Women are three times more likely to suffer from constipation and are often embarrassed to talk about it.
Unfortunately, that means they don’t get the help they need.
And there’s more to it than just discomfort and bloating. It plays a big part in how your skin looks.
I’m talking about a condition called acne-constipation. And in a moment, I’ll give you some of the DIY tips I give my patients to eliminate this condition and clear your complexion. But first, I want to tell you why so many women suffer.
Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal condition, but it’s not a disease. It’s a series of symptoms caused by a lot of factors, including too little fiber; not enough fluids; taking iron and calcium supplements; and Big Pharma meds like antidepressants, narcotic painkillers, diuretics and antacids that contain aluminum.
But the most common reason women get constipated is stress.
Your digestive system is deeply linked with your brain. If you’re stressed or going through a period of anxiety or depression, you’ll be almost certain to strain for a bowel movement.
In general, women tend to suffer more stress — and more often — than men.
A large study led by University of Cambridge found women in America and Western Europe are stressed nearly twice as much as men.1 Multiple studies have confirmed that chronic stress is a major contributor to constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.2
You see, chronic stress is a modern offshoot of your primitive “fight or flight” response, which diverts blood from your digestive tract and elsewhere to your limbs in anticipation of an urgent reaction.
This affects all aspects of digestion. It can weaken and inflame your entire gastrointestinal tract. It also slows down normal small intestinal transit time, encourages bacterial overgrowth and weakens the lining of your gut.3
Before long, not only is your body hurting, your skin starts breaking out. This leads to a constant cycle since not only can constipation cause acne, but acne can contribute to constipation. Let me explain…
Acne can be a symptom of the buildup and release of toxins in the bloodstream through your pores. In other words, your pimples can be a sign of impurities in the blood.
When this happens, your sebaceous glands are shifted into overdrive to eliminate these wastes.
Approximately, a third of all impurities in your body get eliminated through the skin.
And when you’re constipated, and stool remains sitting in the colon, the toxins that are supposed to be eliminated are absorbed back into your blood — clogging your pores and leading to acne.
To clear this type of acne you need to clear your colon… The best way to do this is with magnesium.
Your body needs magnesium for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. If you don’t have enough, your body stops functioning efficiently. But almost 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient.
When it comes to easing constipation, magnesium works by helping the muscles in your digestive tract contract and relax. It’s also a great reliever of stress, a common cause of constipation in the first place.
Magnesium acts as a natural laxative in two ways. First, it draws water into the gut, adding extra moisture to dehydrated waste matter that’s difficult to pass. Second, it helps the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract contract better to move things along.
You can boost magnesium in three ways:
1. Eat magnesium-rich foods. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, avocado, cocoa and leafy greens like spinach are good choices.
2. Supplement. Take 400 mg with water before bed. Try to have a bowel movement in the morning. If everything is OK, you’ve found the dose you need. If not, take another 200 mg and wait a few hours. If nothing happens, take another 200 mg. To keep yourself regular, I recommend taking between 400 and 600 mg daily.
Take your magnesium with vitamin B6 to increase the among that is absorbed by your cells.
3. Soak in it. Bathing in Epsom salt allows magnesium to be absorbed directly through the skin. This leads to a significant increase in blood levels.
Research shows the magnesium in Epsom salt is also a great way to treat acne. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found magnesium reduces inflammation caused by an excess amount of E-selectin protein.4 This protein is produced when the skin is overrun by acne-causing bacteria.
Exfoliate With Epsom Salt
The course texture in the salt helps exfoliate skin and allow the mineral to penetrate into the pores. Here’s an easy recipe:
- Combine Epsom salt with a small amount of extra virgin, organic olive oil to make a paste.
- Using a circular motion, work it into your skin for a few minutes.
- Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Dr. Alison Levitt
1. Remes O, et al. “A systematic review of reviews on the prevalence of anxiety disorders in adult populations.” Brain Behav. 2016;6(7):e00497.
2. Hertig VL, et al. “Daily stress and gastrointestinal symptoms in women with irritable bowel syndrome.” Nurs Res. 2007;56(6):399-406.
3. Dukowicz AC, et al. “Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.” Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2007;3(2):112-122.
4. Chacko SA, et al. “Magnesium supplementation, metabolic and inflammatory markers, and global genomic and proteomic profiling: A randomized, double-blind controlled, crossover trial in overweight individuals.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;9392):463-473.