Acne, Alzheimer’s, and Diabetes, Oh My!

Acne, Alzheimer’s, and Diabetes, Oh My!

I saw a patient recently for a newly developed case of. The patient was surprised when I noticed that the acne started after a long course of antibiotics. Antibiotics affect the microbes in  your intestine, and there is a connection between the health of your intestine and the quality of your skin.

As many people know, antibiotics commonly exterminate the healthy gut microbes you need, even if they work to handle the infection you are taking them for. Having the proper microbes is critical, and many studies have shown that Americans have far less gut microbial diversity than is deemed healthy, and fewer of the most beneficial species.

Along with dietary factors, hormonal balance, and skin immunity, problems with intestinal health and microbial balance seem to contribute to the development of acne, and typically need to be improved to heal the skin. I have found that balancing intestinal microbes is extremely important in resolving acne.

 

Balancing gut microbes is important for much more than ensuring beautiful skin.

 

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta reviewed extensive data and found that more than half of all Americans are living with at least one chronic physical or mental health issue. And while altered gut microbes are by no means the only trigger of chronic health problems, research studies continue to be published that demonstrate the connection between altered microbial populations and a variety of serious chronic health problems, like allergies, sinus problems, migraines, digestive problems, and more.

Altered Gut Microbes are an Alzheimer’s trigger

One of the scariest chronic conditions is Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers recently took a group of elderly Alzheimer’s patients and measured their levels of inflammation and cognitive function, before and after putting them on a program to support gut microbial populations. In only 12 weeks the results were dramatic. While their inflammatory levels went down on the gut support program, their cognitive abilities showed a huge improvement. Meanwhile, the control group demonstrated higher levels of inflammation and worsening cognition over the same time period.

Altered Gut Microbes Contribute to  Type 2 Diabetes 

Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of Americans. It often occurs along with a constellation of factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, which together with heart disease are called metabolic syndrome. The resistance to insulin signaling which is the driver of diabetes appears to be one of the main causes of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

Researchers have recently reported on a type of “cross-talk” between microbial organisms in the intestine and the blood sugar regulatory mechanisms in the body. When the microbial populations are negatively altered, the “cross-talk” is adversely affected, and insulin resistance and diabetes develop.

Gut Microbes Can Make You Fat and Depressed

According to 2013 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, over 70% of the adult American population is overweight or obese. That fact is enough to make anyone depressed.
Numerous studies have linked alterations in gut microbes to both obesity and depression.

As you can see, gut microbial balance is necessary for more than intestinal health, and more than fixing acne.
What can we do for healthy gut microbial balance?
There are many factors that can adversely affect the microbial populations in our intestines. Antibiotics and other medications, diet, exercise, stress, digestive function, infections, and chemical toxins, among others, all play a role.

Once unhealthy microbes take root, they need to be eradicated, hopefully without further antibiotics, which themselves lead to problems. Then the intestinal lining needs to be healed, and the chemical environment improved, so that we can reintroduce healthy organisms.In our functional medicine workup we usually evaluate for altered microbial populations, digestive function, food and chemical sensitivities, and stress-response resources. We have found that correcting all of these factors simultaneously leads to the fastest and most profound healing. Often our program of targeted nutritional intervention leads to rapid and lasting health changes, to help you look better and feel better.

Call 303-394-4204 to schedule a functional medicine testing session. Tell those you love that help might be available for problems they thought they would have to live with forever. 

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