Using the Liquid Elemental Diet to Heal Your Gut, SIBO, IBS and Methylation – Q&A

Elemental Diet

The elemental diet is one of the most effective therapies for improving gut health. This simple liquid diet can be used for SIBO, IBS and joint pain amongst others. Lets cover a few question today regarding the elemental diet and methylation and digestive motility.


Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC: Hi, everyone. This is Dr. Ruscio. Let’s discuss some questions regarding the elemental diet. If you haven’t heard of the elemental diet, the elemental diet is essentially a very gut-friendly, meal replacement shake that has been shown, at least in one study, to be highly effective for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and, in a number of other studies, to be able to reduce inflammation and autoimmunity in the gut as we see in inflammatory bowel disease. And there’s certainly a wealth of anecdotal reports that show that the elemental diet can be a very powerful healing tool for those, especially who have been non-responsive to other therapies.

[Continue reading below]

Dr. R’s Fast Facts Summary

Question 1

If the Elemental Heal is to be sipped on slowly throughout the day, similar to the way an IV drip would be slowly administered, how would a person allow for meal spacing so the Migrating Motor Complex can do its job?

  • This question is suggesting that the “Migrating Motor Complex” is more important or the only important mechanism in healing SIBO. This is a false assumption.
    • Elemental Diet has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments
    • It is best to make decisions based upon outcome data, not mechanism
    • Why?
      • Improved GI immunity
      • Reduced inflammation
      • Potentially improved motility (inference drawn from fact that low FODMAP diet improves serotonin cells density in the small intestine).
    • Lesson
      • Don’t think small, look to outcome data and not mechanism data

Question 2

Curious as to why you used folic acid instead of folate acid?

Question 3

Does the elemental diet also work to reduce hydrogen sulfide SIBO?

  • Currently, there is only unvalidated testing available for hydrogen sulfide SIBO
  • Hydrogen sulfide SIBO is likely assumed due to negative SIBO breath test while still experiencing symptoms
  • The question becomes “Can the elemental diet help for digestive symptoms for someone who is negative for SIBO?”
    • Yes the elemental diet is still a major consideration but not a guaranteed (no therapy is guaranteed)
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DrMR: And essentially, how the elemental diet is used is very similar to how some people are doing these juice cleanses or liquid cleanses where you essentially subsist on nothing but these meal replacement shakes for anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. Now, the couple weeks is reserved for more severe cases. But in many cases, just a few days as a reset and then a partial utilization of these may be as a meal replacement for breakfast on most days going forward can be very helpful for some recalcitrant cases that have been otherwise non-responsive to other therapies.

And thankfully, they have been shown to be very safe. And we have gone through a very extensive review of the safety literature and found no negative long-term effects; in fact, even some positive long-term benefits.

Elemental HealBut let’s cover a few questions regarding elemental diets. More specifically, we released a formula known as Elemental Heal. And there were a couple questions about the formula and the application. And some of these questions, I think, are very important. They’re a little bit more advanced. But I wanted to take a moment to speak to these because, if nothing else, some of these questions actually illustrate an error in thinking that if we can get to this foundational piece of thinking about things in the wrong way, then we can prevent ourselves from thinking our way out of treatments that could potentially help us.

And this is actually quite a serious problem where there’s this quote by Mark Twain, which is, “Don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education.” And what I see more often than I’d like to admit is patients who’ve done a little bit of research on the internet, which is great. But they then know enough to doubt recommendations by reputable sources. And unfortunately, they talk themselves out of treatments that could otherwise help them because they have a little bit of information, enough to be dangerous, as it’s also said.

Listener Question 1

So let’s look at a few questions here. Angela says,

“If the Elemental Heal is to be sipped on slowly throughout the day similar to the way an I.V. drip would be slowly administered,” (which is true), “how would a person allow for meal spacing so that the migratory motor complex can do its job? The cleaning waves of the migratory motor complex clean house in the small intestines during a period of fasting without food or calories which is critically important in the management of SIBO.”

Okay. So this question is problematic because the question is framed in such a way where this person is making a false assumption. And that false assumption is that the predominant piece that’s important for successful management of SIBO revolves around the migratory motor complex.

Is the migratory motor complex—which is essentially these cleaning waves of contraction that help clean debris out of the intestinal tract—is that the only factor that leads to success with IBS and with SIBO? No! In fact, I would be very suspicious that if we had clear data to answer this question, which we don’t. But if we did, that it’s only the minority of cases where this is actually something that’s problematic. So the question is fundamentally flawed.

Now, let me outline this a little bit further. What are the problems? The problem here is that we have the outcome data showing that the elemental diet clearly leads to somewhat remarkable improvement in many cases of SIBO and in IBS and also in inflammatory bowel disease. So we have the outcome data. We should be looking at the outcomes and not inferring from mechanisms.

Gut Book Chapter 4And I actually talked about this in Healthy Gut, Healthy You. And I’ll see if I can put a screenshot of this section up here. But there’s an entire chapter dedicated to how to evaluate health claims. And one of the points I make is don’t think small. Don’t think about a mechanism and then try to infer from that mechanism what the treatment should be.

Here’s how this plays out. You have two people: two people with SIBO, with IBS, and with digestive symptoms. Now, one reads this—that the migratory motor complex is very important. And you need not eat so as to allow the migratory motor complex to clean house in the intestines. And so, when confronted with the option of going on the elemental diet, she declines. And therefore, she doesn’t feel any better.

Person 2 does not get wrapped into this thinking. And they continue to think big. And they say, “Well, this in a clinical trial has been shown to be a very effective treatment. So irrespective of what some of this mechanistic information suggests, I’m going to go forward and go on the elemental diet.” And they end up feeling much better.

So the key point here is we don’t want to take a mechanistic tidbit of academic information and allow that to thwart us from doing something that could help us, especially when we have the outcome data to guide our decision making. So don’t think small about a mechanism. Think big in terms of what the outcome data shows. It’s an incredibly key point.

And I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the why because you need to know the what before you know the why. And what I oftentimes see people doing is floundering in the why. And they’re missing the mark on the what. So in this case, the what is the elemental diet. The why is less relevant.

And this is really unfortunate that I have to do this. But we can go tit for tat with mechanisms. So the mechanism of migratory motor complex, could that be a negative? Probably not. Doesn’t really matter. But what could be happening? What are some of the positive whys? Well, we know that the elemental diet can reduce inflammation; can starve and lead to a resolution of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth; and speculatively, due to its low prebiotic content, may actually help resurrect and restore some of the serotonin cells in the intestine to more normal levels.

