improve gut health

How to improve your gut health

March 11, 2013|181Comments|


We’ve all heard the saying, “listen to your gut.” And while that advice often refers to our intuition, it should also speak to our digestion. Your gut guides your overall well-being. Quite literally, your gut is the epicenter of your mental and physical health. Yet it’s all too common to experience lots of digestive issues that make a huge impact on our strength and vitality. If you want better immunity, efficient digestion, improved clarity and balance, focus on rebuilding your gut health.

I know it may seem like there’s always something we could be doing better. And frankly, our quest for getting well can be downright exhausting! Sometimes our health issues can feel so big and daunting. This is especially true when it comes to serious chronic diseases. I remember getting frustrated many times. I thought to myself, for gosh sake, I’m doing everything I can to heal this disease and though I’m grateful it’s still stable, why won’t the sucker just go away? I give up! Then I decided to take it down a notch and focus on healing areas of my life and my body that I actually could control. My digestion had always been really weak. I got colds every year and had a list of health problems stemming from my gut. That’s when the light bulb went off. I decided to forget about cancer and focus my energy on my digestive health instead. Finally, improvements I could see, feel and measure!

By supporting this mighty system, you’ll see chronic health issues (like fatigue, fogginess, colds, aches and pains) diminish, and you’ll feel abundant energy return. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it really isn’t. I’ve experienced these results, and I’ve seen hundreds of readers do the same. Now it’s your turn.

Today, we’re going to cover the basics of digestive health. You’ll learn what your gut does and why it’s so important to keep it healthy. Then, we’ll discuss how to care for your wonderful gut so that it continues to take care of glorious you. Let’s dive in!

What happens inside your gut?

Your gut holds trillions of bacteria that help process your food, produce nutrients, and fight disease. In fact, there are ten times more bacteria in your gut than cells in your entire body! These little guys are super important and they need your help. Since what you eat, drink and think affects the environment in your gut, your daily choices play a critical role in whether those trillion plus bacteria help or hinder your well-being.

It’s all about balance when it comes to gut health. When your gut is in tip-top shape, about 80-85 percent of bacteria are good guys and 15-20 percent are bad guys. You feel great, your body is strong and nimble, you rarely get sick, your energy is consistent, you poop like a champ, life is good. The healthy bacteria are free to do their job with ease. They assist with digestion, produce disease-fighting antibodies, crowd out bad bacteria and produce certain hormones, vitamins and nutrients. 

But when the harmful bacteria stage a revolt, all hell breaks loose. They totally gum up the works and cause painful problems like inflammation and infection, which can then lead to health issues such as constipation, candida, allergies, arthritis, headaches, depression, autoimmune diseases and more.

Medications (especially antibiotics and antacids), environmental toxins and chemicals, stress and illness greatly affect the ratio of good to bad bacteria. When bacteria is wiped out indiscriminately, the good guys get mowed down, giving the bad guys a chance to increase their ranks. Hello, chronic health issues.

The food you eat also affects the ratio of good to bad bacteria. Everything you consume is processed and either absorbed into your body or eliminated via your gut. Your gut completes the amazing task of digesting your food and pulling the nutrients, vitamins and minerals out of the food so that they can be absorbed into your bloodstream.

And your gut’s mind-blowing capabilities don’t stop there. Your gut also identifies invaders — toxins, microbes, viruses and allergens that could harm your health — and moves them through your digestive system so that they can be excreted. Buh-bye!

The key to this system working in your favor is two-fold:

1) Lend your gut a hand by feeding your body whole, plant-based, nutrient-dense foods.

2) Consistently practice a healthy lifestyle (less stress, exercise, less exposure to environmental toxins, proper rest) that supports the good gut bacteria and keeps the harmful bacteria under control.

Your mental health affects your gut health (and vice versa).

Did you know you have two brains? Yup, you’re THAT smart. The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) controls almost all voluntary and involuntary activities within your body. For example, a voluntary action would be slicing your veggies, while an involuntary action would be blinking, breathing or falling in love with Matthew Crawley’s character in Downton Abbey (kidding, not!). The involuntary actions carried out by your central nervous system are constantly at work taking care of you. Nice, right? Thank you, central nervous system; you’re a peach!

Now guess where your second brain lives. Your gut! Yup, it has a mind of it’s very own. Your gut’s “brain” is known as the enteric nervous system. This system is home to 100 million neurons within your intestinal wall. These cute little neurons transmit important information throughout your body. They also control digestion and send status updates to the brain, letting it know how things are going in your belly.

Your two nervous systems have an intricate relationship that’s just now being explored by scientists through the field of neurogastroenterology (that’s a mouthful!). While the enteric nervous system initiates and sustains digestion on its own, signals from the brain, such as stress and anxiety, can have dramatic effects on how well it works. In addition, the brain receives chemical messages from the gut, which can affect your mood and emotions. In fact, the vast majority of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, anxiety, depression and more) is actually made in your gut, not your brain! It’s all connected and sadly, few doctors ask you about your digestive health when you tell them you’re feeling too blue to cope.

Your gut is a major component of your immune system.

Did you know that about 60-70 percent of your immune system lives in your gut? Meet your GALT, also know as gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Your GALT lies just below the mucosal lining of the gut wall. It’s very thin (only one cell thick!), and most importantly — it’s integral to your immune system. The GALT contains specialized immune structures called Peyer’s patches that are filled with immune cells, such as B cells and T cells, which are responsible for recognizing and neutralizing harmful bacteria. When pathogenic bacteria visits your gut via food or your environment, the Peyer’s patches trigger your immune response to prevent them from passing through the gut wall.

Another way your gut protects you from infection and disease is through an abundance of healthy bacteria. To keep harmful bacteria from overthrowing your gut, healthy bacteria need to thrive and cover your gut wall — the only thing standing between everything inside your gut and your bloodstream. It helps to imagine that your gut wall is a parking lot. There are a limited number of “parking spots” along your gut wall. You want good bacteria parked in those spaces, so bad bacteria is crowded out. Keep those spaces filled by adopting the following gut health tips.

Now that you know how important your gut health is to your overall well-being, how can you take care of your spectacular gut?

1. Take a probiotic supplement. A daily probiotic supplement will help boost the good bacteria in your gut, keeping the bad guys under control, boosting your immune system and easing digestive issues. This is especially helpful when you’re taking a medication, such as an antibiotic that has wiped out a large amount of gut bacteria. Some recommended brands: Dr. Ohirra’s, Primal Defense, Healthforce Nutritionals (Friendly Force), and MegaFood’s Megaflora.

If you’ve been focusing on your gut health for a while and your symptoms persist, you may want to try additional supplements to restore balance in your belly. In his book Revive, my friend Frank Lipman, MD recommends taking an herbal antibiotic, which can help kill an overgrowth of bad bacteria (I’ve taken GI Microb-x in the past). He also suggests taking a glutamine-based formula to repair your gut lining and digestive enzymes with meals to assist with breaking down and digesting your food. To find out which of these measures might be necessary have your stool analyzed by Metametrix or Genova Diagnostics. This analysis will identify parasites, abnormal bacteria, yeasts and other gastrointestinal issues, which will help you create a supplement plan, ideally with the help of an Integrative MD or Naturopath.

2. Eat probiotic whole foods. You can also eat whole foods that are fermented and contain large amounts of good bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, microalgae and coconut kefir are fantastic plant-based probiotic-rich foods. When looking for probiotic-rich foods, avoid vinegar-based and/or pasteurized varieties, since these elements kill good bacteria. You want to pick up (or make!) lacto-fermented probiotic foods (FYI–this is a plant-friendly approach, no whey is necessary). If you’re interested in making your own probiotic foods, Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz is a popular book on the subject. Word to the wise: Get educated on fermenting at home before diving in–it can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing!

3. Eat prebiotic whole foods. Certain foods feed and support the growth of good bacteria. By eating more whole, plant-based, fiber-filled foods, you’re fueling the bacteria that support your health. Raw onions, garlic, dandelion greens, artichokes and bananas are some of the best prebiotic foods to add to your diet.

4. Eat regularly, but not constantly (and don’t eat late at night). To give your gut a chance to clean up and clear out bacteria and waste, it needs a rest from digestion. Every 90 minutes to two hours, the smooth muscle in your intestines move and groove to keep bacteria and waste truckin’ through your digestive tract. But this process is put on hold every time you eat. Can you see why snacking constantly slows down digestion and contributes to bacterial overgrowth? I’m not saying that you need to fast for long periods — eating regularly helps prevent constipation and bloating — but it’s best to take breaks between meals.

5. Stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb for staying hydrated is drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should drink about 65 ounces of water. That’s about eight 8-ounce glasses of water. Your gut needs water to keep bacteria and waste moving through your digestive system, which will help prevent constipation and bloating. When you’re dehydrated, these issues can throw off the balance of bacteria in your gut and lead to inflammation. Give your gut a hand and drink more H2O!

