Most of the research I did early on talked about a gut connection, which I definitely believe in. If the gut is inflamed or irritated with chronic bouts of constipation or digestion problems, it could definitely show up in your skin. Due to my nutrition training early on in medical school, I have always had a fairly clean diet. By that I mean no soda, no fried food, no fast food, only an occasional alcoholic drink and very little sugar. I basically eat salad, chicken, and tea. Boring, I know, but it keeps my stomach happy and I’ve never had to worry about dieting. I did however want to completely rule out the possibility of a food intolerance, so I ordered a test online from Everlywell and did a finger prick. A week later I got my results, and it turns out I am not allergic or intolerant to ANYTHING. I mean, nothing. No nuts, no dairy, no gluten, no wheat…. you name it, I’m not reacting to it. Now this is rare, and most people will find their body is in fact allergic, even mildly, to something. By doing this simple test and eliminating that food, it’s possible to see if your rosacea may be a result of your diet. Many people also find that eliminating gluten, wheat, or carbs of any kind does the trick. There is no exact science to this- its a guessing game, until you find what works for you.
Rosacea is basically an inflammatory condition which appears on your face; your body is reacting to something, and it shows up, yup, right on your face. If you do a food sensitivity test, eliminate that food and find you are still dealing with rosacea, it’s time to move on to the next part: gut health. When your gut is happy and healthy, you are less likely to experience inflammation. Most of us in America have been eating processed foods for quite some time and have poor diets; we have lost a lot of the nutrients, minerals and good bacteria that the gut needs to be healthy. Adding fresh, organic fruits and veggies, probiotics, fermented foods and fiber will help tremendously. Eliminate soda, sugar, fried or fatty foods, baked goods and processed foods. When you go to the grocery store, shop around the perimeter of the store where all of the fresh food is- don’t go up and down the aisles where all of the pre-packaged food is. Read labels. If you see things you can’t pronounce, don’t bother buying it. Eat salads/greens at least once per day. Include bone broth on a daily basis. Include coconut milk on a daily basis. Include a powdered greens product daily (my favorite is Greens Balance by Arbonne). Take daily prebiotics/probiotics. If you focus on healing your gut rather than avoiding trigger foods, your body won’t react to trigger foods. Healing your gut will take several months, but it will change your overall health for the better.
Cleanses go a step further than just “eating healthy.” Part of the problem with rosacea is either leaky gut or SIBO. For us, it is not enough to simply eat better. The gut must be healed. You can start by ordering a simple pre-packaged kit which does all the work for you. There are many gut health/detox programs on the market which are easy to follow and provide you with the protein shakes, fiber, detox teas and vitamins you need to stay energized during the detox. The one I used is called 30 Days to Healthy Living and allows you to eat more “regular foods” while doing the cleanse, but they are very specific about the PH Level of the foods you are eating. Basically, you will not be starving all the time as in some of the other cleanses out there. I love that this cleanse has antibiotic resistant probiotics, greens powder, B vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and includes the liver detox towards the end of the 30 days. Each week supplies you with different smoothies and teas which initially purge chemicals, add fiber, and finally add “good flora” back to your gut. Clearly it was intended for those wanting to clean up their skin. There are some individualized choices to make (smoothies can be chocolate, vanilla, or cinnamon!) as well as high fiber vs. greens balance, so please consult with me before ordering! Also included with the cleanse is a link to the private Facebook group which will be doing the cleanse at the same time as you, so you can share recipes, tips, and not feel alone! The cleanse is a key step in the healing process. Using a cream or medication on your skin alone will NOT cure your rosacea! Please see Resources Page for ordering instructions, or contact me directly at Rosaceahelp@outlook.com.
So you did a special diet… and nothing changed!
I get this question a lot. If you’re like me, you’ve already tried everything. You’ve tried stopping sugar, you’ve tried Paleo, you’ve tried celery juice. Maybe your symptoms got better, but you clearly still have rosacea. The problem with most diets is that they don’t have a liver detox component. When you lose weight, toxins are released back into your bloodstream and must be processed by your liver. When you stop eating sugar or gluten, you are starving the bacteria which feeds on sugar and there is a massive bacterial die-off, called a Herx reaction. In both cases, your body must now purge these toxins and bacteria, which could put your liver into overload. Many scientists and doctors now believe rosacea can be directly related to the liver. If you do not do a specific liver detox following your weeks/months/years of healthy eating and weight loss, you will continue to have the same symptoms until the liver is cleared. Liver function is extremely overlooked in rosacea treatment. Doctors are just starting to get on board with gut health in terms of rosacea treatment, but any gut cleanse or change in diet should always be followed up by a liver detox.
The Arbonne 30 Day Cleanse which I used actually includes a liver detox to be used in week 3 of the program. Here is some more detailed information about this amazing program.
LIVER DETOX- 7 DAY PROGRAM
This is so easy and tastes delicious. The kit comes with 7 premixed packets. Please contact me directly to order this kit. (Rosaceahelp@outlook.com) It tastes like a lemon ginger tea, and you drink it throughout the day at room temperature. You would eat normally, so it’s not difficult and you can bring the drink mix packets to work if needed. I plan to do this detox quarterly throughout the year.
There is one more issue of the digestive system which should be addressed when dealing with rosacea, and that is the spleen. Think of the spleen as a filter for the immune system. It filters the blood and keeps bodily fluids balanced. When your spleen is not working optimally, your immune response is reduced. Many people believe rosaceans suffer from a compromised immune system. Standard Process makes a supplement specifically for spleen detox called Spleen Desiccated. (It is intended for short term use, to clear out the spleen. After 2 months if further support is needed, there is a spleen support product which can be taken indefinitely.)
HEAVY METAL DETOX
I also did some research on heavy metals and the possibility that my body was overloaded with toxins from heavy metals. I’ve certainly had my share of chemical exposure, pesticides, amalgam fillings and aluminum. While I don’t have the resources to go have all my amalgams removed, I was able to do a heavy metal detox which is outlined in this article. It involves some very specific foods such as cilantro and wild blueberries from Maine, but I loved it and felt amazing after just 3 days. While I was doing this cleanse, my silver rings on my fingers and my gold necklace actually tarnished from the toxins pouring out of my body. I was initially shocked, but that’s just another explanation as to the level of chemical toxicity I had going on inside my body…. hence, rosacea. Medical Medium also has a wonderful recipe for a heavy metal smoothie!
I have also created my own version of a heavy metal detox drink because I hate making smoothies in a blender! See Resources Page for my recipe!