This article discusses the link between constipation and acne and asked the question, does constipation cause acne? We also delve into my life long issues with chronic constipation and how constipation may have contributed to my unpredictable acne breakouts over the past 15 years.
what’s the link between constipation and acne?
When it comes to my chronic constipation, I have literally tried EVERYTHING.
I’ve spent years working on my gut health, having numerous tests on a regular basis and despite still struggling to go to the loo, my results were always the same. I didn’t have SIBO, I didn’t have Leaky Gut and I spent 2 years on various ultra specific strains of probiotics to get my gut health back in tip-top conditioner. So why was I still struggling with constipation on a daily basis? An issue which undoubtably has a huge impact on my skin – making it impossible for me to stay consistently clear.
These are just some of the natural treatments for constipation I’ve tried over the years:
- Psyllium Husk
- Prunes/Prune juice
- Flax seed
- Chia seeds
- Morning Lemon juice
- Morning Apple Cider Vinegar
- Warm Apple Cider Vinegar with every meal
- Digestive enzymes*
- Prescript Assist Probiotics*
- BioKult Probiotics*
- Optibac Probiotics*
- Epigenetics International Probiotics*
- Garden of Life Probiotics*
- Natren Probiotics*
- High fibre diet
- Andreas Mauritz Liver Cleanse (worst experiences of my life)
- Squatty Potty
- Toilet training
- Glycerin tablets
- Coffee enemas
- Abdominal massage
- Various types of exercises
- Drinking lots of water
- Vegan diet
- Drinking Epsom salts
- Drinking coffee
- Eat lots of lentils/beans
- Magnesium supplements
- Aloe Vera
- Castor oil
* This isn’t to say probiotics aren’t beneficial, I still take probiotics/fermented foods on a DAILY basis, they just aren’t the miracle cure for chronic constipation for me that I hoped they would be.
I told you I’d tried it all! If anyone has something that’s not on my list, PLEASE let me know in the comments below, it could be my miracle cure! I’ve been constipated for as long as I can remember – my sister always used to tease me and say my BMs were like sheep poo! Thanks Milly! 😉
Looking back, I think the issues I’m having today with my digestion are a result of a number of things namely:
- Eating a crap diet for the first 22 years of my life which can leave impacted debris in the gut creases causing slower digestion
- Eating gluten for 8 years with undiagnosed Coeliac Disease
- Taking ‘natural’ Senna based laxatives which can cause bowel dependance and paralysis of sections the digestive tract
how does constipation cause acne?
When faecal matter sits in your digestive system for too long, putrid and toxic matter gets reabsorbed into the blood stream where the body will search for another exit route for all the junk. Any guesses as to the next elimination pathway after bowels and kidneys? You got it, your skin! As these toxins travel through your bloodstream they’ll eventually be eliminated through your pores. These impurities in the blood cause the sebaceous glands to go crazy and result in red, inflamed skin.
is your acne caused by constipation or imbalanced hormones?
One common misconception is that acne on the back, shoulders, butt, jaw, chin and neck is completely hormonal so there’s no point putting your effort into healing your gut. Unfortunately, this attitude will never clear your skin as it’s important that you take a step back and consider what’s causing your hormone imbalances in the first place? Hormones such as oestrogen are eliminated via the bowels so when you’re not going as regularly as you should, this oestrogen gets reabsorbed into your bloodstream which can contribute to a severe hormone imbalance called oestrogen dominance – where you oestrogen levels are too high in comparison to your progesterone levels. This imbalance results in excess androgen, oily skin, clogged pores and acne – as well as a whole host of other hormonal imbalances including PMS!
If you’re struggling with acne on the lower half of your face/neck and you’re not having 1-2 full bowel movements everyday then I urge you to address your digestion before trying to fix your hormones with potent herbs and supplements.
Constipation can be caused by many things including:
- Gluten sensitivity
- Dairy sensitivity
- SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)
- Leaky Gut
- Laxative abuse
- Other food intolerances
- Impacted faecal matter
is constipation causing your acne?
It’s not just the quantity of bowel movements that can indicate constipation, it’s also the quality of each and every bowel movement you experience that tells you a lot about your intestinal health!
You’ll have likely been told that any less that three bowel movements a week is a sign that you’re struggling with constipation. However, you could be going everyday – but if your stools are dark, hard and pellet like, it doesn’t matter how often your going. Your stools are hanging around too long in your digestive system and you are reabsorbing toxic waste.
how can you cure constipation and clear acne?
Unfortunately there is no definitive answer, everyone is different and our bodies will all need different treatment to get to the root cause of our constipation. As I mentioned earlier, cutting out gluten and even all grains can be really beneficial to combatting constipation as well as taking high quality probiotics and getting checked by a naturopath for any underlying digestive issues such as SIBO or Leaky Gut. Another factor that can cause constipation but can be quite easily remedied with a simple colon cleanse is impacted faecal matter. A condition where years of debris and waste accumulates within the 25 to 30 feet of your digestive system and causes a slow, sluggish bowel. Head over to this blog post next week to find out how I got on with my recent colon cleanse and whether it helped my constipation and acne!
Do you struggle with constipation and believe it to be the cause of your acne? What treatments have you tried in the past to relieve constipation? Let me know your stories in the comments below!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin,