How To Heal Your Gut: Why Diet, Lifestyle, and Supplements Matter

Improving Gut Health Could Make All the Difference

Wellness arguably starts in the digestive tract, a complex ecosystem that sets the stage for how you feel, move through life, and perceive the world around you. When parts of this ecosystem are disrupted, your body may start to develop signs of imbalance. These signs could manifest as a wide variety of symptoms, including but not limited to digestive problems, low energy, brain fog, disrupted menstrual cycles, abnormal moods, insomnia, and non-digestive medical diagnoses.

The great news is that the evidence for effective gut treatments continues to grow, reaffirming the importance of gut health to overall health. How to heal your gut — and therefore improve overall health and well-being — is the first thing you need to learn. This article will show you how better health is possible with an anti-inflammatory diet, probiotics, stress-reduction techniques, and supplements that support a healthy microbiome and help strengthen the intestinal wall. 

how to heal your gut: Woman creating a heart shape on her belly using her hands

How Do You Heal Your Gut?

Whether you’re struggling with food sensitivities [1 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source], fatigue [2 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source], skin problems [3 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source], depression [4 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source], or joint pain [5 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source], your gut health is likely at the root of it. With this knowledge, I developed the Great-in-8 Action Plan in Healthy Gut, Healthy You to teach you how to heal your gut, stabilize mental health, and improve overall wellness. The plan includes eating an anti-inflammatory diet, increasing beneficial bacteria, strengthening digestion, and prioritizing rest, relaxation, and joy.

Reset and Support

The first two steps of the Great-in-8 Action Plan are Reset and Support. Following these tends to help most people with troubling gut issues and many other symptoms, though they may not seem related to the gut. 

Improve Your Diet

As I emphasized in Healthy Gut, Healthy You, “eating to reduce inflammation is more important than eating to feed your gut bugs.” Therefore, at the beginning of your gut healing journey, I recommend trying the paleo diet, which can help to:

If the paleo diet doesn’t resolve your symptoms after two or three weeks, you may be dealing with an overgrowth of gut bacteria that feed on and ferment short-chain carbohydrates. This is likely the case if you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Those problematic short-chain carbs are called FODMAPS, which is short for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols [10]. For example, legumes, nuts, some prebiotic powders, and soy milk contain high levels of a FODMAP sugar called galactooligosaccharide (GOS) [11 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].

To summarize, if eating a paleo diet for 2-3 weeks doesn’t resolve your symptoms, try a low FODMAP diet for 2-3 weeks to see whether reducing those sugars helps you feel better. In either case, you’ll also want to turn an eye toward stress reduction, an important facet of your gut-supportive lifestyle.

Reduce Your Stress

how to heal your gut: Woman doing meditation against a pink background

Stress can raise cortisol and other stress hormones, and this can contribute to leaky gut and other gut health issues [12 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 13 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. Many evidence-based practices may be the antidote to the stressors you face, providing the calm internal environment your gut needs to heal. I recommend incorporating any of the following into your daily routine to round out your gut-supporting lifestyle changes:

Support your gut with probiotics and digestive enzymes or acid

If a few weeks of eating an anti-inflammatory diet and practicing stress-reduction techniques have not resolved your symptoms, it’s time to look at evidence-based supplements to support your gut microbiome and digestive function.

Triple Probiotic Therapy

Both my clinical experience and high-quality research point to probiotics as the cornerstone of effective gut treatment [24 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 25 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 26 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 27 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 28 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 29 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 30 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 31 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 32 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 33 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. A blend of probiotics can work to encourage healthy populations of intestinal bacteria and inhibit the growth of inflammation-causing microbes.

Many clinicians have overlooked a trend in the research, which suggests that the combined use of three categories of probiotic supplements can balance the microbiome and improve gut health [34 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 35 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 36 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]. This protocol leads to substantially better improvements than standard single-probiotic treatments. The probiotic categories are as follows:

  1. A blend of gut bacteria called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium 
  2. A single strain of Saccharomyces boulardii, a healthy fungus 
  3. Soil-based microorganisms
how to heal your gut: 3 Probiotics for Gut Balance

When incorporating Triple Probiotic Therapy to correct microbial balance and reduce inflammation, I recommend the following approach:

  1. Try a quality formula probiotic from category 1, category 2 and category 3 — take all three together.  
  2. Track your symptoms for 3-4 weeks. If you’re feeling better, stick with this regimen until your improvements have reached their maximum.
  3. Once you’ve reached maximum improvement, continue the same regimen for about another month to allow your system to adjust. Then reduce your dose to find the minimal effective dose. Once you’ve found it, stay on that dose.
  • If you haven’t noticed any improvement in your symptoms after 3-4 weeks, you can stop taking probiotics knowing that you have fully explored probiotic therapy. There’s no need to go looking for other probiotic strains.