6. Lessen refined sugar and processed foods. When you consume processed, sugar-laden, refined foods, you’re giving bad bacteria an all-you-can-eat buffet, which increases the likelihood of all the aforementioned bull crap that weighs you down and dims your shine.

7. Lessen stress. Remember when we talked about the connection between your brain and your gut? When you experience chronic stress, your brain goes into fight or flight mode, causing your digestion and blood flow in the gut to slow down, the muscles that push along waste and bacteria to freeze up and the secretions for digestion to decrease. All of these stress responses equal a poorly functioning gut! Take care of your gut health by coping with stress through breathwork, yoga, meditation, therapy, time in the outdoors and the countless other stress reduction techniques available to you.

I hope this information inspires you to love your gut back to health. Your turn to share: How will you help your gut today? And if you’ve been down this road, what has helped you recover? I’d love to know! I’m still on the path, as are many of my readers.

Love you!

Peace and digestion,

Kris Carr



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181 responses to How to improve your gut health
  1. Oh Kris….. I can’t tell you how much I love and appreciate your insights, the lessons, learnings and blessing you share!! You really area an inspiration and help me to focus, refocus and learn and grow with each and every day. I soooo love that!! :-) That in and of itself is a blessing and I can’t thank you enough. This article is perfect timing as my gut has been telling me I need to focus more on my gut…ironic :-) and a reminder of how true it is that everything happens for a reason… life truly is grander with your presence and inspirations!!

    big hugs
    Catherine @AlmostRawVegan xox

    • Kris this information is so important and will help so many as it is not information that most MD’s give their patients. I do Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics now but the big difference in my over all health came when I started taking Juice Plus+ eight years ago. It is a wonderful nutritional concept that I now distribute because as a RN it is my moral and ethical duty to help families improve their diet through education and Juice Plus+ to fill the gap of what we don’t get from our food today. It is a widely researched product throughout the world. The research is what make me look at it. Thank you for all that you do to educate others so that they can overcome or avoid becoming ill. Check out Juice Plus+
      http://www.Maine-lyjuiceplus.com and also Nancymoody.towergarden.com which is a way to grow your own produce so you know what you are eating. Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food!

  2. Jo said on March 11, 2013

    Kris, this really brought home to me about practice what I preach! I have been picking up every bug going around (which is really unusual for me). So I’m going to go back to basics and follow your advice to get some good gut health going on. Stress is a BIG one for me. As soon as I feel myself getting overwhelmed, I feel the tightness in my stomach. Right, off to down my probiotic supplement and get started with getting better gut health. Jx

  3. Kris,
    You continue to be such an amazing source of inspiration for me. My friends led me to your website recently, as my story of my chronic illness challenging me in every essence sparked parallels to your story and reminded them of you. As a “recovering overachiever” I have a deep admiration for your Event Update. While some will miss hearing you speak at the Hay House event, you living your values and taking the time to rest and rejuvenate speaks far more loudly than that single appearance could. Rest up, and keep spreading your powerful message of self-care and commitment. <3

  4. Take a wonderful well earned rest Kris. Your work will continue through your books and blogs. Namaste

  5. I have Multiple Myeloma, was diagnosed in 2007 and had a stem cell transplant and subsequent chemo treatments beginning in 2011 when the myeloma again raised its head. Now, having been through all the current standard of care drugs with a continual increase in myeloma activity, I am going on a new drug that is paliative in the hopes that this will keep the myeloma at bay to some extent until I die in about a year. Well, this is the scenario as my doctor and the med. prof. see it and it may play out like this but I continue to try to effect my health through yoga, visualization, jungian dream work, lots of silence, and diet.
    My gut is in bad shape. I have a lot of diarhea. Any suggestions.

    Gail

    • Gail, I have an aunt with multiple myeloma. The doctors at MD Anderson hospital in Houston had her on tumeric pills daily. She’s in her 70’s and doing well. I have follicular non-hodgkins, and one doctor told me that without a stem cell transplant, that I would have only 1 1/2 – 2 years to live. I’m now going on 3 years without the transplant, as my body would not yield enough cells. I stay away from sugar as much as possible, and red meat, chicken, turkey and bananas. All which have triptophan in them, which the lymphoma love. For my coffee and tea, I use stevia. The best sugar substitute I have found with no sugars in it. I use the liquid. The others alll have maltodextrin in them which is sugar. I read lots of labels. Most everything out there has high fructose corn syrup in it. I steer clear of that stuff too. It is bad for anyone. Good luck, and God be with you. We are what we eat…
      Paula

    • Gail,

      I don’t know about Multiple Myeloma, but I do know about having a gut that’s in bad shape.

      The two best diet-driven resources for gut healing I’ve found are “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by Dr. Elaine Gottschall (The Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and “Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia” by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD (The GAPS Diet).

      They follow a similar protocol and diet that helps control diarrhea, starve out bad bacteria, and give your gut a chance to heal. The diets are strict and cheating won’t get you anywhere, but if you are dedicated they work like a charm. In my experience, things worked best when I spent a week on the GAPS bone broths, then a week on the SCD intro diet, with very slow introduction of things from there.

      In addition to those diets, it’s always a good idea to work with an open-minded GI or gut-focused Naturopath who will work with you to get stool tests done, etc. They may be able to identify pathogens that are contributing to the problem.

      Good luck.

  6. Hi Kris,

    Great article! I’ve been taking a probiotic for many years now and believe it’s one thing that really helps to keep me feeling great. I did get sick for the first time in 3 years after being around someone that really had a nasty case of the flu. I kicked it fairly quickly though and was back to normal. The probiotic I use is called Optiflora by Shaklee.
    Here’s the link: http://naturalplanet.myshaklee.com/us/en/products.php?sku=20639
    I’ve used their products for nearly 20 years and their cleaning products were featured as one of Oprah’s favorite things. If not for Oprah, I don’t know if I would have ever seen “CrazySexyCancer” after you appeared on her show drinking green juice. All the best to you!

    Mark

  7. I love that your newsletter is always exactly in sync to what I am seeking out in my life,it consistantly blows my mind!!! I was just placing a order last night for some DigestZen line of digestive health products by doTTERA.
    Its all here so I do not have to search the world over for a system but I always share your your info packed,all inspiring newsletter!!! Enjoy your peace at the farmette :)

  8. C said on March 11, 2013

    Lots of love and thanks to you darling Kris.
    Glad to hear you’re taking some time out

    Xxx

  9. Please, rest up and feel better. I hear you, about digestive health. My nervous system hurt my esophagus, diagnosed with Barrettes Esophagus in my forties from stress and nerves, diet was pretty good, and weight is good. Been following you ever since almost all the way vegan and juicing feeling much better, working on the rest. So Thank You for your inspiration your information is a real gift, and I love the new cook book, Thanks.

  10. This has been a huge issue for me! This season has been rough on my immune system. After 5 courses (rounds) of antibiotics in 7 months, I will now help my good gut guys! Thanks for the information!

  11. Thanks Kris,

    I have fallen off the wagon when it comes to my gut, so thanks for the inspiration to get my gut in check, the probiotics in the fridge are coming out right now.

    All the best,
    Natalie x x x

    • I think we are all guilty of falling off the wagon once in a while, the key is recognizing it and getting back on!

  12. In addition to what you have said above, what are your thoughts about acupuncture? I have been doing acupuncture for 8 months since my breast cancer has returned to the bones. It helps enormously with the side effects of Zeloda. In addition I have been following your book to the tea, feeling amazing with the juicing and occasional blending. Thanks so much! I think all of this is truly boosting my immune system so that I can defend myself against the toxins of the new therapy. I know that the cancer will not go away but at least I can live in peace with my body.

  13. Dear Kris, I love your blog! It’s always spot on. When I stumbled upon your site a few months ago I have was so inspired I made the switch to a much healthier way of life – whole vegan foods in – processed sugary foods out! I feel great and have not missed any of the old way. The juicing is such an energizer and getting rid of the sugar and caffeine has done wonders for my overall health especially my joints are much, much better. I don’t wake up in pain any more and have more energy than I have in a decade which is allowing me to meet the challenges of my life as a much stronger and happier person.

