People who have acne issues often have a difficult time trying to figure out what to do with their skin. Despite using different medications and treatments, nothing seems to help. In some instances, acne is simply genetic and there is not much to be done. However, for other people it is just difficult to determine what is aggravating the skin.

Often times it is found that people who have skin issues also have problems with their gut. In fact, most dermatologists acknowledge that skin problems and gut issues often occur at the same time.

If you are suffering from acne and want to know if it is related to your gut health, there are some signs that you can look for. Here are some ways to gain an understanding of your gut health to help you see if this is an issue for you or not.

Natural Bowel Movements

Your bowel movements are an essential part of understanding your intestinal health. While bowel movements are important it can be difficult to know whether or not you are having natural or normal bowel movement. There is a lot of information about bowel movements and how often you should have them and what they should look like, but there is no real clear medical definition of a “natural” bowel movement.

While there is no clear definition, there are some things to consider when it comes to bowel movements. First, the act of relieving your bowels should not be strenuous. When you defecate it should not require any type of effort or straining. Everything should come out easily and quickly. In addition, you should poop after each large meal that you eat or at least once per day.

Types of Stool

There is also a stool chart that can be used to help diagnose how healthy your bowel movements are. This chart is called the Bristol Stool Chart. This chart is backed by scientific research completed at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. The researchers at the center wanted to determine whether or not the form of stool corresponds with the amount of time it spends in the intestines. They found that tentatively the amount of time food spends in the digestive system does affect the type of stool. In essence, the type of stool a person has can indicate the amount of time it has spent in the intestines.

From this information the researchers came up with seven different types of stools. They are:

  1. Hard to pass, separate, hard lumps.
  2. Lumpy and shaped like sausage
  3. Similar to a sausage, but cracks throughout the surface
  4. Smooth and soft like a snake or sausage
  5. Small, soft blobs that have clearly defined edges
  6. Pieces that are fluffy, but have edges that are ragged and stool is mushy
  7. Entirely liquid, no solid pieces

The research found that the smaller the number the longer it spent in the intestines. For example, the first type of stool was typically in transit for a hundred hours or more where the average time in transit for a type 4 stool was between 30 and 40 hours.

While the chart is not perfect and it has been criticized because of the large differences in transit time for each type, it still can be useful for indicating the health of your gut. When your gut is working like it is supposed to you should have types 3 through 5 regularly, with type 4 being the ideal bowel movement. If you often find types 1, 2, 6, or 7, you may have some digestive issues that you need to deal with.

Tracking Food and Health

One of the best ways to help track your digestive health is by keeping a food journal. In addition to keeping track of the foods that you eat, make sure to keep track of any symptoms that you have including the types of bowel movements that occur.

When keeping a food journal make sure that you write down everything that you eat and then pay attention to any rumblings or discomfort that you experience a few hours after eating. At times the symptoms come on quickly and other times they may not be as noticeable.

When trying to pin down foods that may be causing digestive issues it is a good idea to make sure that you eat simple meals. This will make it easier to pin down the foods that are the culprit.

If you are having skin issues, chances are there are some underlying gut issues as well. Figuring out the cause of your gut issues can also help you clear up skin issues as well. Taking the time to understand your bowel movements and the types of food that you may have trouble digesting can go a long way to helping you clear up your skin and feel better overall.

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