A note about fermented foods: 

Some people may benefit from eating fermented foods, such as kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. However, some people may find these foods irritating and should eat them with caution. Keep in mind that the probiotics in foods come in much smaller doses than those in supplements and may be less effective at healing your gut. For more detail, see this table comparing the doses of probiotics in foods versus supplements.

Digestive Enzymes or Acid

If you haven’t noticed a significant improvement with diet and lifestyle changes combined with probiotics after a few weeks, you may want to try digestive enzymes or enhance your stomach acid. 

Some people don’t make enough of the enzymes required to break down certain carbohydrates, proteins, or fats and may notice bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, or bowel movement changes. In such cases, digestive enzymes that include amylase, protease, or lipase, taken at the start of a meal could help reduce or eliminate such symptoms [37 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 38 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 39 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].

Others may have low stomach acid and could benefit from taking betaine HCl to improve digestive function and nutrient absorption [40 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].

Try these separately for 2-3 weeks each, looking for improvements, worsened symptoms, or no effect at all. If you feel worse or no different, your gut lining may have some damage that could be repaired with certain supplements.

Supplements To Heal the Gut Lining

If diet, stress reduction, probiotics, and digestive supports haven’t helped after a few weeks, you may consider trying supplements that can strengthen your intestinal wall to keep microorganisms and undigested food particles from escaping into the bloodstream. Research shows these supplements may directly help heal leaky gut:

Although bone broth has less clinical research behind it, this is a whole-food source of L-glutamine, other amino acids, and minerals that may help heal the gut lining. However, given its lower concentrations of healing elements, bone broth may also be less effective than supplements. 

As with the digestive aids, I recommend trying each of these separately for 2-3 weeks to gauge whether they help, harm, or make no difference. If the first category clearly does not help, you can consider trying any of the next category of supplements.

Supplements To Reduce Inflammation

If none of the previous steps or supplements seem to have helped you considerably, you could try supplements that have been shown to help reduce inflammation. I recommend trying one at a time for 2-3 weeks apiece any of the following to see how you feel:

With all supplements, it is important to give each one a try for 2-3 weeks and make note of whether they help, harm, or do nothing. Keep track of those that help and stop taking those that don’t.

Overall, if you try the first two steps and don’t feel much better, you may need a bit more guidance, outlined below. The full Great-in-8 Action Plan is detailed for personalized use in my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You. Another option is to work with someone who specializes in gut health and functional medicine, such as our doctors and health coach at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine.

Great-In-8 Action Plan: The Remaining Steps

how to heal your gut: Great-in-8 Protocol Map

If you do not see improvements after following Step 1: Reset and Step 2: Support, your gut may have a microbial imbalance that needs to be corrected by proceeding with the following steps:

3. Remove or reduce bad gut microbes with antimicrobial herbs.

4. Rebalance your gut bacteria after using antimicrobial herbs.

Whether you felt better after Step 1 or 2, or you continued on through steps 3 and 4 with more guidance, steps 5-8 apply to you. They are:

5. Reintroduce the foods you removed in Step 1, focusing on whole, minimally processed foods.

6. Feed your good bacteria.

7. Wean yourself off the supplements in your treatment protocol.

8. Maintain and enjoy your reclaimed gut health.

For most people, the first two steps vastly improve their health and wellbeing. For many others, following the Great-in-8 Action Plan outlined in Healthy Gut, Healthy You will get them feeling much better. A smaller number of people will have trickier health situations and need professional guidance.

How Do You Know Your Gut Needs Healing?

The most obvious signs that your gastrointestinal health may be compromised are recurring digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or loose stools, reflux, indigestion, or heartburn.

A poorly functioning digestive system may limit nutrient absorption [58 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 59 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source, 60 Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source] and promote inflammation, which can dysregulate your entire immune system

Symptoms of chronic inflammation

Over time, insufficient nutrients, chronic inflammation, and immune dysregulation may manifest as one or more of the following symptoms or diagnoses:

Final Thoughts on How To Heal Your Gut 

If you experience gut issues and/or other bothersome non-digestive symptoms that are limiting your ability to live well, work effectively, connect with others, and find joy in life, chances are your gut health could be impaired. For many people, switching to an anti-inflammatory diet, increasing beneficial bacteria, strengthening digestion, and prioritizing rest, relaxation, and joy will greatly reduce their symptoms and improve life, overall. 

However, some people need a bit more time and attention to heal and may benefit from some outside help. If this resonates with you, I highly recommend seeking the help of a functional medicine practitioner or functional nutritionist who is well versed in gut health and its impacts on whole health. The highly qualified doctors and health coach at Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine are here to help you navigate your path to better health.

