Some health issues are more visible than others and skin conditions fall into this category. The symptoms of acne, eczema and psoriasis are exposed to the whole world; therefore, they can be among the most distressing. To make matters worse, many skin medications have negative long-term health effects. Is there another more natural method? The answer is yes, with patience. The skin can be complex to treat as it reflects the health of other organs underneath – most notably our gut and liver (affecting hormones).
Let’s take acne as an example. High testosterone in both men and women is associated with increased oil production in the skin, leading to acne. Isotretinoin (a synthetic form of vitamin A formerly known as Accutane) and supplements containing a high dose of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) work through two different mechanisms to reduce this oily buildup: Accutane shrinks the sebaceous glands while the pantothenic acid directly reduces glandular oil production.
This tells us that an underlying cause of acne is hormonal imbalance and two mechanisms used to treat it are high dose synthetic vitamins. From this we can determine that nutritional deficiencies could be a big contributor to acne. Unfortunately, long-term use of isotretinoin can cause serious side effects, including bowel disease and liver damage, and high-dose synthetic pantothenic acid carries a risk of uncomfortable symptoms such as joint pain, headaches and rashes. Which foods are then richest in easily absorbed non-synthetic vitamin A and vitamin B5? Foods that our ancestors ate in abundance, but that we mistakenly learned to avoid: organ meats, grass-fed beef and pastured egg yolks!
Further down the rabbit trail, women with PCOS who have high testosterone levels frequently suffer from insulin resistance. In fact, the same drug, metformin, used to treat diabetes is used for women with PCOS! Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates can therefore contribute greatly to hormonal imbalances and acne. Carbohydrate-rich foods also feed unhealthy bacteria in the digestive tract, exacerbating inflammation and “leaky gut” issues. These bacteria then enter the bloodstream affecting the skin. Enter Doryx – an antibiotic commonly used to treat acne! Since long-term use of antibiotics is a major contributor to gut dysbiosis, this is a “fix” that can actually make the problem worse!
At Vital Health, we dig deep to uncover the underlying causes of your skin condition, using dietary supplements, nutrition, herbs and acupuncture to “heal from within”. Why acupuncture? Because it can be surprisingly effective in helping to reduce inflammation and support gut and hormonal balance! In 2013, researchers in China studied the effectiveness of acupuncture combined with herbal face masks for acne in over 3,500 patients and found a total effectiveness of 96.67%! Another review in 2018 found that acupuncture improves eczema symptoms and extends the time between flare-ups.
Bottom Line: Adults who suffer from chronic skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis face two choices: risk their health with current medications or take the time to treat the problem where it is. is really found: in intestinal, hepatic and hormonal imbalances.
Want to know more about Vital Health? Discover our podcast. Search VitalHealth4You on your favorite podcast listening app or go to vitalhealthcda.com/podcasts/
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Darcy Greenwald holds a master’s degree in Oriental medicine, is a licensed acupuncturist, is certified in Western herbalism, and has extensive training in nutritional therapy. She has over 20 years of experience in natural medicine.
Darcy is a “health detective”, she looks beyond the picture of your symptoms and investigates why you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Darcy is currently accepting new patients and offering natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene.
Visit our website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Darcy, see a list of upcoming health classes, and read other informative articles. Darcy can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.