But as a patient, you shouldn’t get wrapped up in this level of thinking because it’s very easy to get mislead if you’re looking at these bits and bites of mechanisms. How can you know if what you’re thinking about doing will help you? You can look at what happens when a group of people undergo the intervention and see what the outcome in those people has been.

We know with the elemental diet the outcomes there are fantastic. So focus on the what, the outcome data. Don’t get overly wrapped into the why.

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Okay, so hopefully, that is helpful. Again, if you want to understand that in more detail, I outline that in the book. One of the lessons is don’t think small. Don’t think about mechanism. Think about outcome. This is a key point because I’ve seen so many times people get wrapped up in the mechanism. And then they talk themselves out of things that could help them because they think that mechanism is the most important thing. And then only later do they find out that their thinking was erroneous. And they finally undergo the therapy that was able to help them because they were able to get to the what and not get overly wrapped up in the why.

Listener Question 2

So continuing along this same vein, Robbie asks,

“Curious as to why you used folic acid instead of folate. I have the MTHFR gene, and I’ve been told to stay away from folic acid because it blocks the methylation pathway. Dr. Ben Lynch recommends staying away from it. Any chance, you’ll discontinue folic acid in your elemental drink?”

So again, this is someone who is talking a why. And they’re potentially thwarting their ability to try a successful treatment because they’re not looking at the what. The what outcome is that for people, even with MTHFR presumably, because we have large data sets in various populations showing the elemental diet can be helpful—some of those people likely have MTHFR and still have a positive outcome.

Remember that one of the best ways to optimize methylation—and many methylation experts agree on this—is by fixing your gut. So if the elemental diet helps you fix your gut, that trumps the fact that an elemental diet formula may have folic acid in it, which I believe virtually every elemental formula with the exception of maybe one contains folic acid. So I think it’s a moot point.

But again, to try to get into some of this why even though we shouldn’t—we should be focusing on the outcome. I’ll put up here on the screen for you a study that essentially found a group of patients, a large group of patients in Asia who had MTHFR and were given folic acid—yes, folic acid, which is supposed to be poisonous—actually saw I believe it was a 30% reduction in stroke.

Okay, so I think there are many inferences that are being drawn from gene data that have not been borne out yet. So I would not get overly pulled into that world. Here is one example that illustrates that people with MTHFR actually benefited from folic acid supplementation. Could you criticize some of the finer points of this study? Potentially. But I think it illustrates a very powerful point which is the utility of gene testing is really not there yet clinically. We are still very early in our understanding. And I think there’s much that we don’t yet fully understand.

Folic Acid StudyNow, let me outline that further yet still because I don’t want to come off as a contrarian. I’m open to anything that has been shown to be helpful. But the gene testing doesn’t seem to have been shown to be helpful yet. Rather, there are mechanisms that we can infer if we facilitate a certain mechanism may help someone. But you have to qualify that in an outcome study with humans. You have to qualify that that mechanism, when facilitated or downregulated or upregulated or whatever, actually will produce a health outcome in the people that undergo that intervention.

So we’ve already shown a large study in an Asian population who were administered folic acid and had MTHFR (so they shouldn’t be taking folic acid) actually had a reduction in stroke. But let’s look at other evidence that supports this.

The DIETFITS Study by Christopher Gardner over at Stanford. His study essentially found that genotype was unable to predict who would respond to a diet in any beneficial way. Meaning patients went through these gene tests. The gene tests suggested this diet. And the gene-guided diet had no impact on outcomes for weight.

Further yet still, another study has shown in an ApoE cohort that may be at high risk for cardiovascular involvement that a gene-guided diet had no benefit compared to a normal control diet for improving cardiovascular risk markers.

Apolipoprotein E StudySo I understand that if you don’t feel well and someone tells you about this mechanism of MTHFR slowing down your detoxification and needing folate to help with that, I understand it’s attractive.

But right now, I don’t think that the data is there supporting these approaches. Now, I’ll be very happy to change my mind when we can show some positive outcome. But for right now, for methylation, I think the best thing you can do is optimize the health of your gut.

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald describes this, I think, very eloquently as addressing methylation upstream. So now you get to the upstream source of a toxic burden in your body, the gut. And by alleviating that, you alleviate all these detox pathways that may not be running optimally, perchance that could be MTHFR, by addressing the upstream source of the problem.

So if you have MTHFR, I have zero concern with you using Elemental Heal due to the folic acid content.

Listener Question 3

And then finally, B.L. asks,

“Does the elemental diet work to reduce hydrogen sulfide SIBO?”

Again, there are some potentially faulty presumptions built into this question. How do you know you have hydrogen sulfide SIBO? This is not available outside of the research setting, testing for the hydrogen sulfide SIBO, that is. There is a urine test that may speculatively tell you that you have hydrogen sulfide SIBO. But it is in no way, shape, or form validated. So this is likely a presumed hydrogen sulfide SIBO.

Elemental DietWhy is it presumed? It’s probably presumed because this person tested negative for SIBO via the breath test but has symptoms. So what you’re actually asking is, “Can the elemental diet help for digestive symptoms in someone who is negative for SIBO?” And the answer there is, “Absolutely, yes.”

Now, is it guaranteed? No. No treatment is 100% guaranteed. There’s always a subset of people that may not respond well to any therapy. But the elemental diet tends to be very helpful for digestive involvement as a general rule.

So again, I don’t mean to be overly critical or nitpicky. But it’s important to understand when we are getting too granular and mechanistic in our thinking. Natural and alternative medicine claims to be holistic. So you would think the way that we look at these things would be holistic. But instead, there’s a tendency to look at things in these very reductionistic frameworks.

“I can’t use the elemental diet because it contains folic acid, and I have MTHFR.”

“I can’t use the elemental diet because you’ll be sipping that throughout the day and never be fasted. And therefore, you won’t be able to have a migratory motor complex facilitation.”

Those are very reductionistic ways of looking at your healthcare and the human body. So it’s important to zoom out and look at what the outcome data shows. What happens in people in clinical trials undergoing these interventions? And the good news is, a lot of benefit is vectored by the elemental diet.

It doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone. It doesn’t mean that for some people there may not be a negative reaction. But I want to try to zoom us out and get people away from thinking in these very reduced, very mechanistic frameworks because I see routinely patients who, again, have talked themselves out of undergoing certain therapies that have been shown to be helpful because they read something about a mechanism that may be associated with that treatment that may not be good. Yet they’re missing the fact that there’s this outcome data showing that, “When a person like you does this treatment, there’s a general tendency to see global improvement in how they’re feeling.”