➕ References
  1. Coucke F. Food intolerance in patients with manifest autoimmunity. Observational study. Autoimmun Rev. 2018 Nov;17(11):1078-1080. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2018.05.011. Epub 2018 Sep 11. PMID: 30213697. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  2. Frändemark Å, Jakobsson Ung E, Törnblom H, Simrén M, Jakobsson S. Fatigue: a distressing symptom for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Jan;29(1). doi: 10.1111/nmo.12898. Epub 2016 Jul 11. PMID: 27401139. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  3. O’Neill CA, Monteleone G, McLaughlin JT, Paus R. The gut-skin axis in health and disease: A paradigm with therapeutic implications. Bioessays. 2016 Nov;38(11):1167-1176. doi: 10.1002/bies.201600008. Epub 2016 Aug 24. PMID: 27554239. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  4. Simpson CA, Mu A, Haslam N, Schwartz OS, Simmons JG. Feeling down? A systematic review of the gut microbiota in anxiety/depression and irritable bowel syndrome. J Affect Disord. 2020 Apr 1;266:429-446. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.01.124. Epub 2020 Jan 22. PMID: 32056910. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  5. Horta-Baas G, Romero-Figueroa MDS, Montiel-Jarquín AJ, Pizano-Zárate ML, García-Mena J, Ramírez-Durán N. Intestinal Dysbiosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Link between Gut Microbiota and the Pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. J Immunol Res. 2017;2017:4835189. doi: 10.1155/2017/4835189. Epub 2017 Aug 30. PMID: 28948174; PMCID: PMC5602494. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  6. Whalen KA, McCullough ML, Flanders WD, Hartman TJ, Judd S, Bostick RM. Paleolithic and Mediterranean Diet Pattern Scores Are Inversely Associated with Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Balance in Adults. J Nutr. 2016 Jun;146(6):1217-26. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.224048. Epub 2016 Apr 20. PMID: 27099230; PMCID: PMC4877627. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  7. Olendzki BC, Silverstein TD, Persuitte GM, Ma Y, Baldwin KR, Cave D. An anti-inflammatory diet as treatment for inflammatory bowel disease: a case series report. Nutr J. 2014 Jan 16;13:5. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-5. PMID: 24428901; PMCID: PMC3896778. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  8. Masharani U, Sherchan P, Schloetter M, Stratford S, Xiao A, Sebastian A, Nolte Kennedy M, Frassetto L. Metabolic and physiologic effects from consuming a hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic)-type diet in type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug;69(8):944-8. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.39. Epub 2015 Apr 1. PMID: 25828624. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  9. Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahrén B, Branell UC, Pålsson G, Hansson A, Söderström M, Lindeberg S. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2009 Jul 16;8:35. doi: 10.1186/1475-2840-8-35. PMID: 19604407; PMCID: PMC2724493. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  10. https://www.monashfodmap.com/about-fodmap-and-ibs/
  11. Tuck CJ, Taylor KM, Gibson PR, Barrett JS, Muir JG. Increasing Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Symptoms With Ingestion of Galacto-Oligosaccharides Are Mitigated by α-Galactosidase Treatment. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jan;113(1):124-134. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2017.245. Epub 2017 Aug 15. PMID: 28809383. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  12. Vanuytsel T, van Wanrooy S, Vanheel H, Vanormelingen C, Verschueren S, Houben E, Salim Rasoel S, Tόth J, Holvoet L, Farré R, Van Oudenhove L, Boeckxstaens G, Verbeke K, Tack J. Psychological stress and corticotropin-releasing hormone increase intestinal permeability in humans by a mast cell-dependent mechanism. Gut. 2014 Aug;63(8):1293-9. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-305690. Epub 2013 Oct 23. PMID: 24153250. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  13. Costa RJS, Snipe RMJ, Kitic CM, Gibson PR. Systematic review: exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome-implications for health and intestinal disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Aug;46(3):246-265. doi: 10.1111/apt.14157. Epub 2017 Jun 7. PMID: 28589631. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  14. Gerbarg PL, Jacob VE, Stevens L, Bosworth BP, Chabouni F, DeFilippis EM, Warren R, Trivellas M, Patel PV, Webb CD, Harbus MD, Christos PJ, Brown RP, Scherl EJ. The Effect of Breathing, Movement, and Meditation on Psychological and Physical Symptoms and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Dec;21(12):2886-96. doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000568. PMID: 26426148. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  15. Bratman GN, Hamilton JP, Hahn KS, Daily GC, Gross JJ. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jul 14;112(28):8567-72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1510459112. Epub 2015 Jun 29. PMID: 26124129; PMCID: PMC4507237. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  16. Takayama N, Korpela K, Lee J, Morikawa T, Tsunetsugu Y, Park BJ, Li Q, Tyrväinen L, Miyazaki Y, Kagawa T. Emotional, restorative and vitalizing effects of forest and urban environments at four sites in Japan. