive tract. It creates the bulk of the stool and helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
2. Drink at least 2L of water per day. Sometimes, eating lots of fiber without drinking water can make constipation even worse. Just visualize it for a moment – a dry, undigestable bulk is not going to move easily through the system. Water lubricates the digestive tract and increases the bulk of the stool, which stimulates peristalsis in the large intestine.
3. Drink lemon and water first thing in the morning. When consumed on an empty stomach, lemon stimulates bile production in the gall bladder. Not only does bile help the liver remove toxins from the body but it also stimulates a bowel movement. In fact, many times the liver and gallbladder need to be supported so that more bile is produced to help stimulate the function of the colon.
4. Most people are deficient in magnesium, which can contribute to constipation. Supplementing with magnesium can often help – but it has to be magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate helps increase the amount of water in the large intestine, which is critical to stimulating a bowel movement.
5. Move your body. Seriously. If you sit around all day, your large intestine is just, like, blah. But if you move your body, all parts of your body will be stimulated, including your large intestine. And the large intestine needs to be stimulated in order to work.
6. If you implement all the above suggestions and you are still bunged-up, eliminate gluten from your diet. Personally, this was the missing link for me. And to this day, if gluten enters my system things freeze. Research shows strong links between gluten consumption and constipation, and I have seen this relationship over and over again in my practice!

I hope these tips help. If you still cannot find relief, I find homeopathic drainage to work like a charm. This needs to be prescribed by a health-care professional.

Happy Eliminating!


Dr. Stacey

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