Is Your Digestive System Making You Sick, and Fat?

by

THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING WRONG with your inner tube, and it could be making you sick and fat.

You may not even realize you have a problem … but if you have health concerns of any kind or if you are overweight, your inner tube could be the root cause. Of course, I’m not talking about a beach toy. I mean the inner tube of life – your digestive system!

It is likely that you suffer from (or have suffered from) some type of digestive disorder – irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, reflux, gas, and other things too gross to mention. And you are not alone. More than 100 million Americans have digestive problems.

Two of the top five selling drugs in America are for digestive problems, and they cost us billions and billions of dollars. There are more than 200 OTC (over-the-counter)  remedies for digestive disorders, many of which can create additional digestive problems.

Visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common reasons for trips to primary care physicians.

And that’s not even the worst news.

Most of us (including most doctors) do not recognize or know that digestive problems wreak havoc in the entire body, leading to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more.

So having a healthy gut means more than simply being free of annoyances like bloating or heartburn! It is absolutely central to your health. It is connected to EVERYTHING that happens in your body. That’s why I almost always start helping people treat chronic health problems by fixing their gut, which is what I want to help you do today.

Today , you will learn how you can find out if you have a problem with your gut (though many of you won’t need me to tell you – your gut will speak for itself!), and I will give you 7 simple steps you can take today to heal your inner tube of life.

Fixing your digestion is the 4th key of the 7 Keys to UltraWellness, or functional medicine, and it is absolutely essential that you heal this critical system in your body if you want to achieve optimum health.

Why is your gut is so important? Let me explain …

How Your Gut Keeps You Healthy Or Makes You Ill

The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. It is directly linked to the health of your whole body. Intestinal health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. But that is a big job that depends on many other factors. Let’s look at a few of them …

First, there are bugs in your gut that form a diverse and interdependent ecosystem like a rainforest. In fact, there are 500 species and 3 pounds of bacteria in your gut which form a HUGE chemical factory that help you digest your food, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, and produce vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your gut and your body healthy.

This ecosystem of friendly bacteria must be in balance for you to be healthy. Too many of the wrong bacteria, like parasites and yeasts, or not enough of the good ones, like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria, can seriously damage your health.

So keeping a healthy balance of bugs in your intestines is one factor to good gut health.

It’s important to understand that many diseases that seem to be totally unrelated to the gut – such as eczema,  psoriasis, or arthritis – are actually CAUSED by gut problems.

Second, there is your gut-immune system. Your entire immune system,  and the rest of your body, is protected from the toxic environment in your gut by a lining that is only ONE cell-thick layer. If spread out, this lining would take up a surface area the size of a tennis court, and the entire thing is covered by a sewer!

If that barrier is damaged, you can become allergic to foods you may normally be able to digest perfectly well, you will get sick, your immune system will become overactive, and it will begin producing inflammation throughout your body. Filtering out the good from the bad molecules and protecting your immune system is yet another important factor in gut health.

Third, there is your second brain – your gut’s nervous system. Did you know your gut, actually contains MORE neurotransmitters than your brain? In fact, the gut has a brain of its own. It is called the “enteric nervous system” and it is a very sophisticated piece of your biology that is wired to your brain in intricate ways.

Messages constantly travel back and forth between your gut-brain and your head-brain, and when those messages are interfered with in any way your health will suffer.

Fourth, your gut also has to get rid of all the toxins produced as byproducts of your metabolism, which your liver dumps into bile. If things get backed up when you are constipated, you will become toxic and your health will suffer.

And last but not least, your gut must break down all the food you eat into its individual components, separate out the vitamins and minerals, and shuttle everything across the one cell-thick layer mentioned above so it can get into your bloodstream and nourish your body and brain.

Your gut has quite a lot to manage. Even in a perfect world it is hard to keep all of this in balance. But in our modern world there are endless insults that can knock our digestive systems off balance making it much more difficult to maintain excellent digestive health.