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Jul 15;11(7):7207-30. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110707207. PMID: 25029496; PMCID: PMC4113871. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  17. Li Q, Morimoto K, Kobayashi M, Inagaki H, Katsumata M, Hirata Y, Hirata K, Suzuki H, Li YJ, Wakayama Y, Kawada T, Park BJ, Ohira T, Matsui N, Kagawa T, Miyazaki Y, Krensky AM. Visiting a forest, but not a city, increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2008 Jan-Mar;21(1):117-27. doi: 10.1177/039463200802100113. PMID: 18336737. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  18. Nicolaou N, Siddique N, Custovic A. Allergic disease in urban and rural populations: increasing prevalence with increasing urbanization. Allergy. 2005 Nov;60(11):1357-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2005.00961.x. PMID: 16197466. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  19. Graham A. Rook. Immunoregulation and the natural environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Nov 2013, 110 (46) 18360-18367; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1313731110
  20. Zhou C, Zhao E, Li Y, Jia Y, Li F. Exercise therapy of patients with irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2019 Feb;31(2):e13461. doi: 10.1111/nmo.13461. Epub 2018 Sep 19. PMID: 30232834. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  21. Cassar GE, Youssef GJ, Knowles S, Moulding R, Austin DW. Health-Related Quality of Life in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Gastroenterol Nurs. 2020 May/Jun;43(3):E102-E122. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000530. PMID: 32487960. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  22. Hasan SS, Pearson JS, Morris J, Whorwell PJ. SKYPE HYPNOTHERAPY FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Effectiveness and Comparison with Face-to-Face Treatment. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2019 Jan-Mar;67(1):69-80. doi: 10.1080/00207144.2019.1553766. PMID: 30702396; PMCID: PMC6538308. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  23. Miller V, Carruthers HR, Morris J, Hasan SS, Archbold S, Whorwell PJ. Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome: an audit of one thousand adult patients. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 May;41(9):844-55. doi: 10.1111/apt.13145. Epub 2015 Mar 4. PMID: 25736234. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  24. Rodiño-Janeiro BK, Vicario M, Alonso-Cotoner C, Pascua-García R, Santos J. A Review of Microbiota and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Future in Therapies. Adv Ther. 2018 Mar;35(3):289-310. doi: 10.1007/s12325-018-0673-5. Epub 2018 Mar 1. PMID: 29498019; PMCID: PMC5859043. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  25. Kuo PH, Chung YE. Moody microbiome: Challenges and chances. J Formos Med Assoc. 2019 Mar;118 Suppl 1:S42-S54. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2018.09.004. Epub 2018 Sep 25. PMID: 30262220. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  26. Newberry F, Hsieh SY, Wileman T, Carding SR. Does the microbiome and virome contribute to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome? Clin Sci (Lond). 2018 Mar 9;132(5):523-542. doi: 10.1042/CS20171330. PMID: 29523751; PMCID: PMC5843715. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  27. Balato A, Cacciapuoti S, Di Caprio R, Marasca C, Masarà A, Raimondo A, Fabbrocini G. Human Microbiome: Composition and Role in Inflammatory Skin Diseases. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2019 Feb;67(1):1-18. doi: 10.1007/s00005-018-0528-4. Epub 2018 Oct 9. PMID: 30302512. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  28. du Teil Espina M, Gabarrini G, Harmsen HJM, Westra J, van Winkelhoff AJ, van Dijl JM. Talk to your gut: the oral-gut microbiome axis and its immunomodulatory role in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2019 Jan 1;43(1):1-18. doi: 10.1093/femsre/fuy035. PMID: 30219863. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  29. Abdul Rahim MBH, Chilloux J, Martinez-Gili L, Neves AL, Myridakis A, Gooderham N, Dumas ME. Diet-induced metabolic changes of the human gut microbiome: importance of short-chain fatty acids, methylamines and indoles. Acta Diabetol. 2019 May;56(5):493-500. doi: 10.1007/s00592-019-01312-x. Epub 2019 Mar 22. PMID: 30903435; PMCID: PMC6451719. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  30. Rácz B, Dušková M, Stárka L, Hainer V, Kunešová M. Links between the circadian rhythm, obesity and the microbiome. Physiol Res. 2018 Nov 28;67(Suppl 3):S409-S420. doi: 10.33549/physiolres.934020. PMID: 30484668. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  31. Li Q, Ren Y, Fu X. Inter-kingdom signaling between gut microbiota and their host. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2019 Jun;76(12):2383-2389. doi: 10.1007/s00018-019-03076-7. Epub 2019 Mar 25. PMID: 30911771. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  32. Virili C, Fallahi P, Antonelli A, Benvenga S, Centanni M. Gut microbiota and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2018 Dec;19(4):293-300. doi: 10.1007/s11154-018-9467-y. PMID: 30294759. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  33. Shamasbi SG, Ghanbari-Homayi S, Mirghafourvand M. The effect of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on hormonal and inflammatory indices in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Nutr. 2020 Mar;59(2):433-450. doi: 10.1007/s00394-019-02033-1. Epub 2019 Jun 29. PMID: 31256251. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  34. American College of Gastroenterology Task Force on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Brandt LJ, Chey WD, Foxx-Orenstein AE, Schiller LR, Schoenfeld PS, Spiegel BM, Talley NJ, Quigley EM. An evidence-based position statement on the management of irritable bowel syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Jan;104 Suppl 1:S1-35. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2008.122. PMID: 19521341. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  35. Ford AC, Quigley EM, Lacy BE, Lembo AJ, Saito YA, Schiller LR, Soffer EE, Spiegel BM, Moayyedi P. Efficacy of prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics in irritable bowel syndrome and chronic idiopathic constipation: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 Oct;109(10):1547-61; quiz 1546, 1562. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2014.202. Epub 2014 Jul 29. PMID: 25070051. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  36. Zhang C, Jiang J, Tian F, Zhao J, Zhang H, Zhai Q, Chen W. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of the effects of probiotics on functional constipation in adults. Clin Nutr. 2020 Oct;39(10):2960-2969. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2020.01.005. Epub 2020 Jan 14. PMID: 32005532. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  37. Weir I, Shu Q, Wei N, Wei C, Zhu Y. Efficacy of actinidin-containing kiwifruit extract Zyactinase on constipation: a randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2018;27(3):564-571. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.122017.03. PMID: 29737803. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  38. Spagnuolo R, Cosco C, Mancina RM, Ruggiero G, Garieri P, Cosco V, Doldo P. Beta-glucan, inositol and digestive enzymes improve quality of life of patients with inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017 Jun;21(2 Suppl):102-107. PMID: 28724171. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  39. Ciacci C, Franceschi F, Purchiaroni F, Capone P, Buccelletti F, Iacomini P, Ranaudo A, Andreozzi P, Tondi P, Gentiloni Silveri N, Gasbarrini A, Gasbarrini G. Effect of beta-glucan, inositol and digestive enzymes in GI symptoms of patients with IBS. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Jun;15(6):637-43. PMID: 21796867. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  40. Chubineh S, Birk J. Proton pump inhibitors: the good, the bad, and the unwanted. South Med J. 2012 Nov;105(11):613-8. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e31826efbea. PMID: 23128806. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  41. Zhou Q, Verne ML, Fields JZ, Lefante JJ, Basra S, Salameh H, Verne GN. Randomised placebo-controlled trial of dietary glutamine supplements for postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 2019 Jun;68(6):996-1002. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2017-315136. Epub 2018 Aug 14. PMID: 30108163. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  42. Pugh JN, Sage S, Hutson M, Doran DA, Fleming SC, Highton J, Morton JP, Close GL. Glutamine supplementation reduces markers of intestinal permeability during running in the heat in a dose-dependent manner. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2017 Dec;117(12):2569-2577. doi: 10.1007/s00421-017-3744-4. Epub 2017 Oct 20. PMID: 29058112; PMCID: PMC5694515. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  43. Mottaghi A, Yeganeh MZ, Golzarand M, Jambarsang S, Mirmiran P. Efficacy of glutamine-enriched enteral feeding formulae in critically ill patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2016;25(3):504-12. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.092015.24. PMID: 27440684. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  44. Yao D, Zheng L, Wang J, Guo M, Yin J, Li Y. Perioperative Alanyl-Glutamine-Supplemented Parenteral Nutrition in Chronic Radiation Enteritis Patients With Surgical Intestinal Obstruction: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study. Nutr Clin Pract. 2016 Apr;31(2):250-6. doi: 10.1177/0884533615591601. Epub 2015 Jun 15. PMID: 26078286. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  45. Leite RD, Lima NL, Leite CA, Farhat CK, Guerrant RL, Lima AA. Improvement of intestinal permeability with alanyl-glutamine in HIV patients: a randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Arq Gastroenterol. 2013 Jan-Mar;50(1):56-63. doi: 10.1590/s0004-28032013000100011. PMID: 23657308. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  46. Benjamin J, Makharia G, Ahuja V, Anand Rajan KD, Kalaivani M, Gupta SD, Joshi YK. Glutamine and whey protein improve intestinal permeability and morphology in patients with Crohn’s disease: a randomized controlled trial. Dig Dis Sci. 2012 Apr;57(4):1000-12. doi: 10.1007/s10620-011-1947-9. Epub 2011 Oct 26. PMID: 22038507. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  47. Hałasa M, Maciejewska D, Baśkiewicz-Hałasa M, Machaliński B, Safranow K, Stachowska E. Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Decreases Intestinal Permeability and Stool Concentrations of Zonulin in Athletes. Nutrients. 2017 Apr 8;9(4):370. doi: 10.3390/nu9040370. PMID: 28397754; PMCID: PMC5409709.