    I am still a stress eater though, so this reminder to not snack constantly (even if it is goji berries) is much needed. In my early 20s I met these really healthy 80 year olds and they said the key to their success was not eating at night. They gave their bodies a long rest from food each night to let the organs do their maintenance. Your post reminded me of them. Thanks for all the GREAT information you share here and for your awesome books. You have changed my life for the better. In short, YOU ROCK! ;)
    xoxo
    Kathryn

  14. Thanks Kris,
    I cannot have bananas. I have non-hodgkins lymphoma (follicular type) and cannot have anything with tryptopan.. And bananas, chicken, and turkey all have it. I will start having those probiotic foods, minus the banana, and take a supplement daily.
    Regards
    Paula

    • Hi Paula,
      How or where did you get the information about tryptophan and lymphoma?? I’d like to know more about that. I was diagnosed last year (it was incidental), but have NO symptoms so I am in the ‘watch and wait’ mode. I hear a lot from doctors and other people that it can take quite some time for the lymphoma to start causing symptoms, but I guess it all depends. I have been educating myself and changing my diet as I want to delay as much as possible the occurrence of the cancer being active. But i often find different advise as what to eat or not to eat for cancer patients. Take care.
      Thank you,
      Wendy

  15. Kris, I am sooo happy to hear you are taking care of yourself. You have given so much to the world, and now it’s totally ok to do some MAJOR self-care. Although we love and appreciate all the wisdom you have to share, we appreciate your good health and happiness even more. We want you around for a long time. Sending you healing energy, well wishes and positive thoughts :-)

  16. on target with your inspiring info xoxoox I have been hit with some problems from life in that area
    and wanted to share with you that castor oil and light heat on the tummy area – after a long day when you
    dive into the sheets – use a heating pad or a hot water bottle on the area of tummy -after you apply a
    small amount of pure castor oil ( can use a t shirt ) and it is super relaxing !!!! let the self love warm you
    and your tummy xoxoox

    YOUR AN ANGEL KRIS – keep up the good work and rest now at the change of seasons –
    LOVE & LAUGHTER always xoxooxoxo

  17. CASTOR OIL tummy packs xoxoxoox heat & oil before / in bed at sleepy time with a sleepy tea xo

  18. Kris.. love, love, love your blog. Have fun at the Farmette ..breath deep..savor the amazing joy you have brought so many folks like me!

  19. Thanks so much for this very clear information. I am a nurse and I teach health classes at a psychiatric day treatment center and I am always looking for simple ways to explain complicated health issues. I used your information today to teach a group of six women about gut health and they got it!
    blessings!
    Sue

  20. One thing a lot of people don’t think about is that if you’re eating factory-farmed animal products, you’re essentially taking a low dose of antibiotics all the time because the animals are fed antibiotics regularly. Not exactly great for gut health. To this list I would have added regular colonics and enemas. Maybe not the most ladylike topics, but I’ve been amazed, stunned at the power of colon-cleansing for healing. I consider it a key component to health.
    Thanks Kris-

  21. Meals that heal inflammation by Julie Daniluk is a good book to check out. Also, on top of probiotics and a healthy diet, glutamine powder has been quite helpful for me. Enjoy your break Kris.

  22. Green Juice, Green Juice, Green Juice! That was a huge life changer kris has given me! Thank You:)

  23. Kris, I am very happy to hear that you are practicing what you preach. As a cancer survivor, I know what a balancing act it is to be good to yourself AND passionate about your work. It is the best teaching to demonstrate what you know to be true. Namaste, Rita

  24. How do you feel about Kombucha? How does is it for gut health?

  25. Hey Kris. I am disappointed that you won’t be at the conferance. That is the only reason why I signed up. Take that as a big compliment. You are so inspirational and I value what you do and what you bring to my life and the life of the clients I work with. I am so glad to hear that you are taking a big break. I am not surprised that you need a rest. I was wondering how you were going to keep it going before it caught up. Rest, rest, rest and when you are ready, I can’t wait to hear all the great things you have to say about the importance of balance and rest and recovery. Thank you again and again. Take care. Mary

  26. Hi Kris, thanks for this awesome reminder/information. I am wondering if you are still doing the coffee/wheatgrass enemas to help your healing journey? If so, how often do you do them? Thanks! And enjoy your well-deserved break! Pam

  27. Hi Miss Carr!

    Thank you for sharing with us. These information are really valuable especially to people like me who doesn’t know where to look and what to look for in a short period of time. I appreciate your work and intention of spreading the good word. I cannot wai until I’m done with chemo and I can practice what I’ve been reading from your books.
    I hope that you’ll get the rest and love that you need. Thank you.

  28. Kris, Fantastic article! I have worked as a colon therapist for over 8 years and devoted the majority of my time to the inner-workings of the gut. I, too, developed disease years ago and by trial and error had to figure out my road map to health. One of the greatest discoveries to move my health forward in warp speed, besides the whole food/raw foods diet, was the liver and gallbladder flush. The liver is our blood cleanser and clearing house and daily dumps large amounts of waste into the digestive tract. So no matter how hard I tried to keep the gut clean it would just keep getting dirty again, even if I was eating clean. The liver/gallbladder flush was the answer to flush an enormous amount of toxins out of the body very fast, so they don’t hang around and potentially get re-absorbed. Besides myself, I can’t tell you how many times this has turned my clients health around in 1/2 the time. I have been teaching this cleanse for over 3 years now and would love to chat and share stories some day.

  29. I am receiving treatment for hyperthyroid at the moment. This chronic disease has been in my life for the last 14 years. it’s really frustrating. I feel good that you share about your frustrating journey and how u are overcoming it. I’m practising yoga now and eating more consciously. Gonna be trying more natural alternative therapies too. Wish me luck!

  30. Kris, great article. I am learning about my digestion every day. What I have learned is that I am sensitive to many of the foods I ate regularly while growing up. I now have part of an explanation as to why I was so emotionally sensitive. And if I happen to eat one of these foods again-bam! Within 48 hours I feel terrible and stressed out. A cascade of events are potentially triggered then. Some I am aware of, some I am not as they are occuring below the threshold of my awareness inside my body where my cells are doing their darndest to bring things into balance. From my own experience, I can confidently state that much of our stress may be caused by what we eat. If people could release such emotional attachment to food, and eat food which only nourishes them, they could figure a lot out.

  31. Kris, thanks for modeling slowing down! It is hard for me to slow down and cancel commitments, even when my health deserves it. I really appreciate that you are publicly modeling the wise decision to trim your commitments when your body suggests that you should.

    • I’ve learned over the last few years how rejuvenating it can be to cancel a commitment for personal time. I am an introvert and regain energy when I can unwind and decompress at home. I can feel worse by not listening to my body (mental and physical) and continuing on with a commitment, and the closer it gets I can can start to feel anxiety as well if I don’t cancel or reschedule. Some commitments are no-brainers, some you should probably think long and hard about canceling, but a friend/family member/close acquaintance should understand.

  32. My goodness what an amazing post! So few people discuss just how important it is to Love our tummies! I have worked with many friends and clients who have experienced coaching and medtitation sessions with me that have learned to love every area of their bodies including their bellies. Together we will work to connect your physical body to your Spirtitual body and help you to Love all that you are! It takes work but the results are amazing!

    Kris thank you for this reminder of Self Love! See you all at YourLifeIsAwesome.com :)

    http://yourlifeisawesome.com/

    Oxoxo Rocco

  33. It’s important to note that pasturerized vinegar-based sauerkraut is not a probiotic. Fermented vegetables are probiotic when prepared with lacto-fermentation, not vinegar. You can get these in the health food store (Bubbies, Oly-Kraut, etc, are some brands) or make them yourself.

  34. I love the way u explained how the body (gut) work. I will advise my deaf friends about the gut. This does improve my health.

  35. Thank you for the information, it is always new and very helpful. My main problems stem in my gut and digestive areas. This will help immensely with my everyday habits. As always peace and veggies to you, Denise Peralez.

  36. Thanks Kris! And good for you for practicing what you preach! ;) I saw you for the first time at the I can do it conference in NY! Awesome, and since then I discovered my blender can manage greens! I had overcomplicated it in my mind with the excuse of not having a juicer, which is no longer an option ;) So far, I feel more energized and it feels like I’m taking better care of myself. As you mentioned, doing it not for this or that, but as an act of love for myself. Thanks again for shifting perspectives in a fun loving way! :)

  37. Love your compassion and thanks for sharing and spreading your vision!!

  38. Fascinating!! Loved the scientific background in this post. I always knew having a healthy gut was important but didn’t realize the extent of why it is so important. Enteric nervous system, GALT – I had no idea!! Keep’um coming and as usual “Thank you” for everything you do and share!

  39. Thank you thank you thank you. I am well aware of the integral role my digestive health plays in my wellbeing, and I feel like managing it has been the bane of my existence! I have been steadily learning more about how to achieve good gut health, but it seems like no matter what I do, my stomach is upset, I am bloated and full, can’t have a proper bowel movement, all those lovely things. It really really really affects me and my mood. I am not sure if genetics are playing a role here and I have less of this good bacteria, or I am more prone to stress, but despite a whole foods plant based diet, cutting out coffee, lessening sugar intake, regular exercise and yoga, I still have a very sensitive gut and experience problems regularly.
    Thank you for this information, it was very helpful and insightful. For now, I will continue to focus on stress reduction, I think that is a big culprit.