So don’t overlook the simple outcome data at the expense of the convoluted mechanisms because that can mislead you. And ultimately, it will be a disservice to you. Or if you’re a clinician thinking this way, it will be a disservice to your patient.

And again, regarding all this, I remain open as the body of evidence and literature evolves. But for right now, I want to try to prevent people from getting pulled into speculation, especially with gene testing. I don’t think we’re there yet. And I want to prevent people from thinking that, for whatever reason due to meal frequency, an elemental diet may not be a health-promoting treatment.

If you wanted to learn more about the elemental diet, there’s a whole section about this in my book Healthy Gut, Healthy You that details the different formulas that can be used, how they can be used, the safety data, troubleshooting. And so I’d highly recommend checking out the book.

And the elemental diet formula that we’ve released is called Elemental Heal. And I invite you to try that per the guidelines laid out in Healthy Gut, Healthy You.

Remember, don’t think small. Even though sometimes these mechanisms seem alluring, they can often mislead you. So keep your thinking big picture. And truly this can help you get healthy and get back to your life.

This is Dr. Ruscio. I hope this has helped you. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thank you.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.

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!

142 thoughts on “Using the Liquid Elemental Diet to Heal Your Gut, SIBO, IBS and Methylation – Q&A

  1. I follow a keto diet which has helped reduce SIBO symptoms but not eradicate them. Your ED formula is SO carb heavy, why? Also have you tried ED for patients with Histamine Intolerance?

  2. Interesting to read why others might be able to tolerate this formula. For me, the 6 grams of sugar would be a problem.
    Too bad, because it does seem like a good product.

  3. Interesting to read why others might be able to tolerate this formula. For me, the 6 grams of sugar would be a problem.
    Too bad, because it does seem like a good product.

  4. When I went on the low FODMAP diet and did a round of xifaxan (after positive SIBO test), the result was my issues got worse and three years later I still can’t tolerate any of the foods I cut out at that time. Im down to only being able to tolerate about 8 things. I’m worried if I go on the elemental diet I will develop even more food sensitivities and have major problems when I return to eating solids. Is there any risk of this?

  5. When I went on the low FODMAP diet and did a round of xifaxan (after positive SIBO test), the result was my issues got worse and three years later I still can’t tolerate any of the foods I cut out at that time. Im down to only being able to tolerate about 8 things. I’m worried if I go on the elemental diet I will develop even more food sensitivities and have major problems when I return to eating solids. Is there any risk of this?

  6. Many people, including me, have developed yeast infections after being on ED for any length of time.
    Have you seen this in your own patients, and if so, do you prescribe Diflucan or Nystatin to take with ED as a preventive for yeast infection?

    1. If a patient has a history of yeast infections, an antifungal can certainly be helpful during the ED. You may want to check with your physician about fluconazole .

  7. Dr R. Great to understand your thinking behind these questions. I’m a big fan of the book/podcast and your general approach. Its really important to address these issues as there are lots of strong opinions out there on this stuff! I know from my experience, you just need to try stuff and see what works. Thanks again for the good work.

  8. Many people, including me, have developed yeast infections after being on ED for any length of time.
    Have you seen this in your own patients, and if so, do you prescribe Diflucan or Nystatin to take with ED as a preventive for yeast infection?

    1. If a patient has a history of yeast infections, an antifungal can certainly be helpful during the ED. You may want to check with your physician about fluconazole .

  9. Dr R. Great to understand your thinking behind these questions. I’m a big fan of the book/podcast and your general approach. Its really important to address these issues as there are lots of strong opinions out there on this stuff! I know from my experience, you just need to try stuff and see what works. Thanks again for the good work.

  10. I just found out about you and your work today through an interview you recently did with Ari Witten. I love your level-headed non-dogmatic approach. Thank you! I’m currently living in a country where I can’t get any testing done nor can I mail blood/urine/saliva to the US. I’m experiencing ongoing pain/ache in my stomach area. Feels like the pangs of hunger but eating doesn’t help. I’m not sure what to eat but do know things like coffee, vitamin C, garlic, spicy, exacerbates the pain. A swig of milk of magnesia helps a bit, also fresh pressed cabbage juice (although this doesn’t work anywhere near as well as it has in the past). I also have a lot of chronic gurgling sounds but no bloating or acid coming up. Chronic constipation for years. It feels as if my stomach has shrunk and I can’t eat very much at a time. My own self-diagnosis is gastritis and/or ulcer, and/or hiatal hernia. All of this introduction is to ask if you think using your Elemental Heal product for a week would be a logical thing to try, especially since I haven’t figured out what to eat. It’s a big expense plus I have to use a private shipper out of Miami to get it to me – so a sizable investment.
    Your reply would be most appreciated. Thank you, Dovida

    1. Hi Dovida,

      I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with these issues and haven’t been able to access testing – that sounds frustrating.

      I’ve passed your question about the elemental diet on the Dr. Ruscio, hopefully he will answer it in a future podcast – stay tuned!

      In the mean time, you may want to pick up a copy of Dr. Ruscio’s book “Healthy Gut, Healthy You”. He outlines the specific protocol he goes through with clients to help heal their gut-related issues. He also touches on ulcers and gastritis in the book, so hopefully it will help! https://drruscio.com/getgutbook/

    2. I just want to add to the above that I have had chronic body pain (muscle/fascia) for many years and inflammation seems to definitely be an issue. I don’t know if your Elemental Heal might aggravate inflammation.

  11. I just found out about you and your work today through an interview you recently did with Ari Witten. I love your level-headed non-dogmatic approach. Thank you! I’m currently living in a country where I can’t get any testing done nor can I mail blood/urine/saliva to the US. I’m experiencing ongoing pain/ache in my stomach area. Feels like the pangs of hunger but eating doesn’t help. I’m not sure what to eat but do know things like coffee, vitamin C, garlic, spicy, exacerbates the pain. A swig of milk of magnesia helps a bit, also fresh pressed cabbage juice (although this doesn’t work anywhere near as well as it has in the past). I also have a lot of chronic gurgling sounds but no bloating or acid coming up. Chronic constipation for years. It feels as if my stomach has shrunk and I can’t eat very much at a time. My own self-diagnosis is gastritis and/or ulcer, and/or hiatal hernia. All of this introduction is to ask if you think using your Elemental Heal product for a week would be a logical thing to try, especially since I haven’t figured out what to eat. It’s a big expense plus I have to use a private shipper out of Miami to get it to me – so a sizable investment.
    Your reply would be most appreciated. Thank you, Dovida

    1. I just want to add to the above that I have had chronic body pain (muscle/fascia) for many years and inflammation seems to definitely be an issue. I don’t know if your Elemental Heal might aggravate inflammation.