  48. Davison G, Marchbank T, March DS, Thatcher R, Playford RJ. Zinc carnosine works with bovine colostrum in truncating heavy exercise-induced increase in gut permeability in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Aug;104(2):526-36. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.134403. Epub 2016 Jun 29. PMID: 27357095. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  49. Tran CD, Hawkes J, Graham RD, Kitchen JL, Symonds EL, Davidson GP, Butler RN. Zinc-fortified oral rehydration solution improved intestinal permeability and small intestinal mucosal recovery. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 Jun;54(7):676-82. doi: 10.1177/0009922814562665. Epub 2014 Dec 16. PMID: 25520366. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  50. Lamprecht M, Bogner S, Steinbauer K, Schuetz B, Greilberger JF, Leber B, Wagner B, Zinser E, Petek T, Wallner-Liebmann S, Oberwinkler T, Bachl N, Schippinger G. Effects of zeolite supplementation on parameters of intestinal barrier integrity, inflammation, redoxbiology and performance in aerobically trained subjects. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Oct 20;12:40. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0101-z. PMID: 26500463; PMCID: PMC4617723.
  51. Luthold RV, Fernandes GR, Franco-de-Moraes AC, Folchetti LG, Ferreira SR. Gut microbiota interactions with the immunomodulatory role of vitamin D in normal individuals. Metabolism. 2017 Apr;69:76-86. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2017.01.007. Epub 2017 Jan 13. PMID: 28285654. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  52. Aly AM, Al-Alousi L, Salem HA. Licorice: a possible anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer drug. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2005 Sep 20;6(1):E74-82. doi: 10.1208/pt060113. PMID: 16353966; PMCID: PMC2750414.
  53. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/aloe-vera
  54. Suzuki T, Hara H. Quercetin enhances intestinal barrier function through the assembly of zonula [corrected] occludens-2, occludin, and claudin-1 and the expression of claudin-4 in Caco-2 cells. J Nutr. 2009 May;139(5):965-74. doi: 10.3945/jn.108.100867. Epub 2009 Mar 18. PMID: 19297429. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  55. Glenn JO, Wischmeyer PE. Enteral fish oil in critical illness: perspectives and systematic review. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Mar;17(2):116-23. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000039. PMID: 24500437. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  56. Weinstock, L. and Jasion, V. (2014) Serum-Derived Bovine Immunoglobulin/Protein Isolate Therapy for Patients with Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Open Journal of Gastroenterology4, 329-334. doi: 10.4236/ojgas.2014.410047.
  57. Chen Q, Chen O, Martins IM, Hou H, Zhao X, Blumberg JB, Li B. Collagen peptides ameliorate intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction in immunostimulatory Caco-2 cell monolayers via enhancing tight junctions. Food Funct. 2017 Mar 22;8(3):1144-1151. doi: 10.1039/c6fo01347c. PMID: 28174772. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  58. Adike A, DiBaise JK. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth: Nutritional Implications, Diagnosis, and Management. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2018 Mar;47(1):193-208. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2017.09.008. Epub 2017 Dec 7. PMID: 29413012. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  59. Clark R, Johnson R. Malabsorption Syndromes. Nurs Clin North Am. 2018 Sep;53(3):361-374. doi: 10.1016/j.cnur.2018.05.001. Epub 2018 Jul 11. PMID: 30100002. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  60. Owens SR, Greenson JK. The pathology of malabsorption: current concepts. Histopathology. 2007 Jan;50(1):64-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2006.02547.x. PMID: 17204022. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  61. Han CJ, Yang GS. Fatigue in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Pooled Frequency and Severity of Fatigue. Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci). 2016 Mar;10(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.anr.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Feb 1. PMID: 27021828. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  62. Volta U, Bardella MT, Calabrò A, Troncone R, Corazza GR; Study Group for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. An Italian prospective multicenter survey on patients suspected of having non-celiac gluten sensitivity. BMC Med. 2014 May 23;12:85. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-12-85. PMID: 24885375; PMCID: PMC4053283. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  63. Maes M, Leunis JC. Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Dec;29(6):902-10. PMID: 19112401. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  64. Ellen Johanne Vara, Jørgen Valeur, Trygve Hausken & Gülen Arslan Lied (2016) Extra-intestinal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: related to high total IgE levels and atopic sensitization?, Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 51:8, 908-913, DOI: 10.3109/00365521.2016.1157890
