Gut Health 101 - Dr. Michael Ruscio, DNM, DC

In Today’s World Imbalances in the Intestinal Microbiota are the Norm


  • Overuse of antibiotics
  • Lack of, or short-term duration of breastfeeding
  • Cesarean (C-section) birth
  • Reduced contact with animals, dirt and environmental bacteria
  • Overuse of antibacterial soaps
  • Unhealthy diets low in fiber and high in processed foods and added sugar
  • Sedentary lifestyle and poor sleep habits (yes, these affect your intestinal bacteria)

This Creates a Perfect Storm, Setting the Stage for Poor Gut Health

This balance of bacteria in your gut (aka microbiota) can impact not only digestive symptoms but a wide array of seemingly unrelated symptoms and conditions including:

  • Mood & energy
  • Skin & joints
  • Metabolism & sleep
  • Immune function
  • Hormone balance & thyroid health

How Does Poor Gut Health Cause So Many Problems?

Many conditions are caused by inflammation. Modern-day inflammatory conditions include:


Inflammation can cause fatigue by creating imbalances in stress hormones; sometimes this is called adrenal fatigue (even though this term isn’t literally true, many may identify with it)

Depression or Anxiety:

When the inflammation from the gut gets into the brain, it can alter your neurotransmitters or “happy mood” chemicals

Brain Fog:

When the inflammation from the gut gets into the brain, it can cause brain fog (cloudy thinking)


Inflammation in the digestive tract has been documented to cause insomnia

Acne or Other Skin Conditions:

It is often said that the skin is a reflection of the gut: A healthy gut equals healthy skin

Female Hormone Imbalances:

Inflammation can, directly and indirectly, alter the balance of female hormones and cause PMS (fatigue, irritability, bloating), altered cycle length or flow, low libido, and hot flashes)

Male Hormone Imbalances:

Inflammation can cause male hormone imbalances, causing fatigue, low libido, erectile dysfunction, muscle loss, and poor memory

Hypothyroid Symptoms:

Inflammation damages your body’s ability to use thyroid hormone, so if your thyroid labs are normal or you are on thyroid medication but still exhibiting hypothyroid symptoms, inflammation is likely the cause

Immune System Dysregulation and Autoimmunity:

Bacterial overgrowths or inflammation in the small intestine are connected with problems in the immune system, including conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune thyroid), celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, food reactivity and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis).

Unhealthy Gut Bacteria = Inflammation
Inflammation = Symptoms

The Science Is In, Gut Therapies Can Improve Your Health

Thankfully, clinical trials have shown that people who are not feeling well can improve their health by modulating their gut bacteria. This is good news. However, marketers are also quick to make hyperbolic health claims that will lead you to waste your money.

Fortunately, when we take a principled and science-based approach, we can simplify the gut-health landscape.

Foundation Therapies to Repair Your Gut

Simple therapies are available, with scientific documentation showing they can improve your gut health. By improving gut health you are addressing the cause of an array of symptoms and conditions, as listed above.

Understanding how to use these tools correctly leads to improved health. Incorrect use of these tools leads to a merry-go-round of jumping from one diet or supplement to the next.

For example, readers of Healthy Gut, Healthy You have improved their health even after numerous doctors (including natural and functional doctors) have failed them. Why? Because it provides guidelines for the correct use of the available tools for improving your gut health.

Become a Patient

Improve your gut health
Beat brain fog and fatigue
Balance your thyroid hormones

Where Do You Start

  1. Diet and lifestyle
  2. Probiotics
  3. More advanced therapies: Antimicrobials, herbs, gut reparative cocktails, immunoglobulins and more.

First, we must determine the ideal diet for YOUR gut.

It is shocking how dietary dogma prevents people from discovering the diet that is best for them. Within 4-6 weeks we can determine the right diet for your gut.

We must determine the correct probiotic protocol for YOUR gut.

If diet does not fully improve your health, we must personalize a probiotic protocol to YOUR gut.

Yes, many people have tried probiotics and seen only minimal improvement. This is because:

  • Most probiotic advice is derived from marketers, and
  • Many clinicians have not done the hard work of digging through the research to understand how to correctly use probiotics.

