Geographically speaking, your lips top off your digestive conduit. As much as they play a key role in your social identity, they also reveal both the condition of your whole gastrointestinal tube and your immunity. When your immune system is strong, it keeps infectious viruses and pathogens at bay. When it’s compromised, you want to know right away so you can take supportive action. Learning to recognize your lip condition can help you do that as you’ll see in the photos below.
Common lip irregularities include: dry patches; discolored, thickened, or rough spots; chronically chapped or deeply grooved; fuzzy or indistinct borders; or a shelf-like ledge (most typically under the bottom lip). If your lips display such symptoms, it’s your immune system’s red flag and a way of letting you know that something down below is hurting.
Briefly, your top lip maps what’s going on in your stomach (see Skin Color Above Your Lip) and your bottom lip indicates your colon’s condition and your immunity.* When meals are wholesome and easy to digest, you transform their nutrients into strength and resilience; then even if a “bug” gets everyone else in the office, it doesn’t fell you.
While fatigue, stress and anxiety also impact immunity, your first line of defense against viruses and autoimmune disease is a well-functioning colon. Here’s how reading your lips can be your personal health barometer for gaging how your digestive and assimilation prowess support your core defense.
With irregular lower lips, the correlating symptoms I most often see in clients include: compromised immunity and autoimmune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, food sensitivities and allergies, .
So let’s first define healthy lips, as depicted in the illustration above and my photo at the end, they are:
• Uniform in size and color
• With clear borders with normal surrounding skin
• Smooth and moist (not dry or wet)
You might have noticed how your lips can change from day to day and year to year, and even moment to moment. For example, after a full bowel movement, your lower lip is naturally more contracted than prior to the BM. If you doubt this, take before and after photos and compare for yourself! Or compare a recent photo with one from ten or twenty years ago.
Today you’ll observe that children typically have more precise lip borders and lips that overall are more uniformly colored than those of adults. Children with digestive issues seem more prone to acute symptoms that come and go, like colds or rash or sores around or in the mouth. If they have chronic assimilation issues, then a white line may form around their lips.
While this nine-year-old has clear lip borders, note the subtle white line that surrounds his mouth. I often see this discoloration in children with unresolved food sensitivities who, not surprisingly, more frequently suffer from colds and infections. Also observe that his lower lip is double the size of his top lip; an expanded lower lip reflects colon issues.
It appears that Ann, a 61-year-old Californian, is growing a third lip! Her “healthy” organic diet included ingredients that were—for her—toxic; she complained of low energy, bloating, depression and an autoimmune disease. The pink skin above her top lip indicates acid indigestion; her pale upper lip shows that her diet of primarily raw, cold and processed foods has quelled her digestive fire.
Below you’ll see two irregularities in Robert’s lips that reflect his hiatal hernia and rectosigmoid diverticulitis (small out-pouching of the intestinal wall near the rectum), plus another indicator reveals food sensitivities. Although it’s subtle, enlarge the photo, look close and you’ll see that the skin color directly in the center of his top lip is more red than the rest of the lip; this denotes stomach acidity, GERD and inflammation associated with a hiatal hernia.
Second, the right side of his bottom lip (left in the photo) is more enlarged and has a fuzzier, redder boundary than his left side; this correlates to the rectosigmoid diagnosis (the left corner of the bottom lip reflects the ascending colon, its center the transverse colon and the right side, the descending colon).
Last, note that Robert’s bottom lip border is fuzzy, indistinct and has a swollen whitish zone underneath it and the white color also surrounds his top lip. This indicates that his diet includes foods that he doesn’t assimilate and that his immune system is compromised. Robert is 39 years old and from Chicago.
Below you’ll see what my lips look like today. They are uniform in size and color with a smooth texture, and the border between my lips and the surrounding skin is clear and precise. This reflects that my meals are easy to assimilate, which is the foundation of a healthy immune system. Coincidentally, I get a cold or the flu only every three or four years. Yes, the skin surrounding my mouth is wrinkled, which reflects menopause. If I were to use a hormone replacement, it would plump up and smooth out my skin, but I don’t mind the wrinkles, as they aptly signal that—at age 70—my reproductive system is in retirement.
If your lips have irregularities, here are the two core steps to resolve your digestion, assimilation and immunity:
1. Daily enjoy three easy to digest, nutritionally balanced meals with adequate fat and protein; it is essential to not overeat carbohydrates.
2. Identify and eliminate foods you do not tolerate.
While that Rx is easy to give, how will you actually accomplish this? My ebook Clean and Free ($9.99) provides all the information you need, including meal plans and recipes. My ebook Bugs Eating You ($9.95) gives the basics on keeping your immune system strong. To help you get underway, consider a Face Reading Consultation. For more information and photos on face reading, see my ebook Read Your Face ($14.95), 127 pages with 76 photos.
*In traditional Chinese Medicine, the immune function reflects the functioning of the large intestine and lungs, or Metal Element.