  40. My son could only point out one animal in a book at age 3. After one week on a probiotic, he was able to point out EVERY animal in the book! A week later we tested his body parts knowledge. He went from sometimes pointing out 2-3, to every body part with a confidence and speed that were not present prior. Go team probiotics! After seeing what a probiotic could do, we then took him off gluten and casein and our son who had expressive and receptive language delays started talking!

  41. This is amazing advice that many people are not aware of, thank you for spreading the word! Many people tell me they eat dairy yogurt to get their probiotics, not realizing that dairy causing harm. It would be great if you could share more information on the correlation of the two to help debunk the ‘I get my probiotics from cow’s milk’ theory.

    This is one of those things that when you make changes you won’t see a dramatic difference in your overall health overnight. Like you mentioned, I was getting sick, constantly feeling tired and run down. It took a few years to find what worked for me with supplements and diet. Working with a naturopath, adding a daily probiotic and tailoring my supplements to what my blood work was asking for has been so important to feeling my best! xo

  42. If you’re interested in learning more, http://www.bodyecology.com is the place to go for all things “good gut” related. Donna Gates’ principles (especially food combining and eating fermented foods), changed my life forever. I buy their culture and kefir starters to make fermented veggies and coconut water kefir. It is SO easy to make coconut kefir – I buy a 1 liter box of ZICO from the supermarket, pour it into a glass bottle, add honey, warm it to a little above room temperature, add a kefir culture packet and put it in the pantry for 2.5 days. When it comes out it is a sparkling, delicious, LIVE probiotic beverage – as good, if not better, than any of the most expensive probiotic supplements you can buy. Keep it in the fridge and just a couple of ounces a day will do your body wonders! Before you drink the last few oz, be sure to pour some into your next batch to keep those good guys alive and multiplying. One culture packet can last me about 6-8+ batches. I have found that the key to fermenting ZICO (as opposed to cracking open your own fresh coconuts) is to add honey because believe it or not, due to the processing, it is actually not sweet enough with natural sugars for the culture to thrive. Enjoy!

  43. I am working on my gut. I am learning some recipes from Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions. I have made sauerkraut, beet kvass, and ginger ale. I am trying to learn about making kefir and will make yogurt soon. We are trying to have something like this with every meal. The Body Ecology Diet is teaching me about this too. In fact the author has begun a website called bedrok to help kids heal from autism. The gut is so neglected and so unhealthy in most people. I am convinced that this the most important first step to heal me of depression and my husband of arthritis and bad digestion.

  44. Thank you so much, Kris, for everything you do. I’m on Remicade (an immunosuppressant) for Ulcerative Colitis – and yet I’ve managed to avoid getting sick this past winter. I’m certain that it’s because I have to take excellent care of my gut or else face the consequences (because Remicade is, sadly, not a get-out-of-jail-free card).

    Take care of yourself. There’s only one YOU on the planet and we need you!

  45. Chris
    Thank you for your very practical and dynamic info. I virtually live according to your prescription . My acid reflux or bloating continues .This is my only cause for concern at 57 years .Need to take my Nexium almost daily . please advise

  46. Thank you Kris,

    I have been battling parasites in my stomache for some time now and I think some of your tips will help alot. It’s so good to see that the things my doc. have told me are simliar to what you have said and that I am not alone in needing to improve my digestive system. I have severe aches and pains and joint problems. I am hoping that getting my gut in order will help eliviate all that. Thank you.

  47. Enjoy some well deserved R&R! Impressed that you are practicing what you preach! Question: my husband and I have had the “stomach flu bug” 5 times each in the last 6 months (my husband hardly ever gets sick normally). We are suspecting that something is wrong with our water, so we are getting it tested this week. We have begun eating a more plant based diet and taking more vitamins. In addition to that, what else can we do in order to build to the good bacteria in out guts up? I know you mentioned taking a probiotic in this post. Any other tips?

  48. Dear Kris, thank you this was a great blog. can you please tell me if it is better to have natural probiotics like the coconut kefit or sauerkraut rather than a supplement. I dont like to take the supplement because I feel the body gets used to it. Isnt it better to have everything from natural sources.

  49. Thanks so much for the info and inspiration! I currently follow about half of these and can’t wait to implement more into my life. My boyfriend constantly has gut issues and I can’t wait to share this info with him. You’re truly amazing!

  50. Kris
    I have suffered with digestive issues all my life,
    I always felt there was a mind gut connection. Thank you for the great advice and valadation.
    You are a source of great inspiration on my journey to wellness.

  51. Haha, loved the bit about Matthew Crawley. Big grins over here. :)
    My digestion was really good when I ate whole grain bread.. stopped eating gluten though so haven’t exactly got the answer at the moment. May try more quinoa and raw soups.

  52. I can’t explain how much you’ve helped me this past year. I’ve been reading up on how important our diet is and what I should/shouldn’t eat – and, along with your books (CSD and CSK) as well as your blogs and those of other people, I’ve completely turned around my diet and consequently, my health. Since the diagnosis of my tumor last summer, I haven’t had an inkling of a cold, the flu, any allergies, fatigue AND – here’s the biggie – my tumor has disappeared! I’ve had surgery but they weren’t able to remove the whole thing – the doc couldn’t believe how this was possible! He doesn’t believe that food has anything to do with anything … but it must’ve helped. Either way, I feel great! And I’ve got you – and my gut – to thank for that!

  53. Sending lots of love and positive self-care vibes your way! Thank you for teaching me about my gut. I learned a lot. I love walking away from your posts feeling empowered.

  54. Kombucha!!! It is a fabulous way to support your gut.

  55. Great article! ! Very, very informative, especially for someone like me who carries a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder (MS) and a pre-cancerous condition. This article is a friendly, straight forward reminder for me to pay attention to stress and my gut (my second brain-who knew?!). I am working hard these days to change my lifestyle, beginning with stress reduction, meditation and a change to a plant-based diet. It IS hard work, but totally worth it. Thanks Kris, for providing information, support and validation for those of us that work to live in our sweet spot!

  56. My gut doesn’t like baguettes & brie anymore. That’s unfortunate because I sure do! Especially with a glass of Super Tuscan :)

    When I do indulge my best friends are Dr. Ohira (pro-biotics), lot’s of water and green juice.

  57. Love all your great wisdom you share!!! Thank you!!!

  58. Kris,

    Great blog post on the gut. It is so important to get digestion working so you can feed your body what it needs to feel great. Your recommendations are exactly what I am doing to bring my body to a better state of wellness.

    I am pleased that you are taking some R&R now. It will be wonderful to hear the birds return and see the greening of fields as you renew your energy to continue to spread the wellness message. I am sending positive vibes that you will have energy for “I Can Do It” in Toronto in June.

    To your wellness Kris, Jo-Ann

  59. Most people still run to M.D.s and get antibiotics for anything and everything because they don’t know what else to do. I use garlic regularly, and Oil of Oregano is a fantastic addition when something more is needed — often knocks the bad bacteria back down with a single capsule and no nasty side effects!

  60. Great article. I love that there are small, concrete, incremental steps to take. I always fail if I try to do too much at once! (I’m focusing on water this week!)

    • Hi there Kris. Have a fabulous time off, get plenty of rest and have fun spending time in nature. Thank you so much for all the work you do! Lots of love, Therese :-)

  61. I have had chronic bowel issues as long as I can remember. Something that has helped me is to drink ground flax seed in warm/hot water every night in addition to addequate water. It is amazing for promoting regularity of the bowels. A happy bowel is a happy women!

  62. Rest up Kris & take care of yourself. Your fans & followers can spread your message while you take time to nurture. SarahX

  63. Take good care of yourself Kris! Love, Romke

  64. Hello Kris!
    Thank you for all you are doing to make women get their bodies back in line, mentally and physically!
    Timing for this post is perfect for me today. I’ve been under a load of stress and my body has reacted like a time bomb. Pounds of bloat, irregular heartbeat, intestinal issues…. the list goes on. Out of fear I ran to my incredible oncologist(I’m 2 years out of Stage 1C Ovarian Cancer) and she helped me down the mountain, talking and laughing with me. To make a long story short, all the tests she ran came back great. She’s positive that all my symptoms are stress related and diet related. Time for a time out for me. Will definitely look into all the probiotics! I have to listen more closely to my body. Enjoy the rest!

  65. I have thought about you a lot since reading this post. I hope all is well with you and your health. Wishing you the best! xo

  66. Kris, THANK YOU so much for this post! I am a big believe in the Body-mind/gut-brain connection. I tell my clients all the time about the importance of a healthy gut to your overall health. My husband and I use Yor Health products- all natural, plant based probiotics and digestive enzymes to keep ‘things’ moving with healthy bacteria, we juice and (do our best) to eat a whole foods diet with minimal processed foods. You are glorious, Kris Carr! Thank you for all you do!
    Laura Wieck
    The Body-Mind Coach
    @laurawieck

  67. Hi Kris, my hero and inspiration!
    Since my pregnancy in 1982, I’ve had chronic constipation and have been on one form of laxative until switching to metamusal, and just recently the natural version. I NOW use natural psyllium from Whole Foods. There are days that I just can’t get enough fiber but am getting the the place where my intake of healthy food will even eliminate that. What do you think?