How To Know If Your Gut Is Out Of Balance

To fix your digestion, you first need to understand what is sending your gut out of balance in the first place. The list is short:

  • Our low-fiber, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diet, which causes all the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our gut, damages the delicate ecosystem in your intestines.
  • Overuse of medications that damage the gut or block normal digestive function – like acid blockers (Prilosec, Nexium, etc.), anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, Advil, and Aleve), and overuse of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones.
  • Undetected gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or low grade food allergies to foods such as dairy, eggs, or corn.
  • Chronic low-grade infections or gut imbalances with overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, yeast overgrowth, parasites, or even more serious gut infections.
  • Toxins like mercury and mold toxins, which damage the gut.
  • Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function, which can come from acid-blocking medication use, or zinc deficiency.
  • Stress, which can alter the gut nervous system, cause a leaky gut, and change the normal bacteria in the gut.

What happens then is obvious. You get sick.

But what’s important to understand is that many diseases that seem to be totally unrelated to the gut – such as eczema, psoriasis, or arthritis – are actually CAUSED by gut problems. By focusing on the gut, you can get better. Here is an example …

Can Eczema Start In The Gut?

Allison, one of my patients who suffered from eczema , a weepy, red, oozing, scaly, itchy rash,  all over her body, is a perfect example of what can happen when your gut is out of balance and the extraordinary level of healing that can occur when you fix your digestion.

This woman, who saw doctor after doctor, put salves, lotions, and potions on her skin, and took steroids and antibiotics. But none of these doctors ever addressed the underlying cause of her problem.

Allison was 57 years old and had been suffering from severe, unrelenting eczema for eight years. She ate a high-sugar diet and had a history of frequent vaginal yeast infections.

When I saw her, I checked her gut and found she had a leaky gut – that one-cell thick lining in her intestines was breached and wasn’t working properly. She had developed 24 IgG food allergies, and her stool had no healthy bacteria and an overgrowth of yeast from years of taking antibiotics. She also had very high blood levels of antibodies against yeast.

So I helped her heal her gut. I asked her to stop eating the foods she reacted to, told her to stop feeding the yeast in her gastrointestinal tract by cutting out sugar and refined carbohydrates (which they thrive on), and killed the yeast in her gut with antifungal medications and herbs. Then I helped her rebuild her ecosystem of healthy bacteria with probiotics and provided here with healing gut nutrients that allowed her intestinal lining to resume its normal function.

The result?

Her eczema disappeared for the first time in eight years – and it stayed away!

You can experience the same thing Allison did. You may be able to heal from many of your chronic symptoms simply by fixing your digestion.

7 Steps To Optimal Digestive Health

To heal your inner tube of life you simply need to:

  1. Eat whole unprocessed foods. Make sure to include plenty of fiber from foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  2. Eliminate food allergies. If you think you have food sensitivities, try an elimination diet. Cut out gluten, dairy, yeast, corn, soy, and eggs for a week or two and see how your gut feels and what happens to your other symptoms.
  3. Treat any infections or overgrowth of bugs. Parasites, small bowel bacteria, and yeasts can all inhibit proper gut function. You must treat these infections if you want to heal.
  4. Replenish your digestive enzymes. When you don’t have enough digestive enzymes in your gut, you can’t properly convert the foods you eat into the raw materials necessary to run your body and brain. Take broad-spectrum digestive enzymes with your food to solve the problem.
  5. Rebuild your rain forest of friendly bacteria. Take probiotic supplements. They will help rebuild the healthy bacteria so essential to good gut health.
  6. Get good fat. Take extra omega-3 supplements, which help cool inflammation in the gut.
  7. Heal your gut lining. Use gut-healing nutrients such as glutamine and zinc to repair the lining in your gut so it can resume its normal function.

Fixing your digestion may take some time, but it can be done. And it is absolutely essential if you want to achieve vibrant health. So work on your inner tube of life using the steps above and watch as your symptoms (and those extra pounds) disappear.

Now I’d like to hear from you …

Did you realize how important your gut is to your overall health?

What steps have you taken to fix your digestion? How have they worked?

Why do you think the pharmaceutical industry develops and actively advertises drugs that are known to inhibit proper gut function and thus compromise health?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

References

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Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of mood disorders–a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Hu WT, Murray JA, Greenaway MC, Parisi JE, Josephs KA. Cognitive impairment and celiac disease. Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1440-6.