    2. Hi Dovida,

      I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with these issues and haven’t been able to access testing – that sounds frustrating.

      I’ve passed your question about the elemental diet on the Dr. Ruscio, hopefully he will answer it in a future podcast – stay tuned!

      In the mean time, you may want to pick up a copy of Dr. Ruscio’s book “Healthy Gut, Healthy You”. He outlines the specific protocol he goes through with clients to help heal their gut-related issues. He also touches on ulcers and gastritis in the book, so hopefully it will help! https://drruscio.com/getgutbook/

  12. Hi Dr. Ruscio,
    I have just finished your book and am so impressed with your scientific rigor. This is missing from so much of functional medicine (and I won’t even get into the problems with traditional medicine). It is so helpful to sort out the good information from mass of poor information that is “out there” on these intestinal issues.

    I saw your colleague’s answer above regarding potentially using an antifungal on an ED. I was wondering if you would also recommend continued use of antimicrobial (herbals) while on your Elemental Heal product where the Elemental Heal is being considered in lieu of a restricted diet due to food reactions during the restricted diets. Antimicrobials were only recently added after further restricting the diet from straight Paleo to Paleo/FODMAP.
    Thank you for your excellent book!
    Kathryn

  13. Hi Dr. Ruscio,
    I have just finished your book and am so impressed with your scientific rigor. This is missing from so much of functional medicine (and I won’t even get into the problems with traditional medicine). It is so helpful to sort out the good information from mass of poor information that is “out there” on these intestinal issues.

    I saw your colleague’s answer above regarding potentially using an antifungal on an ED. I was wondering if you would also recommend continued use of antimicrobial (herbals) while on your Elemental Heal product where the Elemental Heal is being considered in lieu of a restricted diet due to food reactions during the restricted diets. Antimicrobials were only recently added after further restricting the diet from straight Paleo to Paleo/FODMAP.
    Thank you for your excellent book!
    Kathryn

  14. I’ve just begun the Elemental Heal product today. I got 2 containers which will probably last me 4-5 days.
    I’m also doing MCT oil or coconut oil with it. In terms of beverages – is it okay to drink Green tea or fresh made Ginger Tea?

  15. I’ve just begun the Elemental Heal product today. I got 2 containers which will probably last me 4-5 days.
    I’m also doing MCT oil or coconut oil with it. In terms of beverages – is it okay to drink Green tea or fresh made Ginger Tea?

  16. I’m looking forward to trying out the Elemental Diet, but I’m not quite sure if I should drop all of my other supplements, which I am frankly afraid to do, or continue to consume them(6x Interfase, 3000mg Ginger, and a product called biocleanse by Plexus, which is essentially just ascorbic acid and sodium bicarbonate for the purpose of oxygenation). Also considering continuing my two long time habits of eating a traditionally fermented Bubbies pickle in the morning, 1Tbsp of MCT Oil, and a kombucha later in the day. They all seem to help me, but I’m not sure if I should cut them all out for the purpose of doing the Elemental Diet “properly” and to see if maybe there are some negative effects from them that I’m not noticing, or keep them in as they only seem to help.

    1. Hi Tayler,

      I would recommend picking up a copy of Dr. Ruscio’s book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You”, as it walks you through exactly how to do the elemental diet successfully and answers questions about supplements, etc. You can find it here: https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook

      Good luck!

      1. Thank you! I am currently reading through it, but haven’t gotten to the 8-steps part of the book yet, and, as usual, getting ahead of myself before having done quite enough research.

  17. I’m looking forward to trying out the Elemental Diet, but I’m not quite sure if I should drop all of my other supplements, which I am frankly afraid to do, or continue to consume them(6x Interfase, 3000mg Ginger, and a product called biocleanse by Plexus, which is essentially just ascorbic acid and sodium bicarbonate for the purpose of oxygenation). Also considering continuing my two long time habits of eating a traditionally fermented Bubbies pickle in the morning, 1Tbsp of MCT Oil, and a kombucha later in the day. They all seem to help me, but I’m not sure if I should cut them all out for the purpose of doing the Elemental Diet “properly” and to see if maybe there are some negative effects from them that I’m not noticing, or keep them in as they only seem to help.

    1. Hi Tayler,

      I would recommend picking up a copy of Dr. Ruscio’s book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You”, as it walks you through exactly how to do the elemental diet successfully and answers questions about supplements, etc. You can find it here: https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook

      Good luck!

      1. Thank you! I am currently reading through it, but haven’t gotten to the 8-steps part of the book yet, and, as usual, getting ahead of myself before having done quite enough research.

  18. I’ve read a study that mice with parasites were fed an elemental diet and the parasites actually ate the mucosa of the intestines because of the nature of the elemental formula. I suppose a lack of fiber. Would you recommend NOT doing the Elemental while having a parasitic infestation? Or maybe I can take a product such as Microb Clear that has anti parasitic herbs while on your Elemental.

    1. Hi Carol,

      Thanks for your comment!

      It’s important not to get lost in the weeds and talk ourselves out of a potentially helpful therapy based on a single study (conducted on mice, not humans). Dr. R has done extensive research and feels good about recommending the ED. I would follow the protocol exactly as laid out in his book Healthy Gut, Healthy You (https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook)
      Hope this helps!

  19. I’ve read a study that mice with parasites were fed an elemental diet and the parasites actually ate the mucosa of the intestines because of the nature of the elemental formula. I suppose a lack of fiber. Would you recommend NOT doing the Elemental while having a parasitic infestation? Or maybe I can take a product such as Microb Clear that has anti parasitic herbs while on your Elemental.

    1. Hi Carol,

      Thanks for your comment!

      It’s important not to get lost in the weeds and talk ourselves out of a potentially helpful therapy based on a single study (conducted on mice, not humans). Dr. R has done extensive research and feels good about recommending the ED. I would follow the protocol exactly as laid out in his book Healthy Gut, Healthy You (https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook)
      Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Yuliya,

      I’m assuming you meant “warm” water? If that’s what you meant, then yes, that’s fine – though it may not taste that great.

    1. Hi Yuliya,

      I’m assuming you meant “warm” water? If that’s what you meant, then yes, that’s fine – though it may not taste that great.

  20. Hi, I will be starting the elemental diet today.
    Can Moltiilpro be continued during the diet?
    Can I use coconut oil instead of the flax oil?
    Can I drink plain tea or coffee while on the elemental
    Diet?