    • It’s also super important to my overall wellness to have at least one BM a day and preferably in the AM before I go anywhere. The psyllium almost guarantees this. One other TRICK I heard from one of the wonderful health gurus out there is to drink 2 liters of water first thing in the morning. Since doing that I don’t have to even have my hot cup of tea to help things get moving. thanks for all of your help – I couldn’t have gotten through my 4 year breakdown without you.

  68. to clarify.
    Oh, I couldn’t quite drink 2 liters of water first thing in the morning so I halved it and found that 1 liter before you eat anything worked magically for me.

  69. Hello Kris,
    I feel like everywhere I turn these days, there is someone explaining the importance of healthy bacteria in the gut (and it isn’t me)! Thank you for your well-researched, accurate and easy-to-read article. I’ve been eating fermented veggies and drinking my home made kefir for over a year now and it really is a wonderful experience. I have played with kefir with raw cow, goat and sheep milk. And I now I plan to play with nut milks! I haven’t been sick in ages (except for a sniffle) and my energy and physical stamina have been higher than ever!

    Peace and Pickles!
    XOXO

  70. There is no place like home! What a fabulous reminder to see you are taking care of yourself, as a busy, working mom, I needed that today!

    And then, there is the gut…. I am a green drink guzzler, and fermented food eater myself and feel better than ever since putting food first, but this really resonated for me because of one of my children who has constipation/gut issues and behavioral issues! I am pinning this post on the fridge to remember that I can help her, and bringing it with me next time I take her to the doc! I have such a strong feeling the two things are connected for her, but there is so little info, I always get tongue tied when at the doctor!

    Thanks again!
    Mia

  71. Hey Kris,
    Thanks for the awesome education on the gut – with you on the whole adrenal gut look after myself journey!
    Recently I have been doing yoga nidra (as well as the nutrition & meditation) to enhance the healing & wow, the cumulative benefits are very grounding…might be something you and your readers could enjoy…afterwards I can feel that my gut in particular has had a real rest!
    Here’s to your R&R – we’ll fly the flag for a bit.
    C
    xx

  72. Kris, thank you for your support during the past 4 years of treatment. Your books have continued to be a constant source of support, wisdom & enthusiasm. When the dark clouds would enter my mind, I could read a chapter in “Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor” & the clouds would go away. Such a gift, I can never repay.

    Thank you for deciding to tend to yourself & really it might be time to let us repay, in even just a small way, your devotion to us. Think about it. I would be happy to help you in any way, to lighten your load. I can send you a skills list & I know many others would too. It truly would be an honor to pay it back. Truly.

    Caro-

  73. Hey Kris and everyone. I’ve had Chronic Fatigue 4 years now. I’ve tried all this with no succsess. And have come to the conclusion that it’s a PSYSICAL barrier in me, gallstones. Both present in the gallbladder and the liver… So I’m doing a Liver/gallbladder cleanse now. Because the food doesn’t mix with bile since it’s a barrier there. This is my GUESS. But it can’t be anything else. I’ve tried to “eaten” myself well but it simply doesn’t get anywhere. For Kris and everyone else, have you gotten well, and specifircally what have you done?
    Thanks people, love you all.

  74. It turns out my ‘weak zone’ occurs during ovulation. Usually on the first day of ovulation, I am hungry ALL DAY! When I worked in a 730-5 office environment, this would kickstart at least a week of mega-snacking. And the snacks equaled mainly processed, sugar packed junk. Finally, my gut said “ENOUGH”. After mega pain, super bloated tummy, and frustrating weight gain of 7lbs, I was able to buckle down and get serious about living better. Long story short, I now am aware of this pattern and address it with awareness, self-loving care, and wholesomeness. Using tea as a craving curb and to ease my sweet tooth is super helpful. Also doing A LOT more baking & cooking at home.
    #4 is my home base. Loving all you share, especially the GALT info! Many thanks Crazy Sexy Kris!

  75. Hi Kris,
    I have just found you on the internet and I am very impressed with all the amazing work you done, you seem to have a great good influence in everyone you reach and I wish you all the best on your journey.

    In regards to this post I have to say drink plenty of tea, the tea that I recommend is Fennel tea, it’s really helps after meals and is a sweet taste.
    I was diagnosed with IBS for about 2 years just to found out that a stressful job was ruining my stomach… that’s when I also find out the connection between my brain and gut.

    Hope it helps!
    lots of love

  76. I love this article and love that you stress the importance of Gut Health. No-one likes to talk about it but it is sooo important :) I have just launched a new e-book all about how to get the balance back using natural methods – of course. I thought it was apt to name it….. Get the Perfect Sausage :) http://www.perfectsausage.com
    It is light and fun and yet gets to the important parts like you have mentioned in this article.

    Love our thinking on this one :)

  77. Good timing, my friend. I just went through a nasty bout of diverticulitis and have learned a lot about my digestion & eating habits (I thought I was doing so well) NOT! Listen to Kris my dears, she speaks the truth. Stress is a biggie for me (mama with Alzheimers) & I am learning some self love with a sidesof veges. All love.

  78. Stress/negative thoughts acidizes the body. Just like acid foods acidizes the body. What came first? The bad foods or the bad thoughts? I can only answer for myself. The food! And the the poor gut health then “pulled” down my mentality and then stress and negative thoughts occured. And then the bad brain & gut cycle began. One interesting thing I’ve discovered for myself is that anxiety “comes” from the gut. If your gut works, “everything” works. Confidence, nutritional absorbtion…

  79. What great info! I had planned a trip to the local health food store today, I’ll add a probiotic supplement to the shopping list.
    Back in November, we moved from Toronto to the Okanagan Valley, in BC. We drove cross country, through the US to get here. Eating on the road caused some serious havoc for me, and I started to realize that I can’t just eat “everything, anytime!” Since that experience, I’ve been looking for more info about how to stay happy and balanced in the gastro sense, and your article fits right in!
    Thanks!

  80. Dear Kris,

    Always lovely to hear from you! Keep us on the loop and take good care of yourself!
    Thank you very much,
    Love you,
    Natalia

  81. Take care of yourself first & foremost! We’ll all still be here when you’re feeling more energized :)

  82. This blog is perfectly timed for me! Due to excessive antibiotic use as a child, I am working with someone who has put me on a probiotic of fermented herbs and I have cut out dairy, processed sugar (well, a bit of dark chocolate still!) and they also want me to stop all grains. The reasoning being that grains are hard to digest and turn into sugar in the gut – thereby feeding the bad bacteria.
    I am worried about cutting out all grains and all the nutrients that they have in them. Anyone tried this?

    Very confused about what to do.

    • @Katie – If you haven’t already, check out some of the bloggers out there who focus on traditional diets and/or “paleo” diets. Lots of theories about how grains, especially *today’s* grains, are extremely difficult to digest (especially if your gut is already under-performing) and thus the nutrients in them are moot because you cannot absorb them well. I’ve read a lot of success stories where people have cut out grains and focused on easy-to-digest, nutrient dense animal foods to heal their gut and then return to eating small amounts of grains after a while. (This flies in the face of most of what Kris Carr’s stuff says). I find Chris Kresser’s blog very informative, especially because he recognizes that everyone has different issues and tolerances for different foods and needs a different plan for healing.

      • Thanks so much Stephanie. Having read CSD and then being told the complete opposite, it is good to have some reassurance that the advice I was given is not complete lunacy, and may still produce healing effects.

    • Dara said on May 10, 2013

      Katie, I followed a diet similar to what Steph referred to and had huge improvements in my autoimmune condition and digestion. It was part “paleo” (grain free, dairy free, grass-fed meat, nothing processed, etc), part GAPS (lots of probiotics and gut healing bone broth), and part CSD (lots of veggies, green juice and smoothies for detoxing and micronutrients). It took a while to figure out this perfect combo of dietary protocols but the wait was worth it. Whenever I follow it, I feel amazing. The other thing that has really helped is getting tested for food sensitivities and eliminating them since eating foods our system reacts to is also hard on the gut. Experiment and learn what works for your body. We’re all different. Best of luck!

  83. This article is wonderful and thank you for recommending some probiotic brands. I find that supplements can be a bit overwhelming and I trust your recommendations. Glad you will be slowing down to take care of yourself. Be well!