Wilders-Truschnig M, Mangge H, Lieners C, Gruber HJ, Mayer C, März W. IgG Antibodies Against Food Antigens are Correlated with Inflammation and Intima Media Thickness in Obese Juveniles. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2007 Dec 10

Thomas T. MacDonald and Giovanni Monteleone Immunity, Inflammation, and Allergy in the Gut, Science 25 March 2005 307: 1920-1925

Atkinson W, Sheldon TA, Shaath N, Whorwell PJ. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut. 2004 Oct;53(10):1459-64.

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/statistics.htm

Benarroch EE. Enteric nervous system: functional organization and neurologic implications. Neurology. 2007 Nov 13;69(20):1953-7. Review.

Sandler RH, Bolte ER, Chez MG, Schrift MJ. Relief of psychiatric symptoms in a patient with Crohn’s disease after metronidazole therapy. Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jan;30(1):213-4.

Lin, H. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth: A Framework for Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome JAMA. 2004 292: 852-858

Pimentel M, Park S, Mirocha J, Kane SV, Kong Y. The effect of a nonabsorbed oral antibiotic (rifaximin) on the symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2006 Oct 17;145(8):557-63.

Av SP. Hepatic encephalopathy: pathophysiology and advances in therapy. Trop Gastroenterol. 2007 Jan-Mar;28(1):4-10. Review.

Jansson-Nettelbladt E, Meurling S, Petrini B, Sjölin J. Endogenous ethanol fermentation in a child with short bowel syndrome. Acta Paediatr. 2006 Apr;95(4):502-4

Sandler RH, Finegold SM, Bolte ER, Buchanan CP, Maxwell AP, Väisänen ML, Nelson MN, Wexler HM. Short-term benefit from oral vancomycin treatment of regressive-onset autism. J Child Neurol. 2000 Jul;15(7):429-35.

Parracho HM, Bingham MO, Gibson GR, McCartney AL. Differences between the gut microflora of children with autistic spectrum disorders and that of healthy children. J Med Microbiol. 2005 Oct;54(Pt 10):987-91.

Wakefield AJ, Puleston JM, Montgomery SM, Anthony A, O’Leary JJ, Murch SH. Review article: the concept of entero-colonic encephalopathy, autism and opioid receptor ligands. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Apr;16(4):663-74.

Aytac U, Dang NH.CD26/dipeptidyl peptidase IV: a regulator of immune function and a potential molecular target for therapy. Curr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord. 2004 Mar;4(1):11-8. Review.

Mentlein R. Dipeptidyl-peptidase IV (CD26)–role in the inactivation of regulatory peptides. Regul Pept. 1999 Nov 30;85(1):9-24. Review.

Ek J, Stensrud M, Reichelt KL. Gluten-free diet decreases urinary peptide levels in children with celiac disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999 Sep;29(3):282-5.

Liu Y, Heiberg T, Reichelt KL. Towards a possible aetiology for depressions? Behav Brain Funct. 2007 Sep 14;3:47.

Wakefield AJ, Ashwood P, Limb K, Anthony A. The significance of ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia in children with autistic spectrum disorder. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Aug;17(8):827-36.

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Kawashima H, Mori T, Kashiwagi Y, Takekuma K, Hoshika A, Wakefield A. Detection and sequencing of measles virus from peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. Dig Dis Sci. 2000 Apr;45(4):723-9

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50 Responses to Is Your Digestive System Making You Sick, and Fat?

