Why Trump’s Health Is Likely Far from “Excellent”

Hint: He has a skin disease that's been linked to poor gut health. Maybe downing 12 Diet Cokes a day isn't such a good idea?

Trump suffers from rosacea. Credits: Whitehouse.gov
Yesterday, in an effort to prove his self-described “genius” and put to rest the many concerns about his mental state, Cheeto-in-Chief Donald Trump requested a physical by White House doctor Ronny Jackson, who declared the 71-year-old to be in “excellent” physical and cognitive health.

Of course, many mental health experts disagree, believing that Trump is mentally unfit for his position, citing his impulsivity, pathological narcissism, and paranoia.

But there are also questions about his physical health. Not only does Trump have heart disease, but he also suffers from rosacea.

Rosacea is mostly known as a skin disorder that results in facial redness and, sometimes, a bulbous nose. Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, researchers have long pointed to a connection between skin disorders and gut health. For example, a 2008 study found that rosacea patients had a significantly higher prevalence of SIBO, a condition involving an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, than those without rosacea, and that treating SIBO in rosacea patients led to marked improvement of their skin condition.

SIBO develops when the normal mechanisms that control bacterial populations in the small intestine are disrupted. “The two processes that most commonly predispose to bacterial overgrowth are diminished gastric acid secretion and small intestine dysmotility,” according to a 2007 review published by Gastroenterology & Hepatology. “Disturbances in gut immune function and anatomical abnormalities of the GI tract also increase the likelihood of developing SIBO,” the researchers continued.

Risk factors for SIBO include: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, being elderly, taking too many antibiotics, and more. Is Trump’s reported intake of 12 Diet Cokes a day a contributing factor? A 2014 study showed that artificial sweeteners result in changes to the gut microbiota, so a safe answer would be “yes.”

And it’s not just rosacea. There are many, many studies showing the so-called “gut-skin axis.” That’s why Berkeley-based functional medicine practitioner Chris Kresser says in order to heal the skin, you have to heal the gut. In fact, there are also connections with gut and skin health to the brain: Two studies have shown that “SIBO is strongly associated with depression and anxiety, while eradication of SIBO improves emotional symptoms.”

So, could improving Trump’s gut health help his mental state?

The fact that Trump uses Soolantra Cream to control his rosacea clearly indicates a problem that’s more than skin-deep. Soolantra is reported to have anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties, although, according to the company itself, “the exact mechanism of action of Soolantra Cream in the treatment of rosacea is unknown.”