The Cause of Dark Under Eye Circles

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Dark Under eye circles

Do you or do one of your children have dark under eye circles?

Dark under eye circles are a good indicator of food allergies.  Seasonal allergies have been known to cause under eye circles as well, but both can be linked back to an abnormal intestinal flora or an abnormally permeable mucus membrane in the gut otherwise known as “leaky gut .  

These under eye circles are your body telling you that your immune system is overactive.

When your intestinal flora is not fully populated with good, healthy bacteria it leaves room for the mucus membrane on the gut wall to become compromised.  This compromised gut lining can allow food particles to pass through the gut wall and into the blood stream undigested.  These undigested particles are seen as “foreign” invaders just as they might see a virus attacking the body.

Your body will then produce anti-bodies to attack the foreign substance, as the body attacks you will most likely develop allergy symptoms as your body’s attempt to naturally detox your system and rid it of the invaders.  Dark under eye circles are just one allergic symptom and too often this allergy related symptom is overlooked by health professionals.

Are you Hypochlorhydric?

When the body is not making enough stomach acid it can cause problems like indigestion, heartburn, depression, allergies, and the mal-digestion of proteins.  It can cause a whole host of problems in the body as well allowing allergies to develop.  It will also be quite difficult for an individual to get the nourishment that they need since they will not be able to absorb their needed nutrients.  This insufficient stomach acid can cause the membranes of the stomach to continue to allow undigested proteins into the blood stream, which will keep causing problems.

Is your Liver Congested?

Your liver is in charge of filtering toxins from the body, this is another way that the body defends itself from invaders.  If it is functioning properly it can filter out foreign substances that are harmful or toxic to it.  If the liver is not functioning properly then it will be unable to filter these components that are toxic to the body and cause the body to continue this immune response.

Liver congestion is very common in our culture due to environmental toxins and often our toxic diets.  It is always a good idea to help it function optimally such in a gentle liver detox.  But, healing digestion and balancing blood sugar are important components to help cleanse and heal the liver.

Does this all sound overwhelming?  

When dealing with under eye circles the best line of defense is to focus on healing the gut.  Since 80% of our immune system is located in our gut we need focus on eliminating the foods that are causing it stress.  An overactive immune system that is fighting foreign invaders that aren’t actual illnesses and only undigested food particles will cause it to get exhausted.   And, an exhausted immune system will not be able to fight off the viruses and illnesses that it really needs to fight off when they come your way.  When experiencing under eye circles it is best to begin to correct digestion right away so that you can function at optimal health!

References

 Signs Symptoms and Analysis from a Function Perspective. Weatherby, Dicken, N.D. Bear Mountain Publishing 2004.

Why Stomach Acid is Good for You. Wright and Lenard. M. Evans & Company 2001.

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Comments

  1. This is really helpful. I’ve had dark circles under my eyes for as long as I can remember, and always assumed it was related to sleep. I had never heard any of these reasons before but I’m very glad to have heard them so I can investigate the root of the problem. Thanks!

  2. I thought one of the reasons, they could be genetic! Is that true?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Ghada! Yes, ma’am they can be passed on from mother to baby… I don’t think that fits the bill of a genetics though. A mother can pass on her dysbiosis or imbalance of gut flora to her child. This can cause generations of under eye circles and a whole host of other problems.

  3. My 3 year old boy gets dark circles under his eyes often.
    Can a probiotic help with strengthening the gut flora and digestion?

  4. Milk allergy and hypothroidism can also be causes

    • Becky Webb says:

      Thanks for your comment Sue. Milk allergies are food allergies and can find their roots back to gut dysbiosis just like any other food allergy. Typically, those who suffer from hypothyridism are nearly always hypochlorhydric, have imbalanced gut flora and often suffer from an over active immune system. In order to balance an under-active thyroid it is always important to balance the gut flora. This balancing of the gut flora can often be a first step in balancing an under-active thyroid.

  5. In addition to adding good bacteria, what should I do get rid of the bad bacteria?

    • Becky Webb says:

      It is essentially a healthy body’s job to rid itself of bad bacteria. The immune system will do a great job of this when the gut is populated with good bacteria, the blood sugar is balanced, you a properly hydrated, getting enough nutrients, and on is getting nourishing foods. A great place to start is digestion. And, I offer one-on-one help for those who are stuck and want some additional support.

  6. My son had terrible dark circles under his eyes while he was growing up – it turned out he had Crohn’s Disease! AFter starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet these circles have gone along with the symptoms of the disease!

    A great post covering a topic which people (and doctors) don’t fully understand!
    Vicky recently posted…Sainsbury’s Freefrom ChristmasMy Profile

  7. My daughter and I have dark circles. We’ve been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for more than 3 1/2 years, take a daily SCD-legal probiotic and digestive enzymes before each meal, have done everything I have read so far to address liver toxicity, etc. etc. My daughter has had multiple food allergy/environmental allergy testing and we’ve eliminated all the foods that show up, but can’t eliminate all the environmental ones. Overall our general health is much improved, but the pesky dark circles remain. I am not sure what to try next.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey Susan! It is hard to know without seeing a full work-up. How long have you been on your protocol for the whole 3.5 years? If you are feeling better it sounds like you are on the path to healing. :)

  8. Yup, my husband (when I first met him) had these significant dark circles under his eyes and bags. He told me it was his “Italian heritage”, but I knew better:) His diet consisted of lots of pizza, lots of eating out at restaurants, etc. I quickly put him on the same non-restrictive but healthy diet I was on (the Weston A. Price diet, basically). And his under eye circles and bags disappeared within 6 months and are still gone to this day.