  1. Debbie Kinsinger February 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Dr. Hyman,
    Last Saturday I thought I was in the peak of health when I got a blood smear live blood analysis at a fair that found megablastic erythrocytes, hypersegmentation of leukocytes and presence of heavy metal toxicity but no other complications like yeast, Bacteria, lipids etc. Then my chiropractor tentatively diagnosed pernicious anemia, based on a full blood panel result on Tuesday and genetic history. I have started taking sublingual B12 and other supplements recommended recommended by my chiropractor. We will address potential allergins with my second blood test after I get completely over a cold. Does removing allergins from my diet offer the potential to “cure” this genetic immune disorder? I’m a 57 year old triathlete, starting 2 years ago, but focusing on short endurance races, Sprint and Olympic distances. I have a very healthy plant-based whole-food/live-food diet with very optimal levels of anti-inflammatory supplements and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, except for my racing, but I supplement with beta alanine, d-ribose, carnitine, carnosine, glutamine, arginine-alpha keto gluterate, cordyseps sinensis, rhodiola, free b-ring flavinoids, and tumeric. I seem to be doing everything right and a hidden allergin seems to be the place to look for a root cause(though I don’t think I have cilac disease or H. pylori. it isn’t ruled out). Or is this genetic pre-disposition based merely on an immune protein transcription error that can not be altered with diet? What do you think?

    • Profile photo of
      HymanStaff March 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

      Hello Debbie,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

    • Doreetha March 25, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

      I love your transparency regarding medically treating illnesses. I also suffered with eczema for over 40 years. I have 3 children that HAD eczema. I was on immune suppressants from birth that eventually damaged me inside out. It wasnt until I was in my twenties that I discovered leaky gut syndrome. I applied that knowledge, removed allergens, and repaired my intestinal tract n saw great results. As for my children, they never used steriods (although prescribed by doctors) and does not suffer with eczema like I did due to ignorance. I was also blessed to create a natural ointment that removes the allergic result (the appearance of the rash) within ,1-3 days. Im a witness that “removing the tack ” is most effective.

      • Teri J December 3, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

        Doreetha,
        What ointment did you create for Eczema?

    • Rosemary August 1, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

      Hello Dr. Hyman,
      My name is Rosemary. I have a question about the probitic topic. I have been experiencing many awful symptoms from mold exposure and for the past year I’ve been really struggling. Things have been getting better since started to incorporate a lot of new different regimens into my life.
      My question is how long should I or someone take probiotics to restore gut balance which we know have been lost? In my case all the mold symptoms. Should I take forever or is short term, say a few months good enough? I would love if you could get back to me and help me with this mind concerning question.
      :-) thank you so much Dr. Hyman
      Love Rosemary

      • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
        Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

        Hi Rosemary,
        Thank you for your question. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need (the right type of probiotic and monitoring for length of use), we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
        Wishing you the best of health,
        Dr. Hyman Staff

  2. Frank Kramer March 2, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    I am 72 years and have had some form of IBS. I have a bowel movement daily, but do not feel completely “empty” and comfortable. I have tried probiotics and digestive emzynes. They seem to work for awhile and then cease to help. I am very careful about my diet. I don’t junk food, processed food, no dairy, etc. I believe that my digestive system is tied into stress. I take a host of heart medication as well as Lexapro. Could you suggest anything for my condition? Other than my gut, I am in reasonable great condition for my age.

  3. Emily Bracken May 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    I had “IBS” and horrible digestive issues for years–until I tested positive for parasites a few months ago… am now totally back to normal–but not after months of clean living! Now my gut (and mood) is back to normal. Hurray!

    I can say with empirical certainty that what you eat and how healthy your gut is has a direct effect on your mood. I literally would wake up down/ not “myself” – and within hours of eating well, taking proper vitamins and exercise, I could literally feel my mood change as a result of tryptophan kicking into serotonin – and nutrient absorption.

    I hope more doctors will come to understand that the gut is the key to depression… and parasites are far more wide-reaching in misidiagnosed IBS and digestive issues than we realize…

    Thanks for the great article!

    • Patti May 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      Emily, I totally agree with you. I had been diagnosed with IBS as well, but kept looking for a cure, rather than just treatment.

      I discovered that I had H pylori, and after 3 courses of antibiotics, it was finally eradicated, but my digestive and immune systems were both a mess.

      I was once again diagnosed with IBS, but after some research, I used diet, supplements, and herbal remedies to improve both my digestive and immune systems. I think doctors just use IBS as a way of saying ‘undiagnosed digestive problems’ that they are too lazy to pursue.

