Most are familiar with the term homeostasis, which describes a balanced steady state of health. Less often considered is allostasis, the process of adaptation to change / stress in order to regain homeostasis. By way of example, a 2018 article explores the link between gastrointestinal (GI) health and skin homeostasis and allostasis.
The intestinal microbiome contributes to skin allostasis, the restoration of homeostasis after a disturbance or stressor, through gut microbiota-mediated effects on both innate and adaptive immunity….
For example, a study by Baba et al. (2010) demonstrated that the administration of Lactobacillus helveticus decreased the severity of sodium dodecyl sulfate-induced dermatitis… Another study showed improved recovery of skin barrier function and decreased signs of reactive skin inflammation – including mast cell degranulation, vasodilation, edema, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) release – following the administration of Lactobacillus paracasei …
A stressor such as an allergen, will trigger neuroendocrine-immune (NEI) regulatory factors, signaling molecules to defend against and then recover from the exposure. However, if the stressor/allergen is a commensal microbe, there are new implications.
“Intestinal dysbiosis, in the form of unbalanced bacterial composition or aberrant immune reactions to commensal flora, has been linked to metabolic, neurodegenerative, and neoplastic diseases.”
If eczema may be viewed as a failed adaptation to stress/stressors, could this failure as a chronic condition be linked to secondary reactivity to intestinal bacteria or other factors central to the allostatic process?
“Allostatic load is the long-term result of failed adaptation or allostasis, resulting in pathology and chronic illness.”
LWP SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)