    1. Hi Tina,

      I would recommend picking up a copy of Dr Ruscio’s book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You” as it outlines a gut-healing protocol, including exact instructions on how to best execute the elemental diet, along with modifications, etc. It can be found here: https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook

  21. Hi, I will be starting the elemental diet today.
    Can Moltiilpro be continued during the diet?
    Can I use coconut oil instead of the flax oil?
    Can I drink plain tea or coffee while on the elemental
    Diet?

    1. Hi Tina,

      I would recommend picking up a copy of Dr Ruscio’s book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You” as it outlines a gut-healing protocol, including exact instructions on how to best execute the elemental diet, along with modifications, etc. It can be found here: https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook

  22. I’m on my second day of the elemental diet. An hour after consuming it my skin gets itchy and I get all over body inflammation. Have you come across this before?
    Is there something I should be looking at from a intolerance perspective? I don’t have any allergies.

    1. Hi Stacey,

      Unfortunately no treatment is going to work for everyone, and it’s possible you’re having some sort of histamine or allergic reaction. If you aren’t able to get it ironed out, I’d move onto the other elemental versions listed and work through the rest of protocol. You may also want to try an OTC anti-histamine like loratadine/claritin (check with your doctor). Hope this helps.

  23. I’m on my second day of the elemental diet. An hour after consuming it my skin gets itchy and I get all over body inflammation. Have you come across this before?
    Is there something I should be looking at from a intolerance perspective? I don’t have any allergies.

    1. Hi Stacey,

      Unfortunately no treatment is going to work for everyone, and it’s possible you’re having some sort of histamine or allergic reaction. If you aren’t able to get it ironed out, I’d move onto the other elemental versions listed and work through the rest of protocol. You may also want to try an OTC anti-histamine like loratadine/claritin (check with your doctor). Hope this helps.

  24. Hi there, quick question regarding Elemental Heal. I see it’s whey protein. If someone has had an IgG food sensitivity test that is positive for all dairy including whey, is it advisable to avoid the Elemental Heal? I know you don’t recommend testing usually but it was done prior to finding you! Nothing other than dairy was highly positive.

    1. Hi Shannon,

      The product is casein and lactose free and was designed to be devoid of allergens. Due to regulations, we must list milk because it does contain whey milk, however this product is typically well tolerated by those who generally cannot tolerate dairy. Hope this helps.

  25. Hi there, quick question regarding Elemental Heal. I see it’s whey protein. If someone has had an IgG food sensitivity test that is positive for all dairy including whey, is it advisable to avoid the Elemental Heal? I know you don’t recommend testing usually but it was done prior to finding you! Nothing other than dairy was highly positive.

    1. Hi Shannon,

      The product is casein and lactose free and was designed to be devoid of allergens. Due to regulations, we must list milk because it does contain whey milk, however this product is typically well tolerated by those who generally cannot tolerate dairy. Hope this helps.

  26. Is the elemental diet good when dealing with gastritis? I purchased your book and will be reading it starting today but a quit scan through I did not see gastritis mentioned specifically.

  27. Is the elemental diet good when dealing with gastritis? I purchased your book and will be reading it starting today but a quit scan through I did not see gastritis mentioned specifically.

  28. hi

    I don’t know what to do – I have had IBS, chronic pain , been on every diet and had every test both with doctors and holistic doctors . I read your book and was hopeful . I usually do not do well with liquid diets . So i started your plan going back to the low fodmap diet and the supplements . I caused a lot of diarrhea and was painful – so I went back to the elemental diet shake and am trying to fast for 2-4 days to calm my stomach down but its making it worse. Lots of gas and fullness and not feeling better what do i do — continue – modify stop ? please help

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. If you think it’s the shake itself that’s causing the issue, you could try switching to a different form (bone broth, master cleanse, etc) and see if that helps calm things down at all. Otherwise I would just go with whatever feels “best” (or whatever feels least bad) in terms of diet, and then follow the troubleshooting instructions in the book. If you need more personalized care, you can apply to become a patient of Dr Ruscio’s, as he does see people virtually: https://www.drruscio.com/gethelp

      Good luck!

  29. hi

    I don’t know what to do – I have had IBS, chronic pain , been on every diet and had every test both with doctors and holistic doctors . I read your book and was hopeful . I usually do not do well with liquid diets . So i started your plan going back to the low fodmap diet and the supplements . I caused a lot of diarrhea and was painful – so I went back to the elemental diet shake and am trying to fast for 2-4 days to calm my stomach down but its making it worse. Lots of gas and fullness and not feeling better what do i do — continue – modify stop ? please help

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. If you think it’s the shake itself that’s causing the issue, you could try switching to a different form (bone broth, master cleanse, etc) and see if that helps calm things down at all. Otherwise I would just go with whatever feels “best” (or whatever feels least bad) in terms of diet, and then follow the troubleshooting instructions in the book. If you need more personalized care, you can apply to become a patient of Dr Ruscio’s, as he does see people virtually: https://www.drruscio.com/gethelp

      Good luck!

  30. Hello, I’ve been following Dr. Ruscio’s protocol in Healthy Gut, Healthy You for the past 6 months. After doing 4 months of Herbal Antimicrobials & one round of Rifaximin, I still have moderate SIBO (just received my lactulose breath test results last week). I have decided to try out the Elemental Diet, using Elemental Heal. Would it be ok to drink black coffee and green tea while on Elemental Heal? This is not addressed in Healthy Gut, Healthy You. And I do not want to include anything during the ED that may work against fixing this issue! Thank you!

    1. These drinks are technically allowed but I would advise to be very careful with coffee as it can be irritating to the gut for some people, so pay close attention to how you feel when consuming it during the diet. Good luck!

  31. Hello, I’ve been following Dr. Ruscio’s protocol in Healthy Gut, Healthy You for the past 6 months. After doing 4 months of Herbal Antimicrobials & one round of Rifaximin, I still have moderate SIBO (just received my lactulose breath test results last week). I have decided to try out the Elemental Diet, using Elemental Heal. Would it be ok to drink black coffee and green tea while on Elemental Heal? This is not addressed in Healthy Gut, Healthy You. And I do not want to include anything during the ED that may work against fixing this issue! Thank you!

    1. These drinks are technically allowed but I would advise to be very careful with coffee as it can be irritating to the gut for some people, so pay close attention to how you feel when consuming it during the diet. Good luck!

  32. Studies have shown that starving the bacteria can induce biofilm formation as a protective mechanism. This makes the bacteria highly tolerant to antimicrobials. Would this not mean that the elemental diet could be causing further problems as starving the bacteria creates thick biofilms that protect the bacteria from antimicrobials causing a cyclical relapse after the diet as the bacteria grow back and can’t be killed without biofilm disruption?