  84. Generally good advice — BUT — if you have digestive issues already, you should make sure you don’t have issues like SIBO or fructose intolerance (and/or trouble breaking down “FODMAPs”). Many prebiotic foods (and fiber additives in food) can make your digestive problems worse if you have SIBO, or trouble with FODMAPs like I do. You may need to focus on healing your gut through other means before throwing lots of pre- and probiotics at it!!!! There is no one-size-fits-all approach unfortunately!

    • Hi Steph,

      A belated response. I agree completely and my family doctor agrees. She did her PhD in neuroscience and has a strong knowledge base of nutritional sciences and alternative therapies. I’ve had a lifetime of serious GI and sensitivity/ allergy issues which grew severe and landed me in an ambulance twice while searching for doctors who could help. These issues were and have been put on hold while I deal with longstanding back issues which have finally been diagnosed and being treated properly (including surgery) but the addition of many years of narcotics didn’t help the ‘gut’ issues. Anyway, a few months ago I tought I would try a very low dose of probiotic (one hypoallergenic pill) and I suffered through days of severe gas pain and discomfort. I waited and tried again, same thing. My doctor said to stop that I needed to heal other underlying issues before a probiotic supplement would help or even be tolerated by me. She suggested for now I stick with small diet changes as tolerated and very weak, mild teas that don’t exacerbate reflux or digestion issues. I also read many credible articles and studies on the web which talk about your points.

      I guess like everything else educate yourself as Kris suggests from many sources and learn what works for you and your situation. If you already have severe digestive issues…proceed with caution but never give up.

      Thanks Steph and Kris!

  85. Thank you for all of the Positive, helpful information…. Please do rest….take care of yourself…. Thank you…

  86. Be well …..rest up
    Thank you for your example and your info
    You are precious … Take care

  87. A big thank you for your post.Thanks Again. Want more.

  88. Thanks for sharing your experiences and wisdom with your fans! I feel like I just attended a university lecture packed with so many helpful hints to leading a healthier life. I’ve saved it onto my desktop because there’s no way I’m going to remember all your wonderful tips after just one reading and I know I’m going to want to go back over it and share it with my friends and family who are interested in taking control of their health.
    My ND recommended drinking green tea kombucha as a probiotic drink which I love. It has a mild minty taste. The Yogi brand of teas carries it. Another good reason for drinking kombucha as a probiotic is because it’s SO affordable in comparison to some other probiotics out there.

  89. This is brilliant and inspiring. I came to this article from the link in Tony’s one minute blog and wowww.. Thank you for this dose of inspiration and care.
    I would definitely want to read more from you.
    Much much appreciation

  90. Hi Kris. I am very glad that I stumbled upon this blog of yours! This is a very informative article, and I’ll be sure to keep in mind the tips that you mentioned to take care of my gut!

  91. Timely post and thank you for writing it as I’m sitting here, doubled over in pain. I’ve been on a 3 year journey to heal my gut, and I thought I was there after a year of really great stuff happening and very mild and rare problems. Then, I ate some wheat two weeks ago, and I can’t seem to get back on track. I’ve never been diagnosed with celiac, but siblings have it and I probably do, too. I will get a test to determine, as long as I don’t have to eat anymore wheat to activate something. I really can’t cope with this level of pain again.

    I will read your post again carefully and take good notes. Thank you! Expecting the best.

    • Hi Gwen

      I really feel for you and anyone else dealing with gut issues, but I just wanted to share something about the coeliac testing.
      My two daughters have coeliac disease, and all the family were initially tested about 4 years ago and the results came back negative. But as my daughters got sicker, I learnt that you have to have the equivalent of 4 pieces of bread every day for 6 weeks to get a ‘positive’ result. Although from the Coeliac Expo they say that if you get severe symptoms, you may only need to consume this amount for 1-4 weeks. Our test results from 4 years ago, were ‘false’ negatives. I apparently don’t have coeliac disease but I would say that I have an intolerance to it. We all eat gluten-free at home. My youngest daughter also has fructose malabsorption. There are lots of challenges with that alone. We are so much better because of the diagnosis for my girls and the difference in them is remarkable.

  92. Kris – thanks for all of your blog posts! I adopted a plant-based, non-dairy lifestyle 6 months ago and your blogs and cookbook have made it pretty easy. I was really hoping to alleviate my digestive issues – chronic morning diarrhea and occasional bloating and constipation – something I have been battling for 50 years but unfortunately the change in my diet has not helped my gut at all. I had a blood test for gluten allergies, which came up negative. And I just don’t want to live my life on Imodium! Maybe I need to add a probiotic to the picture…just not sure which one and where to start, so many options.. Thanks!

  93. you’re the best. thanks for this info.

  94. Hey Kris!

    You’re such a wonderful source of daily inspiration :)

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on colon hydrotherapy. My mother suffers from autoimmune urticaria and I’m trying to help her get on track with her health (especially her gut health!)

    Also, bad breath. Gut health? Too much dairy? I’d also love to hear your thoughts on this one!

    Love and light,

    Cassie Ray
    NYC/Oklahoma :-)

  95. Thanks for the awesome post, Kris!

    Question for you: Could digestive issues be the cause of (sometimes pretty stinky) flatulence? (I’m trying to be all proper about it by using the official term :) Sorry if it’s TMI!)

    Since I adopted a vegan diet just over a year ago, I’ve gone through periods where I’ve been particularly smelly. I’ve tried to pinpoint certain foods that could be causing the issue, but I can never find a common thread. I’m wondering if probiotics might help… If so, do you happen to know what I should look for in a supplement (I’m in the UK and have no idea which brands are best)? I’m also going to do some research into fermented foods.

    Thanks again!

  96. LOVE U!!!!
    :-D

  97. Very enlightening, thank you

  98. Julie said on May 6, 2013

    Okay so how do psych meds weave into all this. I have a client who is taking benzos describes it as finally getting the chain back on the bike she had been trying to ride for years with a broken chain and that the thousands of pounds animal that has been pushing her around has now stopped. I think she also is taking an anti-depressant. How do these two drugs impact the gut brain?

    • Thank you for another informative website. The place else could I get that type of information written in such a perfect manner? I’ve a challenge that I am just now running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such information.

  99. Kris,
    You’re an awesome chick! Thank you so much for all you do. I’ve learned so much from you. I too am a cancer survivor and aspire to be more healthy JUST LIKE YOU and keep cancer away for good.

  100. Kris, this is a wonderful article! Focusing on gut health instead of on cancer is a very smart approach to health and healing and I hope many people will read your words.

    I invite you to read a post I just wrote on using the Somatic Reflection Process on gut feelings to strengthen the immune system. “We propose that there is much more you can do in addition to building up the good flora in your body to assure good gut health that effects positive mental health. Based on our clinical studies and research findings, we propose that the more a person uses the Somatic Reflection Process on gut feelings and unites body-mind, the happier their gut is, the more positive signals will flow from gut to head brain, and the person’s mental health will be vastly improved, as well as a stress reduction that has positive effects upon the physical body and the elimination of dis-ease.” Would love it if you would join us at: http://instinctualgutfeelings.blogspot.com/2013/06/improving-gut-health-using-somatic.html and read an excerpt of our book “What’s Behind Your Belly Button?” on an integrative approach to gut health.

  101. Thanks for this wonderful article. I absolutely love it.

  102. So, after looking through your Top 11 tips, I was confused where to start making changes. The article just gave me a focus. I will not be overwhelmed by trying to cure leukemia but work on one thing at a time. The gut is where I will focus!

  103. hello. I greatly appreciated this article. I have been diagnosed with diverticulitis, but I suspect its closer to chrons or celiacs disease. And im starting to believe there really isnt that much difference. I am 56 yrs old, i smoke ( ugh ), I dont drink, and i have had radiation treatments for prostate cancer 3 yrs ago, none of which seems to do my gut any good. It dawned on me today that what i should be focusing on was imflamation. seems as tho all out ailments start with that. i googled that and your article popped up. I think it is very informative and i will be reading more about it.
    Thank you.

  104. This really is an up-beat and honest approach to health – Thanks for your contribution.

    Shirlee

  105. This article is yet another piece of a puzzle Im trying to put together by myself, Im just a secretary, but I believe there has to be a better way to inactivate inflammation in the eye caused by graves eye disease, in other words, if its an autoimmune disease, and the eye disease is left untreated until a person’s thyroid levels are stable for some length of time, it seems to me there has to be a way to stop the eye disease from being active by something a person can do to stop the inflammation of the muscles & tissues behind the eye, something that would remove the inflammation from the blood stream. Im in search of a therapy that would prevent any possiblity of needing invasive surgery to correct the damage which is being done continually . I will look for what you call an integrative doctor, but the reality is, I have 3 differnt drs. treating 3 diff. symptoms of the autoimmune disease, but only 1 of them, the endocrinologist seems to have a goal of stabilizing my hyperthyroid but this does not stop or help what’s going on behind my eyes. I’ve heard about chelation therapy but it sounds really scarey. Also a new way to treat certain leukemias which has to do with t-cells (??) but if there’s a way to flush the bacteria or inflmmation out of the system, seems to me like the autoimmune disease can be cured. Thanks for a differnt perspective altho I dont know how the gut could be a factor in the graves eye disease, it just seems to me like everything has to tie in together somehow and I wish one doctor would be able to treat the entire diseaseprocess as a whole and combine therapies to tackle all the components at the same time or at least not make a person wait for months or years until some chemical pharmaceutical invasive action might be suggested when common sense or my gut tells me there has to be a way to stop the disease from progressing more naturally and without steroids. Some kind of fat buster for swollen eye tissues something to flush out the system. thank you for letting me vent. Shugie

  106. KRIS, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. HAVE A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!

  107. I have only just read this post but it is very relevant for me at the moment. I have just started green juicing but am experiencing diarrhoea and bloating in response, but only at certain times, so I’m having to break myself in gently. It is always worse when I am under stress rushing to get to work or during work. It all seems to calm down when I am relaxing.
    Also, I have been sneaking kale and avocado into blueberry and banana smoothies for my 14 year old son who is always ill with viruses, and he hasn’t had a virus for around 3 months now. This is a miracle for the winter months. He loves using my juicer (its so satisfying watching the celery and cucumber crunching though!), but sadly won’t drink the green juice! I have only recently discovered you Kris whilst in a desperate search to calm my autoimmune problems and I think you are inspirational and so helpful to many people. Thank you. x

  108. Hello kris. I am really impressed with your blog. You have guided us for getting better health. I appreciate your views. You are an inspiration for all of us. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  109. Thank you for sharing and for your recommendations on probiotic brands. Very helpful indeed. :)

  110. Boring!

  111. What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads.
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  119. I am loving this post, there’s so little understood about the gut / health connection and it’s so important! Since reading Crazy Sexy Diet I’ve been busy juicing, walking, not eating late at night and these small steps make all the difference. Go Kris! Mary :-)

  120. Nice article. I just took part in a 3 hour physician symposium on parasitic infections here in the United States. The information provided really shows that more people need to be tested appropriately for parasites even if there are not serious digestive issues. The two parasites discussed where Giardia and Cryptosporidium which are much more common than people realize. Both of these can be resistant to chlorine (especially Crypto) and therefore taking care with respects to public swimming pools is important. Therefore, if digestive issues continue despite supplementation for yeast and bacterial imbalances, as well as dietary modification than parasitic stool testing is in order.

  121. Kris……as I was reading what you wrote, I was inspired by how you turned your life around.
    I did a silly thing and had an overload of pinio grigios wine at my daughter’s baby sprinkle and now I was diagnosed with Pancreatitis. Yesterday I went out and had a pumpernickel rolls with walnuts and raisin in it and my condition got worse. During the day I’ll have lactaid milk fat free with cereal and 25 minutes later, have to move my bowels and it was like water. It seems everything I eat, afterwards I move my bowels and can’t hold anything in and feel weak, lithergic, confusion in my brain, headache, spine spasming, pains all over my body, losing weight, depressed and crying with how I feel. My stool is fly away and floats and when I drink the lactaid milk, it comes out like water from a faucet. I can’t seem to keep vitamins in me of any kind.

    I just don’t know how to get rid of my inflammation on the inside. The only thing I can eat right now is chicken and white rice, white potato, yam, broccoli and cooked apple and banana and only water to drink.

    I had neck surgery on Dec 3 and the next day came home and injured my neck worse where I felt a bone shift to the right and I got glove-like effect in both my writs and a herniation in c6-c7 of 2mm,degenerative changes in c8, c7 and before the surgery central herniations in c3-4 with osteophytes, c5-6, c6-7. Also both my ears locked and got a noise in both ears and my brain literally shook and got distorted vision. The doctor told me no restrictions and told me I could sleep in a bed and you have twist to get out of bed and I had a nerve at the base of lumbar moving around like a snake (like a live wire that is severed) for 1 day and I don’t know where it attached itself. And nerve impingements in both my legs and degeneration in my lower thoracic. When I got hurt, I was constantly moving my bowels and losing weight and my body was not getting the nutrition it needed. This went on for 6 months and I truly thought I would not make it and be here to tell you my story. I have pernicious anemia as well and I believe I got that after falling off a bicycle 18 years ago because I fell on my stomach. Also, a doctor’s assistant recommended I take a screw out of my colar bone that was broken because it hurt me and my collarbone caved in leaning on my flesh and my shoulder is lower than my left side. I feel it is pulling on my neck but doctors said my shoulder would be worse if I had my collarbone fixed.

    I want to get better and will try your recommended therapies for healing. I want to reduce the inflammation and don’t know how?

    Thanks for this post
    Lisa
    xo

  122. I absolutely love your blogs that talk about poop. #realfriendstalkaboutpoop
    Thanks for another great article!

  123. Quick question Kris; would you recommend switching up our probiotics once in a while (or regularly) or is it better to stick to the one that works well for us?
    With gratitude,
    Rose

  124. Im hoping this will Help with my acid reflux,funny I would see this at this time.

  125. Kris – thank you for reposting this article. My wife has been battling breast cancer naturally for the last two years, and so we’re big fans. We’ve known all along that gut health is super important since two-thirds of our immune system is in our gut. If you have two minutes, watch this video (http://tightjunctions.com/restore-helps-gut/) on the gut supplement, RESTORE, that was rated one of the top 5 supplements to “Watch Next” at the Natural Health Products Expo East in Baltimore (http://bit.ly/1ojrzy5) in Sept 2014. I’d love to talk to you more about it sometime to share more about it.

    Blessings,
    David

  126. Kris, Do you also suggest colonics? I think I did read that in one of your books. I am scheduled for my first one Tuesday.

  127. thanks for this valuable info! right now I’m feeling miserable with digestion problems!

  128. Thank you for this article. It has been very helpful & informative.

  129. I remember years ago my psychiatrist said the medicine i would take to help the Serotonin in my head would also help with my stomach because i have Crohns. Now i know why.

  130. great article, but how come you did not mention enemas? how can you clean the colon without enemas? they are also an integral part of the Gerson therapy, plus liver detox, regulation of the pH balance, mucoid plaque – those are important things to mention.

  131. This is THE best and easiest to understand information on
    gut health! Thank you so much! This will help me in my journey for better health.

  132. I’ve just come across this wonderful article as I was flicking through FB tonight. I’m in bed unable to sleep, and my gut is screaming at me. I’ve been incredibly stressed due to a death in the family, I’m in the process of moving in with my partner and moving out of the home I have loved and cherished for many years, I’ve had a recent stomach bug followed by a dose of IBS ….. and I’m wondering what my body is saying to me … help I think!
    Tme to get back the friendly stuff, I’ve pushed my poor old bod to its limits and now it’s shouting pretty loudly!
    So thank you for the timing of your wonderful words .. I’m now listening. X

  133. Hey Kris,

    My ex-boyfriend, now a wonderful and caring friend and subscriber to the notion that nutritional and physical wellbeing is paramount to emotional and mental health has been pushing me for ages to consider that my deteriorating mental and emotional state is largely due to neglect in the area of gut health and other related issues. He sent me the link to this article and while I was willing to admit that he might have had a point to begin with, you’ve really got me thinking that the struggles I’ve faced for a while with depression and anxiety might be more closely related to this than I’d thought. Is there somewhere I can find out more about the impact of gut health on mental health? I eat really quite well and am fairly active – my weight has never really been an issue other than occasionally dipping lower than completely healthy during times of extreme distress, but generally I prefer healthy food anyway and can’t stomach processed foods or anything with lots of sugar in it, and I drink around a litre of water or more most days, which is why I didn’t put much stock in my friend’s suggestion, but having read your comments about the fight or flight response, digestive problems etc in relation to mental distress, things that I experience regularly and that are very unpleasant, I have to ask.

    Thanks for a wonderful article anyway, loving all the wisdom, witty writing and authentic care!
    Frankie

  134. Perfect timing. have been very sick for a week after a sudden allergic reaction to shellfish. They still don’t whether there is something in my system from that or I just have normal intestinal flu. They have not done any testing on me, ans since I have not had the flu since I was 19 years old(now 64) I am looking for answers.

  135. Kris! I love your book Crazy Sexy Diet! All the information is exactly what readers need to know about health to change their life around. My first health book was called Conscious Health by Ron Garner. Your book has all the same info but your book is more girly and fun. Im so happy I’ve found your blog! Your story is so inspirational. I totally beleive in preventive medicine and I visualize my healthy future with friends and family. My dreams are to help people, to be a health advisor. I still have a long way to go in becoming confident speaker but it’s people like you who motive me to keep going. Thanks!

    Mandy from MandysHealthyLife.com

  136. It’s great to read this useful post on dog training.
    I have a question though. How do you work with a younger dog?