For example, many doctors are ignoring the potential of probiotics even though a recent American College of Gastroenterology review concluded probiotics to be one of the more effective therapies for irritable bowel syndrome.

The same people who have tried probiotics with lackluster results often report seeing results they have never before seen once they begin correctly applying probiotics.

There is more that can be done for gut health, but we must get these foundational pieces in place first. The majority of people will regain their health once we do. Don’t be fooled by fancy testing or exotic treatments…. Day after day I see these failed patients in my clinical practice. Patients come in after spending tons of money on testing and using every snake-oil therapy available only to improve their health after correctly applying simple but effective therapies.

Take the first step and find the right diet for your gut.

Transform your health

Work with our qualified team and start feeling better today.

Become a Patient

Improving your gut health naturally requires considering a variety of lifestyle factors. These include diet and nutrition, the amount of sleep you are getting on a consistent basis, the status of relationships in your life (with friends, family, and community), exercise, stress, mental health, and many other key elements.

Beyond diet and lifestyle factors, there are many natural treatments that can help to support a healthy gut. The key is knowing where to start, and how and when to use these treatments.

Dr. Ruscio and his team will listen to your concerns and create a customized plan that is proven and effective to help restore your gut health naturally.

On the surface, gut health refers to the health of your digestive system, including the balance of bacteria living in your gut microbiome, the integrity of your intestinal lining, the presence of inflammation, and more.

But gut health also plays a crucial role in your overall health. Research points to several important connections between the gut and virtually all other organs and systems, from the brain to the heart to the thyroid to the immune system. That’s why an imbalance, infection, or other issues in your gut can (and often do) lead to seemingly unrelated symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, anxiety, hypothyroidism, and more.

Focusing on your gut health can help you to resolve these and other symptoms naturally, and get you back to living your healthiest, happiest life. At the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine, our experienced gut doctors can help you start feeling better. Speak with a gut health specialist today.

At the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine, we focus on minimally invasive, scientifically validated, predominantly natural solutions for gut health. We improve your gut health through diet and lifestyle changes and other natural treatments, all introduced at the right time, and personalized to you.

Our recommendations come from a combination of real-life experiences with patients and a dedication to scientific research. Our holistic gut health doctors and care team look beyond symptoms and treat the root cause so you can restore your gut health and feel better, faster. Get competent care today.

We’ve found that a surprising number of symptoms and problems resolve when the gut is healed. This includes symptoms of brain fog, anxiety, food digestive issues, female hormone imbalances, and many more uncomfortable symptoms patients report experiencing. Research shows that your gut has the power to influence your cognitive function, mood, energy levels, heart health, thyroid function, hormonal balance, and more. In other words, having a healthy gut means you can have a healthy life.

There are many simple steps you can take to improve your gut health, including determining your ideal diet, reducing stress levels, optimizing sleep, and supporting your microbiome with tools like probiotics or antimicrobials as needed.

Although these steps are not necessarily complicated, getting your gut health where you want it to be on your own can be a challenge. Our team of gut health experts can support you in figuring out exactly what needs to be done to improve your symptoms. Our patients typically experience the following:

  • Improved mood
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Clearer thinking
  • Balanced hormones
  • Reduced digestive symptoms

The best doctor to see for improving gut health is one who takes a whole-person, holistic approach to addressing your concerns and improving your health. Our team at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine has spent years interviewing experts, analyzing scientific data, and organizing the most effective treatments that consistently help our patients. Ready to see a doctor for gut health? Work with our qualified team today.

In order to truly heal your gut and improve your symptoms, it’s important to work with a doctor who looks beyond just your lab results, and identifies practical solutions for you, specifically.

The team at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine are motivated and determined to help you feel better and get your gut to a healthy state. Focusing on simple, cost-effective, minimally invasive strategies first, we take pride in being able to treat even the most challenging cases by looking at the big picture, finding areas or treatments that may have been overlooked, and helping you implement them.

Our goal is to provide you with the tools you need to maintain your health and get back to the life you enjoy.