  9. Hi, I have very dark bruising like in the inside corners of my eyes,not under. Also my eyes are irritated all the time and mucousy. my eye lids are dark as well and I have tenderness if I press just below my brow bone. I am a smoker,but even when I was not smoking I had this.The bruising look started about 6 years ago maybe.I am 54. Do you think I have a food allergy?
    I am on probiotics and I juice.and not a lot of dairy in my diet. I do have digestive issues also.
    Hoping for some help! Thank you! Holly

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Holly! It sounds to me like you have quite a bit of liver congestion. I really can’t tell if you have food allergies without knowing more about you, but it is very possible. Especially if you are having lots of digestive issues. If you want personal support please contact me personally. Here are my rates http://www.rootedblessings.com/consultations1/ I would love to be of help to you!

      • Thank you,what would cause liver congestion?

        • Becky Webb says:

          Smoking will most definitely causes liver congestion. Other factors can include food related toxins, chemicals, as well as environmental toxins can all cause liver congestion. The liver is our cleansing organ. If it is overwhelmed by what is put in or applied to your body and abused it can easily have a difficult time detoxing itself and cause you multiple problems.

          • Thank you so much! I am very holistic minded and have studied extensively. I eat pretty clean,drink lots of water,take suppliments like perfect raw food by garden of life. I am quitting the smoking actually tomorrow! I think I will do a liver cleanse and see if that helps. Thank you for your advise! God bless! Holly

  10. Internal health problems lead to certain problems like dark circles. A good observation Becky. Proper diet is most important.

  11. I think this blog post is alarmist and I find that extremely annoying! The photo says “The REAL cause of dark under eye circles” and then in the first paragraph you go on to say “…CAN be linked back”. So you do state it is, basically, only a chance your theory is the cause but the title and title photo say it is the REAL cause as if it is the one and only. So sick of alarmist bloggers!

    • Becky Webb says:

      Wow, sorry the title of my post bothers you so much. Fortunately in my professional experience the content of this DOES contain the REAL cause for dark under eye circles about 98% of the time. Occasionally, people do have a little bit darker pigment under their eyes which may be little cause for concern, but that is pretty rare. Unfortunately as far as life and science go since we aren’t God we can not be 100% sure of anything. That is where Faith and experience come alongside research. As I am not God Himself, I have taken extensive research, experience and sound mind in order to see this play out. I find it alarming that you think an article title like this is a result of an “alarmist blogger.” I encourage you or anyone to always research and read about anything you hear or have been told from anyone to come to a solid research based conclusion. Even if I were to hold a PhD in the subject I would have to said it in similar terms.

  12. Thank you so much for posting this!! I have darker circles and related it to heredity but recently I have been removing gluten from my diet and my eyes are looking better! My stomach is not so yuck feeling either. I am also taking It Works Greens to build up my immune system.

  13. Laura Lucas says:

    I’ve always had dark circles under my eyes but none of the other symptoms you describe. That makes me think the cause of my dark circles might be different. I’d love to know your thoughts!

    • Becky Webb says:

      Interesting. It is really hard to know without knowing more about you, your health history and diet. Occasionally, people can have a bit of natural darker pigment under their eyes that may be no cause for concern. This natural dark pigment is a much more rare occurrence, I rarely see it. But, not impossible.

  14. how will you ever figure out which food is causing the reaction?

  15. CavePainter says:

    If you still have dark circles after cleaning up your diet you can use a mint leaf paste to lighten them: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-rid-under-eye-dark-circles-mint-10335449.html?cat=69

  16. I was born with dark circles so will I be able to get rid of them? If so, how? I am working on eating clean so hopefully that will help.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Jessica! Many people are born with dark circles under their eyes. It can often be a sign of gut dysbiosis from birth. It is not impossible to have naturally dark pigment under the eyes, but I have found that with how common gut problems can be this is often the case. I recommend working on your gut health, I also take clients and help them with digestion issues that often improve these circles.

  17. What research / references can you share to back up this theory please?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Cheryl. I included two references at the end of the post. I can also verify it by my own experience with clients.

  18. Dark circles can also be a sign of G6PD, an inherited genetic defect. G6PD causes somethings, like fava beans, to destroy the red blood cells and makes your body unable to produce red blood cells quickly enough to compensate. Items containing Sulfa are particularly bad. My daughter always had the dark circles, we found out about G6PG and eliminated the items that cause problems, and no more circles.

  19. Hey Becky!
    So many questions! Thanks for the great info. My son has these dark circles and we’ve been told by our naturopath the cause may be an iron or vitamin D defiecency. It’s hard for me to think he has some sort of allergy as he’s an extremely healthy and happy kid. No behavior issues at all…just the dark circles.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Thanks for your comment Julia. That’s interesting. Good to hear that he is healthy and happy for sure! Typically it is an immune response of some kind. Does he have them in the summer time? Vitamin D could make a huge difference in how his immune system is functioning for sure.

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