The Digestive System: Body Toxins and the Large Intestine (Gut)

The state of our skin is interlinked with our digestive system. When your digestive system is functioning efficiently, your skin will reflect the benefits of the nutrients you’ve consumed. Conversely, troubles with digestion can lead to skin concern, such as acne. 

Understanding Digestion

The digestion process begins with the moment you put food inside your mouth, where it is crushed and ground by the teeth—a process made easier by the excretion of saliva. Aside from lubricating the food, the saliva also contains enzymes that help the breakdown process.

Once swallowed, the food travels down the oesophagus and into the stomach. In the stomach, acids and gastric juices continue the digestive process by liquefying the solid fragments and separating the good nutrients from the wasteful by-product

From the stomach, the food—along with the stomach acids and gastric juices—travels down to the small intestine where the chemical breakdown is completed and the nutrients are absorbed through its lining. The small intestine is also responsible for pushing food by-products towards the large intestine. Also called the bowel, the large intestine is the repository of the waste products of digestion and is responsible for their secretion as fecal matter.

The process of separating useful components from waste continues in the large intestine, where bacteria breaks down solid particles that were not liquefied in the stomach. Vitamins and minerals extracted in the process are absorbed into the lining of the intestine where they are able to reach tiny blood vessels.

Once crushing, absorbing and separating is complete, only waste by-products remain, which should normally leave the body within eight hours. If the waste remain in the body longer than this, it will eventually decompose and mix with water in the stomach.

Toxins will then be released and absorbed through the bowel walls and will find their way to different parts of the body. The resilient human body, however, has one more line of defense against these toxic substances—the liver.

These toxins, along with other harmful substances from the air you breathe and the liquid you drink, will eventually overload the liver. When this happens, the body will look for other means of expelling harmful toxins out of the body. One of the body’s protective mechanisms against toxins is to expel them through the pores of the skin, which is a major cause of an acne breakout.

Major failure in the early phase of digestion can further worsen this situation. When the small intestine is not able to efficiently break solid food particles, much of it will be pushed down to the bowel. Because these undigested food particles contain more nutrients, the process of decay and fermentation becomes more rapid, resulting in more toxins being absorbed and delivered to the body. Eventually, the liver will not be able to filter the toxins efficiently and effectively.

Homegrown Remedy

There is nothing magical or radical when it comes to resolving your acne problem if it is related to digestion. What you need to do is simple—go to the toilet. The best thing to do is to expel the food by-product and toxins by urinating when needed and defecating at least twice a day. 

If you find this hard to do, your body is giving you a clear warning that you need to change your eating habit. You need to include fiber-rich food in your diet and, if needed, take some fiber supplements as well.

Tags: Acne & Skin

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THE ND BLOG BY Jordan Marc Sully

Hi, I'm Jordan. I founded Natural Dermatology following a 15 year battle with acne. Through my own sufferings with sensitive and problem skin, I have built up a vast amount of knowledge on how to look after it carefully, naturally and holistically. I have set up this blog to simply share my knowledge. To help you achieve clear and healthy skin the same way I do. I hope you find this useful and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email or on social media. E: jordan@naturaldermatology.com Ig: @naturaldermatology Fb: /naturaldermatology