How I Healed My Gut

 

A healthy gut is linked to brain function and much more. I’ve struggled with gut issues since I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1998. Now I want to share with you the story of how I healed my gut.

At times my digestion has been good, at others not so much. Dealing with celiac disease has meant enduring a certain amount of IBS. And living with multiple sclerosis has meant that I’ve sometimes experienced sluggish gut motility which is very uncomfortable and can make me a bit cranky! Your digestive system may have suffered from insults like mine above, or perhaps a poor diet, stress, or the overuse of antibiotics. Here are simple steps you can take to heal your gut.

Grain-Free Diet

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in the 1990’s. I followed a strict gluten-free diet for a couple of years and did not find much improvement in my digestive system. So I went on a grain-free diet, removing rice, quinoa, and other grain-like seeds, as well as potatoes, corn, and much more. My digestion improved after strictly following this diet for 6 weeks and I’m still on it. Following a grain-free diet is one of the cornerstones of my health plan and has been immensely helpful to me!

All of the recipes on my website are strictly grain-free. For the first few years, I followed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. For more information on that you’ll want to check out my SCD Recipes page.

Enteromend

I’m absolutely in love with Enteromend, a gut healing product that contains glutamine, aloe vera, and curcumin, among other therapeutic ingredients. When I wake up in the morning I drink a quart of hot water. After that I mix a scoop of Enteromend into 1-2 cups water and drink this mixture on an empty stomach. Along with this incredible supplement I also take two 1 gram capsules of bromelain, which you can find more on below.

A word of caution with glutamine. While it is an incredible amino acid that can tremendously impact gut health for the better, it can also turn into an excitotoxin if it is not properly assimilated and goes down the wrong pathway. For this reason, I started on one-quarter teaspoon of Enteromend and stayed on this dose for several weeks, slowly building up to a full scoop which is just over a teaspoon.

Bromelain

Bromelain is an enzyme used to reduce swelling and inflammation, derived from pineapple. Don’t worry if you’re on a Ketogenic Diet, because this supplement doesn’t contain any sugar. Bromelain is extremely effective in healing tissues in the digestive system. Since bromelain prevents blood clots by acting as a blood thinner, it is important to speak to your doctor if you are going to add this supplement to your healing plan.

Magnesium Supplement

When my gut is sluggish and motility is slower than normal I take this magnesium supplement called H2Go. It consists of magnesium oxide which is not as absorbable as other forms of magnesium, but very effective in stimulating the bowels into moving! When needed I chew 2-6 tablets, which is around 400-1,200 mg. I drink 2 cups of water along with it so that the magnesium doesn’t dehydrate me since it has an osmotic effect, pulling water out of the body and into the gut to be dispelled.

I have tried Natural Calm which contains around 300 mg of magnesium citrate in a 2 teaspoon serving and have not found it to be effective for me in supporting gut motility and reducing constipation. It might work for you though since everyone is different.

Fermented Food

Fermented Foods such as Kevita, Ozuke’s sauerkraut, Bubbie’s pickles, and Nancy’s fermented cottage cheese and yogurt are some of my top choices when it comes to healthy foods rich in probiotics. Not on the menu? Probiotic supplements which I can’t digest and according to this article, may contain gluten, even when labeled gluten-free.

Fasting and Bone Broth

When all else fails, I take a break from eating and do a 1-2 day fast. This is an incredibly helpful pause that helps to reset my gut. If you do not want to cease eating entirely, you can do a bone broth fast. The collagen in bone broth rebuilds the lining of the gut.

Walking

I’ve also found that walking helps to heal my gut. The rhythmic action of moving my pelvis settles my stomach and digestive system. Even when I’m not feeling all that well, maybe even sluggish and tired, a simple 10-15 minute walk, looping around our block can be of great benefit. I generally feel much better after, than I did before.

How I Healed My Gut + Your Tips and Tricks

What are your tips and tricks in keeping your gut healthy? Leave a comment and let me know!

Your recipes have been a lifesaver for me.