    1. Hi Hannah,

      I know that Dr R does use anti-biofilm agents in tough cases. I’ll pass this question along for him to hopefully answer in an upcoming listener q+a episode of the podcast. Stay tuned!

  33. Studies have shown that starving the bacteria can induce biofilm formation as a protective mechanism. This makes the bacteria highly tolerant to antimicrobials. Would this not mean that the elemental diet could be causing further problems as starving the bacteria creates thick biofilms that protect the bacteria from antimicrobials causing a cyclical relapse after the diet as the bacteria grow back and can’t be killed without biofilm disruption?

    1. Hi Hannah,

      I know that Dr R does use anti-biofilm agents in tough cases. I’ll pass this question along for him to hopefully answer in an upcoming listener q+a episode of the podcast. Stay tuned!

    1. Hello Dalit,

      The product is casein and lactose free and was designed to be devoid of allergens. Due to regulations, we must list milk because it does contain whey milk, however this product is typically well tolerated by those who generally cannot tolerate dairy. Hope this helps.

    1. Hello Dalit,

      The product is casein and lactose free and was designed to be devoid of allergens. Due to regulations, we must list milk because it does contain whey milk, however this product is typically well tolerated by those who generally cannot tolerate dairy. Hope this helps.

  34. I bought your book Healthy gut healthy you a couple of weeks ago and I am in chapter 24 Step 1 :Reset. It talks about the Modified fast with cleansing lemonade. Where can I get the instructions on how to make it.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Ana,

      If you head over to the resources web page, which is listed on page 326 of the book, it should have all the information you need.

  35. I bought your book Healthy gut healthy you a couple of weeks ago and I am in chapter 24 Step 1 :Reset. It talks about the Modified fast with cleansing lemonade. Where can I get the instructions on how to make it.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Ana,

      If you head over to the resources web page, which is listed on page 326 of the book, it should have all the information you need.

  36. I really appreciate Dr. Ruscio’s postings and I am reading through his HGHY book. Fascinating! I’ve gone through many of the protocols listed with past FM docs. Nothing has ever seemed to help me feel better. Diagnosed with RA 23 years ago. I have purchased the Elemental Diet powder and hope to start that soon. BUT, I do not have the resources to purchase all the recommended supplements and then continue using them ongoing throughout the 8 steps. Even if I choose the lowest recommended amounts, the cost is prohibitive. Any suggestions how to proceed with frugality? Thanks for all your research and hard work for us!

    1. Hi Denise,

      Dr Ruscio developed this to be the most cost effective plan that he could. There’s no expensive testing required and he recommends the minimum amount of supplements he thinks will still get you the desired results. There are optional add-ons (magnesium, vitamin d, etc) that you can choose to not purchase. And the plan is also designed to wean you off of the supplements as soon as possible.

      Since it’s already designed to be the most effective with the minimum amount of supplements (i.e. there aren’t any extra ones thrown in there just because), unfortunately I’m unable to tell you that just doing part of it will get you where you want to be. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you and good luck, I hope the elemental diet helps.

  37. I really appreciate Dr. Ruscio’s postings and I am reading through his HGHY book. Fascinating! I’ve gone through many of the protocols listed with past FM docs. Nothing has ever seemed to help me feel better. Diagnosed with RA 23 years ago. I have purchased the Elemental Diet powder and hope to start that soon. BUT, I do not have the resources to purchase all the recommended supplements and then continue using them ongoing throughout the 8 steps. Even if I choose the lowest recommended amounts, the cost is prohibitive. Any suggestions how to proceed with frugality? Thanks for all your research and hard work for us!

    1. Hi Denise,

      Dr Ruscio developed this to be the most cost effective plan that he could. There’s no expensive testing required and he recommends the minimum amount of supplements he thinks will still get you the desired results. There are optional add-ons (magnesium, vitamin d, etc) that you can choose to not purchase. And the plan is also designed to wean you off of the supplements as soon as possible.

      Since it’s already designed to be the most effective with the minimum amount of supplements (i.e. there aren’t any extra ones thrown in there just because), unfortunately I’m unable to tell you that just doing part of it will get you where you want to be. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you and good luck, I hope the elemental diet helps.

  38. With many individuals concerned about yeast overgrowth, I would be interested in knowing how 60g of carbohydrate were added to Elemental Heal with only 6g of sugar? Is tapioca maltodextrin the carbohydrate source? If not, what is?

    1. Hi Gigi,

      Yes, that’s the carbohydrate source. Dr Ruscio isn’t overly concerned about yeast, but if you’re predisposed to it, you can talk to your doctor about adding in an antifungal.

  39. With many individuals concerned about yeast overgrowth, I would be interested in knowing how 60g of carbohydrate were added to Elemental Heal with only 6g of sugar? Is tapioca maltodextrin the carbohydrate source? If not, what is?

    1. Hi Gigi,

      Yes, that’s the carbohydrate source. Dr Ruscio isn’t overly concerned about yeast, but if you’re predisposed to it, you can talk to your doctor about adding in an antifungal.

  40. Hello,

    Thank you for this information. I just started the homemade recipe for the Elemental Diet and wondering if the honey is necessary or just for taste. It is hard to get down 2 T of honey.

    Best,

    Mel

    1. Hi Mel,

      The honey is for calories, carbohydrates, and minerals. So I would say it depends on how long you’re doing it. If just for a few days for a reset, like in Step 1 of Dr Ruscio’s Great-in-8 plan from his book, it’s probably not a big deal if you skip it. If you’re doing it for an extended period of time, it’s going to be more difficult and you may miss out on some nutrients. Feel free to discuss with your doctor and get their input to make sure you’re doing it safely. Good luck!

  41. Hello,

    Thank you for this information. I just started the homemade recipe for the Elemental Diet and wondering if the honey is necessary or just for taste. It is hard to get down 2 T of honey.

    Best,

    Mel

    1. Hi Mel,

      The honey is for calories, carbohydrates, and minerals. So I would say it depends on how long you’re doing it. If just for a few days for a reset, like in Step 1 of Dr Ruscio’s Great-in-8 plan from his book, it’s probably not a big deal if you skip it. If you’re doing it for an extended period of time, it’s going to be more difficult and you may miss out on some nutrients. Feel free to discuss with your doctor and get their input to make sure you’re doing it safely. Good luck!

  42. I have SIBO-C and am getting ready to start two weeks of using only Elemental Heal. Is there a regular whole-foods diet which would be most effective and helpful to use for a while before beginning the EH diet? I’m currently on a low-residue diet.