  65. Koloski NA, Jones M, Talley NJ. Evidence that independent gut-to-brain and brain-to-gut pathways operate in the irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia: a 1-year population-based prospective study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Sep;44(6):592-600. doi: 10.1111/apt.13738. Epub 2016 Jul 22. PMID: 27444264. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  66. Geng Q, Zhang QE, Wang F, Zheng W, Ng CH, Ungvari GS, Wang G, Xiang YT. Comparison of comorbid depression between irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease: A meta-analysis of comparative studies. J Affect Disord. 2018 Sep;237:37-46. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.111. Epub 2018 May 4. Erratum in: J Affect Disord. 2019 Jun 15;253: PMID: 29758449. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  67. Skodje GI, Minelle IH, Rolfsen KL, Iacovou M, Lundin KEA, Veierød MB, Henriksen C. Dietary and symptom assessment in adults with self-reported non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2019 Jun;31:88-94. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2019.02.012. Epub 2019 Mar 11. PMID: 31060839. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  68. Ng QX, Peters C, Ho CYX, Lim DY, Yeo WS. A meta-analysis of the use of probiotics to alleviate depressive symptoms. J Affect Disord. 2018 Mar 1;228:13-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.11.063. Epub 2017 Nov 16. PMID: 29197739. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  69. Ocon AJ. Caught in the thickness of brain fog: exploring the cognitive symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Front Physiol. 2013 Apr 5;4:63. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2013.00063. PMID: 23576989; PMCID: PMC3617392.
  70. Khanijow V, Prakash P, Emsellem HA, Borum ML, Doman DB. Sleep Dysfunction and Gastrointestinal Diseases. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2015 Dec;11(12):817-25. PMID: 27134599; PMCID: PMC4849511.
  71. Lee YB, Byun EJ, Kim HS. Potential Role of the Microbiome in Acne: A Comprehensive Review. J Clin Med. 2019 Jul 7;8(7):987. doi: 10.3390/jcm8070987. PMID: 31284694; PMCID: PMC6678709. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  72. Levkovich T, Poutahidis T, Smillie C, Varian BJ, Ibrahim YM, Lakritz JR, Alm EJ, Erdman SE. Probiotic bacteria induce a ‘glow of health’. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e53867. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053867. Epub 2013 Jan 16. PMID: 23342023; PMCID: PMC3547054. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  73. Polkowska-Pruszyńska B, Gerkowicz A, Krasowska D. The gut microbiome alterations in allergic and inflammatory skin diseases – an update. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2020 Mar;34(3):455-464. doi: 10.1111/jdv.15951. Epub 2019 Nov 19. PMID: 31520544. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  74. Lee SY, Lee E, Park YM, Hong SJ. Microbiome in the Gut-Skin Axis in Atopic Dermatitis. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2018 Jul;10(4):354-362. doi: 10.4168/aair.2018.10.4.354. PMID: 29949831; PMCID: PMC6021588.
  75. Varjonen E, Vainio E, Kalimo K. Antigliadin IgE–indicator of wheat allergy in atopic dermatitis. Allergy. 2000 Apr;55(4):386-91. doi: 10.1034/j.1398-9995.2000.00451.x. PMID: 10782525. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  76. Nosrati A, Afifi L, Danesh MJ, Lee K, Yan D, Beroukhim K, Ahn R, Liao W. Dietary modifications in atopic dermatitis: patient-reported outcomes. J Dermatolog Treat. 2017 Sep;28(6):523-538. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2016.1278071. Epub 2017 Jan 24. PMID: 28043181; PMCID: PMC5736303. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  77. Bhatia BK, Millsop JW, Debbaneh M, Koo J, Linos E, Liao W. Diet and psoriasis, part II: celiac disease and role of a gluten-free diet. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Aug;71(2):350-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2014.03.017. Epub 2014 Apr 26. PMID: 24780176; PMCID: PMC4104239.
  78. Fu Y, Lee CH, Chi CC. Association of Psoriasis With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Dec 1;154(12):1417-1423. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3631. PMID: 30422277; PMCID: PMC6583370. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  79. Baker JM, Al-Nakkash L, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. Estrogen-gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications. Maturitas. 2017 Sep;103:45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.06.025. Epub 2017 Jun 23. PMID: 28778332. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  80. Goedert JJ, Jones G, Hua X, Xu X, Yu G, Flores R, Falk RT, Gail MH, Shi J, Ravel J, Feigelson HS. Investigation of the association between the fecal microbiota and breast cancer in postmenopausal women: a population-based case-control pilot study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Jun 1;107(8):djv147. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv147. PMID: 26032724; PMCID: PMC4554191.
  81. Tremellen K, McPhee N, Pearce K, Benson S, Schedlowski M, Engler H. Endotoxin-initiated inflammation reduces testosterone production in men of reproductive age. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Mar 1;314(3):E206-E213. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00279.2017. Epub 2017 Nov 28. PMID: 29183872; PMCID: PMC5899218.
  82. Zuvarox T, Belletieri C. Malabsorption Syndromes. [Updated 2020 Apr 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553106/