  4. Marcia Milazzo July 21, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I was diagnosed with IBS years ago. Now I am hearing so much about gut health that i went on an elimination diet for three weeks. Initially I felt great. About half way through I felt worse: cramps, constipation, exhaustion and my skin began to dry out again. I need to see a specialist who understands what tests to do for parasites, etc. I live in South Jersey. How do I find the right doctor? Can you recommend any?

  5. Brent Hawes October 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Why is there no mention of gluten and celiac disease on this website?? It causes a lot of the problems that you describe.

    Regards, Brent

  6. Betsy Dunn November 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Thanks for the great info ! However I’m still not thriving….I eat very healthy no sugar or dairy or grains etc I can’t seem to beat this fungus in my body that I was diagnosed with 3 years ago. . Help ! I can’t seem to gain weight because the bad bacteria is eating my food. I eat about 6 small meals of organic meats and veggies. I don’t have any pain but I probably have leaky gut and it won’t heal. The enzymes and glutamine don’t do anything. I stick to a rotating regimen of herbs which also is not helping. I know its still there because if I eat 1/16 th of a morsel of sugar I get that dreaded vaginal discomfort (itch) so maybe I am just not digesting foods properly…
    Sincerely Betsy Dunn

  7. yeast infection November 13, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

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  8. Alicia Taylor Bey December 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Hi Dr. Hyman my name is Alicia I’m 38 yrs old and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease this past summer. I’ve been gluten and soy free since the summer I’ve had a hysterectomy and I’m beginning to feel tired again and I exercise daily and take vitamins, but I’m still having a difficult time losing weight. I read your article and the only thing I was unclear about was #3 response in healing the bugs in your gut. I’m not sure if I have any but you didn’t suggest how to rid yourself of these issues.

  9. Rosa January 4, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    hello I live in England can you recommend a type of probiotics please? in the UK they say that the fresh one in bottle is best but difficult to find. thank you for your advice . Rosa

  10. Paul January 7, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    I have no doubt many of today’s dietary problems are probably due to the amount of processed foods we eat. Gone are the days where fresh meals were prepared properly. We seem to live in an world where everything has to be now and that includes preparing and cooking food. No wonder we have a problem with our digestive system.

  11. Nicole March 18, 2014 at 4:37 am #

    Hello! I’m from Melbourne, Australia and I stumbled upon this website. Very interesting blog you’ve got here! I’ve got just a couple of questions for you though…

    1-I got really sick with a stomach virus 3 weeks ago which lasted for a whole week. Ever since then my stomach hasn’t been the same. I was wondering is there something that you could recommend that I could eat or drink to help clean it out so that it can go back to normal? My diet is usually healthy and I do eat a lot of fruit, but it doesn’t seem to be helping it at all.

    Last question, you mentioned above that you treated someone with eczema. I have that as well on my hands and occasionally it will travel up to my elbows. I never really considered it to be related to a digestive issue, considering that it reacts to similar things that my asthma does (like smoke) and as well as other things (like citrus fruit/foods etc). It started in 2009 and appeared approximately 7-9 months later after a severe bushfire happened in my area. I was pretty much breathing bushfire smoke for about a month straight. Anyway, always assumed it to be a respiratory issue, however if it is for some reason, a digestive issue, what would you recommend that I do about it? Majority of creams don’t help me either, but I have found one that works. I just thought it was a very interesting…symptom, for a digestive issue. I understand that she went through a lot to help to make it go away, but I was wondering if there is something that I could try and see if it helps me out as well?

    Thank you! And sorry for the long comment…anyway, Good Work!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 22, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      Hi Nicole,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  12. Mitchell Montesano March 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    I’ve been diagnosed with IBS back in 2000. I have a constant bloating and dull ache located on the mid to lower left side of my abdomen. Back in 2000 I started consuming gain weight powder due to being unable to gain normally and I apparently got clogged up. I got high blood pressure and was getting pressure built up in my neck and face to the point of dizziness so the DR put me on BP med and Valium. I was taking it for about 3 weeks until I had a explosive ( pardon the description) bowel movement and felt all the pressure go away as I sat on the bowl. My high blood pressure went normal and didn’t need Valium anymore either. I felt fine for 3 years until I started the powder again that was thicker and more calories per serving at 2 blenders a day! Now I’m back feeling bad again and on those meds too! I’ve had 3 colonoscopies, a upper GI. CT scan and X-rays and everything is normal? My skin on my hands and arms look wrinkled and older than they should. I’m 53 and shouldn’t have skin like this? I have Roseaca or a bacteria problem on my face and neck and shoulders as well. I’m thinking about having some colon hydrotherapy to see if it helps and change my diet and take some supplements just for my gut and see what happens? This condition is wasting me away and I have to try something, right? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks for reading my novel!! Sorry!!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 20, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