    In the past, I unsuccessfully tried the antibiotics Rifaximin and Neomycin, and later learned from Dr. Ruscio’s published information that I probably did exactly the wrong thing by trying, through my diet, to starve the bacteria before and during the antibiotic treatment. So I don’t want to make a similar mistake again, before the EH diet.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Judy,

      Dr Ruscio finds that a paleo version of the low FODMAP diet can be helpful for many people, but everyone is different. You may want to pick up a copy of his book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You” as he outlines a protocol for beating tough gut issues that includes diet, supplement, and elemental diet information. You can find it here: https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook

      Good luck!

  43. I have SIBO-C and am getting ready to start two weeks of using only Elemental Heal. Is there a regular whole-foods diet which would be most effective and helpful to use for a while before beginning the EH diet? I’m currently on a low-residue diet.

    In the past, I unsuccessfully tried the antibiotics Rifaximin and Neomycin, and later learned from Dr. Ruscio’s published information that I probably did exactly the wrong thing by trying, through my diet, to starve the bacteria before and during the antibiotic treatment. So I don’t want to make a similar mistake again, before the EH diet.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Judy,

      Dr Ruscio finds that a paleo version of the low FODMAP diet can be helpful for many people, but everyone is different. You may want to pick up a copy of his book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You” as he outlines a protocol for beating tough gut issues that includes diet, supplement, and elemental diet information. You can find it here: https://www.drruscio.com/getgutbook

      Good luck!

  44. Hello,

    I’m currently on Day 5 of Elemental Heal. Though my bloating has gone down, I’m experiencing very bad gas and constipation. Any recommendations? And would it be acceptable to use both a biofilm buster and a soil based probiotic while on elemental heal?

    Thank you,

    Julie

    1. Hi Julie,

      You may want to pick up a copy of Dr Ruscio’s book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You”. In it, he lays out an in-depth protocol for overcoming gut issues, including how to troubleshoot.

      As far as reactions go, it is possible that some may occur on an elemental diet. The best elemental diet for you is usually the one that causes the fewest reactions. However, it’s also important to give a particular formula a few days to assess how well it works for you. Some people will notice they don’t feel well until a few days in, so hang in there. If after several days, you’re not any better, you may want to try a different version.

      As far as supplements go, there are no set rules on taking supplements during the elemental diet. But generally it can be helpful to not take anything for the first part of it, so you can isolate for the effects of the elemental diet. Then, you can consider adding in probiotics, etc and see if you feel better with them.

      Hope this helps!

  45. Hello,

    I’m currently on Day 5 of Elemental Heal. Though my bloating has gone down, I’m experiencing very bad gas and constipation. Any recommendations? And would it be acceptable to use both a biofilm buster and a soil based probiotic while on elemental heal?

    Thank you,

    Julie

    1. Hi Julie,

      You may want to pick up a copy of Dr Ruscio’s book, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You”. In it, he lays out an in-depth protocol for overcoming gut issues, including how to troubleshoot.

      As far as reactions go, it is possible that some may occur on an elemental diet. The best elemental diet for you is usually the one that causes the fewest reactions. However, it’s also important to give a particular formula a few days to assess how well it works for you. Some people will notice they don’t feel well until a few days in, so hang in there. If after several days, you’re not any better, you may want to try a different version.

      As far as supplements go, there are no set rules on taking supplements during the elemental diet. But generally it can be helpful to not take anything for the first part of it, so you can isolate for the effects of the elemental diet. Then, you can consider adding in probiotics, etc and see if you feel better with them.

      Hope this helps!

  46. Hello,

    I have a question about Elemental Heal and the whey protein isolate it contains. I have often had digestive troubles with protein powders (including whey isolate). Apparently this is a “thing,” as there are endless websites and forum postings dedicated to this topic. Typically the complaint is that people are getting a rumbling belly and gas (often the really smelly kind). If people are having this reaction, it makes me concerned by what effect it’s having on the gut. I know that Elemental Heal is supposed to be extremely easy to digest, to the point that it will help heal gut issues, but this seems contradictory to all the testimonies of digestive issues caused by whey protein isolate (and other protein powders). I would love to hear your thoughts on why this happens, and why it may not be a concern with Elemental Heal.

    Thank you!
    Robin

    1. Hi Robin,

      Unfortunately, there isn’t going to be one product that works for everyone, since we’re all so different. Many people who have a hard time with dairy do just fine on EH. But yes, it does have whey in it so if you have a specific problem with whey, another formulation may be a better fit for you.

      1. Thanks Drew. It’s not just whey though. It’s all protein powders I’ve tried. I don’t have this issue with any unprocessed food that I can think of, including dairy. Like I said, a lot of people seem to have these issues with various protein powders. I just wish I knew what was causing it, so I knew whether to push through and see if my gut habituates. Because obviously the last thing I’d want from a semi-elemental diet is to have undigested protein passing through my system. I’m not asking for specific guidance. I was hoping for some broad theory about this phenomenon that would help me make decisions for myself. I also have Dr. Ruscio’s book, so I’m looking at a lot of different options for the healing diet. Thank you, Robin

        1. Ah, sorry I thought you were referring to whey specifically. While I’m not sure what’s going on in your specific case, some things to think about are: Are you drinking it too quickly? Are you drink too much at one time? Protein is the most difficult macronutrient to digest, so consuming too much at one time can cause trouble for some people. Are you consuming one with added sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or inulin? All can be hard on sensitive guts. I’ll also pass this along to Dr Ruscio to hopefully add his two cents in an upcoming listener Q+A episode of the podcast. Stay tuned!

          1. Thanks so much for your comments Drew. The drink I’ve made recently is based on single ingredients. Everything but the protein I consume regularly with no problems (dextrose, stevia, inulin, glucomannan, and a dash of MCT oil). I’ve started drinking it as slowly as possible with a few betaine HCL capsules, as well as a couple of enzyme/pancreatin/bitters pills. This helps a lot, but I do still get a little bit of stinky gas (which I don’t normally have a problem with). And it seems wrong to have to use all this support to digest an elemental diet! But I’ll look out for Dr. Ruscio’s upcoming podcasts. Hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of this, as I’d love to try the Elemental Heal product. Thanks again, Robin

  47. I have been on the Whole30 for 22 days. I’m feeling a little better and have lost some of the puffiness in my overall skin, but I’m still dealing with swollen joints, fatigue, and bloating in the evenings. I know I have another week to see improvements. I have been listening to some podcasts by Dr. Ruscio and I would like to start the Great in 8 Action Plan. I listened to his Podcast about the Elemental Heal. My question is, should I start Step 2, or would it be best to do a 1-2 week Elemental diet and then go into Step 2? I can’t find how the Elemental Heal diet fits into the 8 steps. Is it a separate plan all together?

    1. Hi Monique,

      If you want to incorporate Elemental Heal into the plan, it would either go at the beginning of step 1, or in step 3 after you have tried antimicrobials and not gotten a satisfactory result. Since you’ve already been working on the diet piece, you may not need to go back to the beginning and do the modified fast unless you really want to. You could also follow the diet guidelines in the book and try another diet to see if that gives you more relief before moving on to step 2. Good luck!

  48. I started the Elemental Heal today and I have been starving all day. I’ve done three shakes with 4 scoops each sipping throughout the day. Is that the correct dosage? I am 5’7″ and 121lbs so I’m very thin as it is. Not sure what else I can do for the hunger or if it will go away soon?

    1. Hi Courtney,

      If you’re hungry, I would definitely advise consuming more. You could also try adding additional oil, since that’s a good way to increase calories.

  49. I started the Elemental Heal today and I have been starving all day. I’ve done three shakes with 4 scoops each sipping throughout the day. Is that the correct dosage? I am 5’7” and 121lbs so I’m very thin as it is. Not sure what else I can do for the hunger or if it will go away soon?

    1. Hi Courtney,

      If you’re hungry, I would definitely advise consuming more. You could also try adding additional oil, since that’s a good way to increase calories.

  50. I just ordered the book and I’m awaiting the results of a sibo test. My cycle has been no BM for a week, then constipation followed by diarrhea within a few hours. My doctor is currently trying to get me on a daily bowel movement schedule with the use of magnesium. So I was wondering what the effect of the Elemental Heal diet is on daily bowel movements.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Laura,

      Everyone is different, so I can’t say how it will affect you individually, but taking Elemental Heal allows for a rest of the digestive system and can be anti-inflammatory, and have a generally positive effect on bowel function. Magnesium can also be helpful and is one of the supplements Dr R recommends in the book. Hopefully, you find the book helpful and start to experience some relief soon!

  51. I just ordered the book and I’m awaiting the results of a sibo test. My cycle has been no BM for a week, then constipation followed by diarrhea within a few hours. My doctor is currently trying to get me on a daily bowel movement schedule with the use of magnesium. So I was wondering what the effect of the Elemental Heal diet is on daily bowel movements.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Laura,

      Everyone is different, so I can’t say how it will affect you individually, but taking Elemental Heal allows for a rest of the digestive system and can be anti-inflammatory, and have a generally positive effect on bowel function. Magnesium can also be helpful and is one of the supplements Dr R recommends in the book. Hopefully, you find the book helpful and start to experience some relief soon!

  52. Hello,

    I have a question about Elemental Heal and the whey protein isolate it contains. I have often had digestive troubles with protein powders (including whey isolate). Apparently this is a “thing,” as there are endless websites and forum postings dedicated to this topic. Typically the complaint is that people are getting a rumbling belly and gas (often the really smelly kind). If people are having this reaction, it makes me concerned by what effect it’s having on the gut. I know that Elemental Heal is supposed to be extremely easy to digest, to the point that it will help heal gut issues, but this seems contradictory to all the testimonies of digestive issues caused by whey protein isolate (and other protein powders). I would love to hear your thoughts on why this happens, and why it may not be a concern with Elemental Heal.

    Thank you!
    Robin

    1. Hi Robin,

      Unfortunately, there isn’t going to be one product that works for everyone, since we’re all so different. Many people who have a hard time with dairy do just fine on EH. But yes, it does have whey in it so if you have a specific problem with whey, another formulation may be a better fit for you.

      1. Thanks Drew. It’s not just whey though. It’s all protein powders I’ve tried. I don’t have this issue with any unprocessed food that I can think of, including dairy. Like I said, a lot of people seem to have these issues with various protein powders. I just wish I knew what was causing it, so I knew whether to push through and see if my gut habituates. Because obviously the last thing I’d want from a semi-elemental diet is to have undigested protein passing through my system. I’m not asking for specific guidance. I was hoping for some broad theory about this phenomenon that would help me make decisions for myself. I also have Dr. Ruscio’s book, so I’m looking at a lot of different options for the healing diet. Thank you, Robin

        1. Ah, sorry I thought you were referring to whey specifically. While I’m not sure what’s going on in your specific case, some things to think about are: Are you drinking it too quickly? Are you drink too much at one time? Protein is the most difficult macronutrient to digest, so consuming too much at one time can cause trouble for some people. Are you consuming one with added sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or inulin? All can be hard on sensitive guts. I’ll also pass this along to Dr Ruscio to hopefully add his two cents in an upcoming listener Q+A episode of the podcast. Stay tuned!

          1. Thanks so much for your comments Drew. The drink I’ve made recently is based on single ingredients. Everything but the protein I consume regularly with no problems (dextrose, stevia, inulin, glucomannan, and a dash of MCT oil). I’ve started drinking it as slowly as possible with a few betaine HCL capsules, as well as a couple of enzyme/pancreatin/bitters pills. This helps a lot, but I do still get a little bit of stinky gas (which I don’t normally have a problem with). And it seems wrong to have to use all this support to digest an elemental diet! But I’ll look out for Dr. Ruscio’s upcoming podcasts. Hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of this, as I’d love to try the Elemental Heal product. Thanks again, Robin

  53. I have been on the Whole30 for 22 days. I’m feeling a little better and have lost some of the puffiness in my overall skin, but I’m still dealing with swollen joints, fatigue, and bloating in the evenings. I know I have another week to see improvements. I have been listening to some podcasts by Dr. Ruscio and I would like to start the Great in 8 Action Plan. I listened to his Podcast about the Elemental Heal. My question is, should I start Step 2, or would it be best to do a 1-2 week Elemental diet and then go into Step 2? I can’t find how the Elemental Heal diet fits into the 8 steps. Is it a separate plan all together?

    1. Hi Monique,

      If you want to incorporate Elemental Heal into the plan, it would either go at the beginning of step 1, or in step 3 after you have tried antimicrobials and not gotten a satisfactory result. Since you’ve already been working on the diet piece, you may not need to go back to the beginning and do the modified fast unless you really want to. You could also follow the diet guidelines in the book and try another diet to see if that gives you more relief before moving on to step 2. Good luck!

  54. I follow a keto diet which has helped reduce SIBO symptoms but not eradicate them. Your ED formula is SO carb heavy, why? Also have you tried ED for patients with Histamine Intolerance?

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