The skin is the largest organ of our body and one that holds many clues as to our health. The very aging process itself is impacted by not only genetics but by nutrition in terms of the amount of antioxidants available to prevent free radical damage, the right ingredients for healthy skin or the sugars that we consume that impact upon healthy collagen formation.
In terms of biochemistry, the skin, despite being the largest organ is the least important one for our survival despite its many functions. Our clever body will therefore favour energy and resources to other more critical areas to support life. However, this can be at the detriment to the skin and when more problematic skin conditions start to develop. In terms of Nutritional Therapy, we look to the skin for these indicators of nutrient status, such as palor being one of the signs to look for with low iron or eczema signifying a specific imbalance of our immune health.
The foods that we eat and the nutrients that our body has available, play a critical role in the health of the skin which is where Nutritional Therapy can be an invaluable resource not only to look and feel better but for your overall health. As with other systems, the conditions associated to the skin can be varied and come back to the health of other systems and organs within the body. The severity of skin health conditions also has a varying impact on day to day life and self-esteem. Some of the conditions that we often work associated to skin health include:
Sun damaged skin
Skin rashes and irritations
We also look at further external presentations of health which go beyond just skin, but also include the health of the hair and nails too. Again, these areas give us key information associated to nutrient status such as thyroid health and essential fat balance.
During a Nutritional Therapy consultation, we work using a Functional Medicine Framework to look at the root cause of a skin condition, which is unique to each and every person that we work with. We then provide clear advice on specific scientific nutritional interventions and co-create a workable plan for the patient. The specific guidelines would be so varied dependent upon the root cause of the specific presentation. For example, when it comes to eczema, we would usually work on balancing the immune response by looking at key nutrients such as essential fats, medicinal mushrooms, vitamin D and the balance of the microbiome. However, when it comes to anti-ageing and plumping the skin, we may focus more on the key ingredients for optimal collagen formation and advise antioxidant rich foods for the prevention of free radical damage and balancing the blood sugar response.
We may also look at Functional testing here and although this is not a first line approach, where a specific situation warrants, we often run tests such as the Gastrointestinal Profile, the Advanced Metabolomix Panel or look at a more bespoke offering to cover the key nutrients relating to skin health or specific analytes relating to immunity or liver health for example.
There is no one size fits all approach and we help to educate and create a workable plan with the simplest of interventions to make the most positive impact on your skin and overall health.