      Hi Mitchell,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  13. Vikki Gibbs April 8, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Great information and very simple to understand. The information was scientifically well explained in terms a person could easily understand. I have Digestive Enzymes but have not started to take them, but I take Probiotics, so now I must take both tablets according to what is recommended. Fantastic Information!

  14. Shirley Sandercock April 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    On January 17th, 2014 I had gone for lunch and upon my return to work discovered two of my co-workers put dishwashing detergent powder in my mug. I drank 1/2 of the mug and then noticed it. I have had issues with bladder urgency but mostly diarrhea that will not respond to pepto bismuth, kaopectate, imodium, natural supplements. They consider the dishwashing detergent to be poison and up until that point didn’t have an issue with diarrhea so I am trying to rebuild my gut health and taking probiotics and permeability Complex by Selekta but haven’t had a stop to the diarrhea. I wish I had of seen the dishwashing detergent before I drank 1/2 of the mug but didn’t and it is three months later and still having issues so I was glad to see you article on Gut Health.

  15. Camile Bouchard May 12, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    Being 60+, I was proud to say that i had never taken an antibiotic in my life. But recently had a sinus /ear infection that lead to a round of antibiotic. It didn’t clear it completely so I needed another 10 day round of antibiotic. Two weeks after being off that round, I developed a UTI, which I never had one before in my life either. The Dr. prescribed Cirpo for three days. After taking that I developed IBS . My system is now so unbalanced and I refuse another round of antibiotics, especially after the Cipro as the side effects scare the hell out of me. So I found Dr. Hayman and have read everything I could and I like his concept of treating the cause, instead of the symptoms and helping the body instead of damaging it more. I started taking pro-biotics, but recently have had another attack of IBS ( I believe stress was the cause of this current attack) and this time ti was worse than before, with a stabbing pain in my left abdomen. I am fearful that the UTI is coming back and that scares the hell out of me. So, I’ll be upping my game as far as diet, and supplements go as to help improve and restore the gut imbalance that I know that I have as a result of all the antibiotics. I am an advocate of the Epsom salt bath as it has helped tremendously in the past, which he recommends also. I live in NJ , a little too far for an appointment with the Dr. but I’ll be getting his book and will look into what he advises in reference to diet and supplements.

  16. Madeline May 17, 2014 at 6:03 am #

    I have been dealing with excessive gas and bloating which became worst after mono pause over eight years. The gas is so bad once I eat you can smell the gas/food odors pouring from my lungs enough to fill an entire room. When I am lying down I can smell bad odors coming from inside. Dr. Just keep giving meds which work for a brief period and then it gets worst. I can’t seem to be around people for the complaint of the foul odors. Please offer suggestions. I have had so many tests.

  17. Mary July 12, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Can you comment on whey protein? I know there are many kinds and people are very passionate about them. I see SO many diets and even physicians using them as the cornerstone of their health and weight loss programs. At the end of the day, these seem to be both dairy (inflammatory) and processed. Also by drinking one to two meals of the day, aren’t we missing out on some of the major components of digestion? Also they seem so expensive relative to making a simple chia seed pudding for example that is high in protein but non-dairy. Would love your thoughts. Thanks.