  83. Vergnat M, Suzanne J, Entraygues H, Laurent R, Gisselbrecht H, Agache P. Manifestations cutanées et syndrome de malabsorption [Cutaneous manifestations of malabsorption diseases (author’s transl)]. Ann Dermatol Venereol. 1978 Dec;105(12):1009-16. French. PMID: 380445. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  84. Trost LB, Bergfeld WF, Calogeras E. The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 May;54(5):824-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2005.11.1104. PMID: 16635664. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  85. Wu X, He B, Liu J, Feng H, Ma Y, Li D, Guo B, Liang C, Dang L, Wang L, Tian J, Zhu H, Xiao L, Lu C, Lu A, Zhang G. Molecular Insight into Gut Microbiota and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Mar 22;17(3):431. doi: 10.3390/ijms17030431. PMID: 27011180; PMCID: PMC4813281. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  86. Maeda Y, Kumanogoh A, Takeda K. [Altered composition of gut microbiota in rheumatoid arthritis patients]. Nihon Rinsho Meneki Gakkai Kaishi. 2016;39(1):59-63. Japanese. doi: 10.2177/jsci.39.59. PMID: 27181236. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  87. Maeda Y, Kurakawa T, Umemoto E, Motooka D, Ito Y, Gotoh K, Hirota K, Matsushita M, Furuta Y, Narazaki M, Sakaguchi N, Kayama H, Nakamura S, Iida T, Saeki Y, Kumanogoh A, Sakaguchi S, Takeda K. Dysbiosis Contributes to Arthritis Development via Activation of Autoreactive T Cells in the Intestine. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Nov;68(11):2646-2661. doi: 10.1002/art.39783. PMID: 27333153. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  88. Knezevic J, Starchl C, Tmava Berisha A, Amrein K. Thyroid-Gut-Axis: How Does the Microbiota Influence Thyroid Function? Nutrients. 2020 Jun 12;12(6):1769. doi: 10.3390/nu12061769. PMID: 32545596; PMCID: PMC7353203. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  89. Levy J, Bernstein L, Silber N. Celiac disease: an immune dysregulation syndrome. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2014 Dec;44(11):324-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2014.10.002. PMID: 25499458. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  90. Briani C, Samaroo D, Alaedini A. Celiac disease: from gluten to autoimmunity. Autoimmun Rev. 2008 Sep;7(8):644-50. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2008.05.006. Epub 2008 Jun 25. PMID: 18589004. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  91. Sander LE, Lorentz A, Sellge G, Coëffier M, Neipp M, Veres T, Frieling T, Meier PN, Manns MP, Bischoff SC. Selective expression of histamine receptors H1R, H2R, and H4R, but not H3R, in the human intestinal tract. Gut. 2006 Apr;55(4):498-504. doi: 10.1136/gut.2004.061762. Epub 2005 Nov 18. PMID: 16299042; PMCID: PMC1856162. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  92. Schink M, Konturek PC, Tietz E, Dieterich W, Pinzer TC, Wirtz S, Neurath MF, Zopf Y. Microbial patterns in patients with histamine intolerance. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2018 Aug;69(4). doi: 10.26402/jpp.2018.4.09. Epub 2018 Dec 9. PMID: 30552302. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  93. Enko D, Meinitzer A, Mangge H, Kriegshäuser G, Halwachs-Baumann G, Reininghaus EZ, Bengesser SA, Schnedl WJ. Concomitant Prevalence of Low Serum Diamine Oxidase Activity and Carbohydrate Malabsorption. Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;2016:4893501. doi: 10.1155/2016/4893501. Epub 2016 Nov 30. PMID: 28042564; PMCID: PMC5155086. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  94. Lappinga PJ, Abraham SC, Murray JA, Vetter EA, Patel R, Wu TT. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: histopathologic features and clinical correlates in an underrecognized entity. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2010 Feb;134(2):264-70. doi: 10.1043/1543-2165-134.2.264. PMID: 20121616. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  95. Bures J, Cyrany J, Kohoutova D, Förstl M, Rejchrt S, Kvetina J, Vorisek V, Kopacova M. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jun 28;16(24):2978-90. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i24.2978. PMID: 20572300; PMCID: PMC2890937. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source
  96. Pietschmann N. Food Intolerance: Immune Activation Through Diet-associated Stimuli in Chronic Disease. Altern Ther Health Med. 2015 Jul-Aug;21(4):42-52. PMID: 26030116. Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source

Need help or would like to learn more?
View Dr. Ruscio’s additional resources

Get Help

Discussion

I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!

One thought on “How To Heal Your Gut: Why Diet, Lifestyle, and Supplements Matter

  1. I have tried each level of support
    I have tried all of your suggestions, and nothing seems to help my gut imbalance. I tried probiotics and it makes my constipation and diarrhea worse. I am on a anti- inflammatory diet, because it is a crucial step in healing, but have not seen a difference.
    I do not have an accurate low fodmap guide to follow. There are so many blogs which give conflicting opinions as to what is lowfod map.
    I live in a rural area so I have no access to a functional practioner who actually specializes in the gut microbiome. I am truely at a
    loss here. I do not know where to turn, and I simply cannot afford to do consultations, since it is very expensive.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *