Health Skin

The One Pantry Food That’s Causing Chronic Bloating & Skin Issues, According To A Doctor

Your gut is responsible for more than just digesting food. It’s where everything you put in your mouth goes to get sorted–it controls what essential vitamins and minerals get absorbed into your body, and how they’re used. When your gut isn’t working at its best, a domino effect of symptoms will unravel, wreaking havoc on your body from the inside out. Things like chronic bloating and skin issues are messages your body sends to alert you when something isn’t right, and more times than not it comes back to your gut.

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“When it comes to your appearance, your GI tract might actually play a bigger role than your genes because without healthy intestines, it’s really hard to have glowing skin, a full head of hair, or a healthy weight,” says Robynne Chutkan, M.D., FASGE, “The good news is that the combination of bad skin [and a] bloated belly often has one unifying cause, and treating it may improve all three conditions.”

Your gut contains hundreds of different kinds of bacteria. The “good bacteria” your gut has not only helps you digest food properly, but it also protects you against the “bad bacteria” tha inevitably makes its way into your system. A healthy gut has a balance of both, but when that natural balance necessary for peak wellness is disrupted, it can cause things to go haywire, inside and out. What are some things that can cause this imbalance to occur? 

“A nutrient-poor diet, too many antibiotics, long-term use of acid-suppressing drugs that alter the stomach’s pH, parasitic infections, hormone therapy, steroids, and a host of other factors can lead to overgrowth of harmful bacteria and reduced numbers of essential good bacteria.” Chutkan says. The best way to heal your gut is through what you’re eating– there are many common ingredients in the American diet that may be making your gut health worse.


One of the most common? Gluten. Gluten is a protein found mostly in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. While it has little to no nutritional value, it does have a thick, stretchy quality, so it’s used in many pre-packaged foods, especially baked goods, their chewy texture. It’s for this reason that gluten is present in many pantry foods, and is an incredibly common ingredient in foods we eat everyday.


“The gluten-containing grains of today are a modified version of what our ancestors ate and have been associated with lots of different symptoms, including bloating, rashes, and hair loss,”  says Chutkan, “Even if you don’t have celiac disease, you may be gluten-intolerant and not know it. A six-week trial of a gluten-free diet that excludes wheat, rye, and barley may do wonders for blemished skin, thinning hair, and bloating.” You may be eating gluten without realizing it, and subsequently making your gut issues worse. Trying a gluten free diet can be overwhelming, especially because it’s in so many foods. If you are interested in cutting out gluten from your diet, it’s important to focus just as much on what you’re adding.


Eating a diet rich in dark green vegetables and fatty acids can be a helpful tool in healing your gut as well–both promote good blood flow, which will help you achieve that natural glow. Additionally, foods with these properties nourish your gut and allow healthy bacteria to flourish, further achieving a healthy balance. However, before you begin any health journey or make any major change to your diet, consult with your doctor to make sure you’re crafting a treatment plan best suited for your own unique body chemistry.

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