  18. Lisa August 10, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    I have tried to heal my gut with an elimination diet and still remain gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free with no added preservatives or colors. I have not been able to completely stop zyrtec and understand there maybe a rebound effect from antihistamines. I suffer from chronic idiopathic urticaria and suspect my diet is the reason, a leaky gut. I did take vsl 3 for four years and it helped with a multivitamin and vitamin D. Numerous physician visit never helped nor allergy visits. I use organic vegetables and meats most of the time but this is costly for a family of six. I am always hungry and feel like the act of eating itself makes me break out so it has to be leaky gut but I don’t know where to start with healing, I am down to zrytec once every three days, but frequently still itch do you have any advice as to where to start to continue healing? I worry about everything that goes into my body producing a reaction and have recently read about the benefits of quercetin?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

    • Holly Ladd October 30, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

      Have you been tested for heavy metal toxicity? Are you sure you are avoiding all gluten? Do you meditate or have another stress management practices in your life? All these may put you on the path to better health. Good luck.

  19. Desiree September 18, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    Hi, what could you comment on the inner lining of the digestive tract being damaged by accutane? I haven’t found enough information on this elsewhere and was curious to know your opinion. Damage isn’t severe enough to cause IBS/Crohn’s. But poor digestion is due to accutane and some other drugs such as steroids, antibiotics and anacids.

    I do not wish a personalised response, just want to know your opinion on accutane damage as I haven’t found much information.

  20. John September 20, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    I’ve been trying to make sense of my eczema for years. I’ve tried many diet varieties and am now paleo. I only eat whole foods, make my own bone broth etc. I still get flares so I often search for answers.

    I often read about probiotics but there’s an issue that I haven’t found much info on. About 15 years ago I developed a severe reaction to eating yogurt (not dairy, just yogurt). A burning boulder stuck in my gut is what i felt after eating yogurt, obviously I stopped. Recently I tried some good kimchi from whole foods. Within 24 hours I had severe cramps in my stomach sides (large intestine area?). I waited a day then tried the kimchi again and the same severe pain but just on one side.

    I often read of the importance of probiotics but clearly have a problem with them. Might this be due to leaky gut or is this common to something else? I also got an eczema flare with the kimchi along with the pain.

    Thanks for reading,
    John

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff September 26, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Hi John,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  21. Cindy October 4, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    My skin has been affected by an autoimmune condition called VITILIGO Of which thus far there is NO CURE and not enough is known about it. It really hasn’t bothered me too much but now my son has developed this condition and started showing white spots on his hands and that has really bothered me. I would like to know if Dr. Hyman might think that the cause might be due to Leaky Gut Syndrome?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff October 4, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      Hi Cindy,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care your son needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you and your family the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  22. vanessa October 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    My simple explanation is “There is No Money in Healthy People” and the pharmaceutical companies ensures exactly this. So many foundatons are built on finding cures – why not prevent these ugly diseases – lets ban most of the rubbish we sell on our Supermarket shelves instead of trying to regulate vitamins & Lets stop giving a side of FRIES/CHIPS with just about every meal you order in a pub/restaurant/cafe. Its sych a frustrating world we live in & Australia is one of the worst for these types of regulations. Trying to Change things & make people healthier INE AT A TIME :-) I believe we are getting there slowly…..

  23. Donna D December 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    Hi
    My gut is such in a bad way I don’t know wat to do
    Am belching everyday I haven’t eat properly in days and I haven’t been to the toilet in 9 days
    I am really concern at this stage and I have a contant pain in my right side
    I have probably bought a lot of this on myself
    But really need help
    Thank you

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff December 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

      Hi Donna,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/

      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  24. Sershen Naidoo December 16, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    Could you please let me know how I can become a ‘Patient’ of Dr. Hyman? I live in South Africa, but I think I’m going to have to expand my horizons if I’m going to find the right help for me.

    Thanks for your time
    Sersh

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff December 26, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Hello Sersh,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  25. J C January 2, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    I’m going to start this process now, thank you, thank you, thank you! I have a CT scan this afternoon to see what’s going on with my stomach. I’ve been constant sick for over 3 weeks with digestive issues and really all my adult life having been on prilosec and now nexium since my early 20’s I’m now 35. I’ve been on culterelle probiotic for a couple of months and it has helped tremendously. I still can’t tell if I’m allergic to gluten or dairy. I’m terrified I have pancreatic cancer, or stomach cancer and pray that the CT scan is clear from any of that today. I have a 2 year old who needs me. I’m excited to try these steps, I really think this will work great!

