Diet Wellness 

Four Potential Causes of Skin Problems

Our bodies always reflect our internal health. If you are are careful about cleansing your skin, but you still have breakouts, rashes or inflammation, the problem may be your diet. You may be suffering from food allergies or sensitivities if you experience asthma or edema, or if after eating a certain food, you have bloating or gas. But if you don’t have those symptoms, you may not have made the connection between a food you’ve ingested and the pimples or hives appearing on your skin.

The best way to determine if a food is causing your skin problems is to eliminate one food at a time, and observe how your body responds. Begin with the foods that cause adverse reactions in many people:

1. Dairy

Commercial dairy products are heavily laden with antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals, partly from the manner in which dairy cattle are raised and partly from chemicals and additives in milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products.

Although more studies are needed, dairy is a good place to start your food elimination, because many people are lactose intolerant, and the chemicals in milk products can cause hormone imbalances that are evident in the skin.

2. Gluten

Gluten is a controversial food. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, but there are many people who report lesser, but still significant, reactions. Acne and many other skin problems are caused by inflammation, and inflammation is a common negative reaction to gluten. One study has shown that gluten-induced inflammation begins in the gut, and spreads to other areas of the body, such as skin.

3. Alcohol

For most people, drinking in moderation presents no health issues, and may even support heart health. Beer drinkers, however, may react to the gluten in the grain from which beer is brewed. Also, some people react badly to the sulfur in wine.

4. Another thing to eliminate: negative emotions.

Yes, the fourth item is not a food, but you might consider this food for thought. There is a proven mind-body connection, and stress, unhappiness or negative thinking can affect your organs. Our skin is our largest organ, and it is often the first to show the effects of negative thoughts and feelings.

You are what you eat, but you’re also what you think and feel. Experiment with the process of elimination, and learn what may cause your skin.

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