  137. enjoyed the 7 to the point, ways to improve one’s gut health!
    would have preferred the 7 ways to have been stated first….i’ve read all the reasons, etc, before & just wanted the precise 7 reminders!
    thanks….

    mahalo,
    linda

  138. This is the most informative article relating to all aspects of the digestive system. It hits home for me when you describe how the gut is a parking lot with limited spaces for good bacteria. Now recovering from a serious bout with a bowel obstruction, I am really looking forward to staying on-top of my Gut health. Also thank you for the additional link to preparing juices and smoothies. I have been practicing for more than 20 years and need variety and continuing education regarding the benefits of a plant based diet. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT SOURCE!!!

  139. Your article was so interesting to me as a nurse ive heard all those things am grateful that some doctors implement probiotic to their pts but just like I said only SOME. Many still feel that they are not necessary. Feeling depressed? Here’s a antidepressants. Feeling constipated? Laxatives it is. Rarely do you hear a Dr question dietary habits. The only thing in your read I was thrown off by was the section about not eating frequently. I get not eating constantly but it has been my understanding (and what had helped me shed 40+pounds) frequent smaller meals is better. Love to learn more in regards to the meal breaks.

    I also love how you mentioned a better way for people to gauge their water needs. Its frequently said eight 8oz glasses per day but not everyone has one size fits all needs. Many of us should be drinking even more than that! Its my belief that most people go through life in a constant state of dehydration. To me water is one, if not, the most important thing we put in our body.

    Thank you for the read. I will be passing this on.

  140. I have throughly enjoyed reading ur article. You put the article in a way that everybody can understand and I so appreciated that. You told it flat out…good for u. Most editors, writers or anybody along those lines don’t write plainly like this article is. Your article is easy to read and understand while other articles you practically need double college degrees to understand what they are saying or talking about and don’t get the message to the average reader. People need to learn from ur example here. I have regrettably a hereitary mental illiness that lacks the important chemicals in the brain u talk about here. I suffer from depression, anxiety, an especially MOOD and sleep. I suffer from chronic insominia with out a sleeping pill. I am on several several precriptions meds for my disorder and have remained systom free for about a year or two now. I have always heard u can control a disorder like this with the correct or right food but I am scared to come off my meds because I’m doing so well on them. It has taken me years to find the right combination of meds for my disorder but I have found the right combo now and it works for me. I don’t like myself off meds because of my systoms come back and I dont’ like the systoms..they are a freakin nightmare of a roller coaster…one I got off of years ago thank the Good Lord Almighty. I have heard even youtubers saying they treated there same disorder as mine with a change in there diet and it worked for them…or so they say. I have had irritable bowel syndrome since early teens and food still to this day I lay down my fork and run to the bathroom so my body can take the trash out..so to speak. I wonder if I’m getting all my important nutrients…and yes I know to try to start taking fiber. Anyhoo loved ur article and the tips for healthy living. I will try these tips. Thanks.

  141. Such a great article and so true! When my health was at a low after a car accident, I was introduced to some amazing high nutrition products. One of the products has probiotics and one I took at the end of the day to help keep the gut cleaned out! I was so happy that after a month I had released 15 pounds and my energy was returning, brain fog lifted, along with handling stress better and a much better night’s sleep! It’s so true, as I saw others post, you are what you eat (or what your body can absorb)!

  142. Hi

    I suffer from IBS. Cannot eat broccoli, cabbage, onions, cucumbers, beans, only fibre.
    do u have an eating plan i could use.

    Many thanks
    Martha Lenders

  143. What should you do or not do if you no longer have a gall bladder?

  144. Great article! I suffer with diverticulitis and have learned along the way, but this info would’ve been so helpful in my younger years! Perhaps this article will reach a younger generation via the help of Facebook! Thanks for sharing!

  145. Thank you for your insight. There has been something wrong with me for 4 months, and I have a suspicion it is parasites, ( naturally i Wev MD’d myself and all of my symtpms point to parasites. Although, I’m now sure how I may have gotten them. My obgyn and my regular doctor have both said nothing is wrong and I am frustrated. Thanks to you, I now know about metametrics and Genova diagnostics, perhaps I will get to the root of the problem..

    Thank you for caring enough to educated others!

    Juliet

  146. Thanks , great to know .

  147. A great way of good health

  148. Hi Kris,
    I will eat more bananas!
    Try not to snack as much to give my digestive tract a break.
    Continue to get regular sleep, meditate and eat kimchi.
    To happy guts :)

  149. Hi every body from Kris Carr,

    I’m an almost retired school teacher of 61 years old and I was having a lot of pain in the afternoon. Mandarin Skin Plus also called MS+ changed my way of living. By now, I feel very more comfortable between my meals. Thank you very much scientists, you’ve change my way of living!!! :)

    Adriana V. , Vancouver B.C.

  150. After having been diagnosised with so many auto immune disorders and still not obtaining a healthier gut by following what the body needs to keep good bacteria at 80% or better I was diagnosised with diease called gastropheresis, lots people have but goes undetected. Drs had said I am going to need a gut pacemaker, so Like the heart the gut also gets helped out by placing this device in ur stomach to help digestion of the foods u take in. I will report to let you know after 6months how well. Im doing and if this is the best way to go when nothing else doesnt work.

  151. You’ve put together an excellent informative article on gut health…I know because I’ve read over a dozen of them. Your personal story is perfect as an introduction. I learned a few things that I didn’t know after reading for hours–such as why you shouldn’t be snacking a lot; and the details behind our immune system being 70-80% in the gut. Thank you. I wish this was on page 1 on my google search. Anne

  152. Thanks again for another spectacular tid-bit Kris. So many people do not realize the direct connection between the Gut& the Brain!

  153. My aunt has just been diagnosed with colon cancer and needs a colostomy bag, silly question but is gut health still applicable with one of these? Your gut is the whole digestive system isn’t it? Any advice much appreciated thank you xx

    • Hi Rose – Absolutely still applicable. The “gut” really means the whole gastrointestinal track and the small intestine (which comes before the Large) is where much of digestion and absorbtion of food occur. The better the whole system works the better nourished we are!

      Best wishes!

  154. A year ago now I was sitting in front of my computer – crying so hard I was shaking. Myeloma – why healthy me? Just tumbled upon your site Kris, it saved me and got me strong and believing it is for sure a way to “stay” healthy. My myeloma is still “sleeping”, so I do not want to wake it up. Trying following all your ideas and news, eating – juicing well and avoiding things bad for me. Sugar is the worst, addicting and gives such a kick – but so bad for my self-esteem. Realizing that in Sweden/France, we are so much after USA in all the veggies and farmers markets, pretty boring compared. I just want to stay strong and happy. Love advise and new ideas. Thank You Kris and one day I really want to go to your seminar – come to Sweden!!

  155. I’ve done al of the above! Especially everything in Tip number 1! I had an overgrowth of bad bacteria and developed Candida and it took a few years to get my stomach back in balance….with discipline and the help of an Integrative Doctor. I found that taking Aloe (the best is Lily of the Desert Aloe Herbal Stomach Formula) was really the cherry on top of the cake. It felt soothing and healing and the aloe along with the herbs (peppermint, slippery elm, chamomile, ginger, etc.) really sealed the deal. I have to constantly pay attention to my body to keep it in balance…..one fun night could mean a week of suffering with stomach issues! Thanks for all the good advice and you could not have explained the importance of our digestive system any better. I’m sending this to all my peeps :)

    • After reading your response to Kris’ site, I resonated so much with what you had to say because I have been facing the same dilemma with bad bacteria and candida overgrowth. I have seen long parasites that are very mucusy-looking over the past 6 plus months and it has been encouraging to hear how you have been working at getting your whole stomach area back into balance for several years. I have often been asking why is this taking so long to get rid of these things if what I am taking is supposed to be a 3 month detox program called “parasite-free”? I can answer that now and feel better knowing I am not the only one having to go through this. Thank you for sharing.

  156. Hi Kris: thanks so much for all of the wonderful information… I have a son who had a VSG(Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) about one year ago and he has deteriorated health wise….he is only 27 yrs old and is unable to function,..he is Prof. at a Univ. he has severe and intractable pain and numbness in his feet, legs, thighs,abdomen ….meds given were for diabetes…he does not have it…has anyone experienced this ? The surgery removed 85% of his stomach as a weight loss procedure….he did lose 155 pounds but, he has lost his healthy life…..I am so upset……any ideas as to whom to take him to ? I live in the NYC area…..thanks so very much….. R

  157. All of the information in this article I have found true for me and as I do most of these recommended tips I find they are working so well. It is amazing to gradually feel this change come over me over a period of 6 plus months since I started this kind of program of detoxing and rebuilding the gut.

  158. Thanks! I need to avoid vinegar apparently! This was helpful!