  26. Saint January 7, 2015 at 4:33 am #

    Hi, very nice and true article. Thank you.

    Here is my experience – I’m 31 years old and I had serious problems with eczema and migraine since my childhood.

    I quit smoking when I was 27 – 80% of my eczema dissapeared.

    Then I started to experiment with my diet. My current status is that I avoid eating gluten (bread, white flour) and I avoid high histamine foods (wine, beer, old, fermented, processed foods). Except of that I support my digestion by taking Betaine HCl with each meal, because I believe not to have enough stomach acid.

    I have eliminated some 95% of eczema this way. Migraines went from 2-3 per week to 1-2 per month.

  27. Audry January 7, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    I have suffered from severe allergies/eczema for my entire life. Even as a baby, only a week old I was not able to have milk or formula but rather given de-fizzed coke and 7-Up. Fast forward, I am 49 and miserable. My skin feels like it is just crawling, constantly itching and I have embarrassing rashes covering my body. I have used Prednisone off and on for 35 years and frequent doses of antibiotics. I have tried every restrictive “diet” imaginable only to become allergic to what the docs restrict me to eat. I crave sweets and battle weight issues constantly. I feel like doctors simply prescribe meds as a bandaid while the real problem goes un-addressed. Help!

    Audry

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff January 7, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

      Hello Audry,
      You are right on track to seek the cause of your symptoms. Unfortunately Dr. Hyman cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  28. Charlotte February 5, 2015 at 4:55 am #

    I have suffered from stomach pains (for 4yrs) hemerroids (for 3yrs), constipation (3yrs), slap cheek disease (3yrs), allergic reactions (1yr), yeast infections (1yr) and weight gain but until now I had no idea what to do. I did see a doctor multiple times and he did tell me to change my diet which is what I did but I’m still suffering. So is there an exact diet I can follow for the next month to help me?!?! And anything else that will help me? I am still quite young and I would like to get rid of the problem before it gets any worse! PLEASE HELP! Charlotte

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff February 7, 2015 at 9:58 am #

      Hi Charlotte,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  29. Grace Ciffo February 24, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    Hello Dr. Hyman staff,
    This article was really helpful. I currently have a yeast overgrowth, H Pylori bacterial infection, Ive experienced a huge weight gain, I’m often bloated and swollen, I have stomach pains and can barely have a movement without miralax. My skin is bad and I’m constantly exhausted. I’ve been working with my doctor and natural health coach and have eliminated foods with gluten, yeast, sugar for weeks at a time. My problems really began after contracting and being treated for Lyme Disease 2 years ago. I’ve been on high quality probiotics since September (6 months). I’m less gassy but otherwise notice no difference. My health coach prescribes bentonite clay 2x day along with about a dozen other supplements. He has not mentioned digestive enzymes or any thing that could rebuild a breach in my intestines. What is your take on ingesting bentonite clay? And dont most expensive probiotics have digestive enzymes already in their formulas?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff February 25, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

      Hi Grace,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  30. Cliff Jones April 27, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    I am a 63 year old male with BPH. I was in Florida for the last 6 months. On the day we left I had a flare up but this time it was different. I experienced pain and low grade fevers and lots of problems with my prostate. On the way back I started having diahrrea problems and stomach problems. Lots of stress because of lack of good nights sleep. We arrived home on March 15th and I was still experiencing all the problems. I went to the emergency room a few days after we got back. The doctor did blood tests, urine tests and ultra sound on gall bladder, pancreis and liver and all was fine. He told me that I had peptic ulcers and prescribed protonix. Never got any better so went to family doctor who did all kinds of tests including an abdomine ct scan which came out fine so he sent me to a gastro specialist. Saw her and she said I was constipated and told me to take miralax. She ordered a endoscopy and colonoscopy. All was fine, only a small hiatel hernia. Still getting low grade fever, very constipated, also diahrrea. Not eating a lot so loosing weight from not eating and not sleeping very well. Still having BPH problems. Had PSA test and all was fine there. Can you help please

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff May 3, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

      Hello Cliff,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

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