Comments

140 responses to “How I Healed My Gut”

  1. Things that helped me that being a nurse I raised My eyebrow at first. But struggling with lymes disease I am much more open to things:
    1. Cranio sacral massage
    2. Jumping on the trampoline. A natural path told a group of us to get a mini tramp. I have a big trampoline so I use it. Just a gentle hopping around for 10 to 20 minutes a day increases your immune system Via Contracting your lymph system. I little trivia, Jackie Kennedy used a mini trip every day.

    Thank You for all the people that you help.

  2. After decades of gluten-free, corn-free protocols (that I continue) myriad special diets, and the complications of chronic tick-borne illness, a test indicated my histamine levels were quite high. My doctor prescribed compounded Ketotifen, and miraculously—my gut began to heal. Adding low-dose Naltrexone to this regimen has turned my life around completely.

  3. Hi Elana,
    I have had gut issues since 2014. First it started out as just bloating and it would never go done. My doctors told me to take gas x or a fiber supplement. They did not ask about my diet or anything. I had to do the research to figure out my issue. NOw I know it was the meds for my diabetes, and gluten as well as all the allergies to food I have. I still have acid which is upseting since I am following a plant based Dr Gundry mostly and don’t eat grains now. It is very frustrating to resolve one problem and than other shows up. I hope someone can give me any ideas that will help me get off this Protonix which I believe is causing the acid or it is something else. I was able to get off this for a week but servere attack accured which is very scary. Thank you for this site.

    • Laurie, thanks for sharing your story here and sorry to hear about all you’ve been through. I have had tremendous success with a 100% grain-free diet (also no corn, potatoes, or rice), as well as taking the Enteromend + Bromelain as described above. Have you tried it? It takes a couple of weeks to see results if you take it every single day. I hope you’ll keep me posted on how you do :-)

  4. Hello,

    Has anyone done any research into the herbicide ‘Roundup’ and its active ingredient ‘glyphosate’? Non-organic grains or the fields they grow in, generally speaking, are routinely sprayed with Roundup and some scientists believe that people who react to gluten don’t really have a gluten sensitivity/intolerance. Instead they’re being ‘poisoned’ by glyphosate which piggybacks into our cells via the proteins (gluten and casein) we consume. Casein (the milk protein) is an issue if cows are fed non-organic grains because they inevitably ingest the glyphosate which then ends up in their milk. Some people, so I’ve heard, are able to eat organic (pesticide free) grains, but react badly to non-organic grains, which suggests a correlation between grains, pesticides and disease. If anyone is interested, the name to research initially is ‘Stephanie Seneff’. There are loads of videos on You Tube. Just type her name along with the word ‘glyphosate’. Along with Anthony Samsel (another research scientist) Stephanie has found hundreds of research papers linking glyphosates to all sorts of autoimmune conditions including thyroid issues, crohn’s, celiac disease, autism, chronic fatigue. The list is as long as your arm. Other scientists speak against the findings of Seneff and Samsel, but IMHO anything which kills a living plant is bound to kill other living organisms too. Since it’s an antibiotic, it has potential for killing our gut flora – and we all know the devastating effects of imbalanced gut flora. Just thought I’d share this news in case it’s valuable as another tool in our arsenal against gut dysbiosis and autoimmune disease. Best wishes to you all. Marisa :-)

    • Marisa, this is absolutely incredibly important. One of the Functional Medicine doctors I’ve studied with for years has said exactly what you outline above. Thanks for sharing your comment and reminding us all how dangerous pesticides and herbicides can be.

      • Elana: I just found your site and appreciate the recipes, but I’ve yet to see the word organic. I completely agree with what Marisa De More said and it seems you do too, so why not promote organic ingredients in your recipes?

  5. Have you been able to add white rice back in? I go back and forth with it, still not really sure. Of course, it makes eating in a restaurant a lot easier when you can do sushi!

    • Elena, I haven’t eaten rice or other grains since 2001, and all of the recipes on this site and in my cookbooks are grain-free :-)

  6. Elena:
    Have you tried Iberogast for gut motility? This is the latest recommendation from the functional medicine gut gurus Dr. Michael Ruscio and Alison Siebecker. I started using it about a month ago per my doctors recommendation and it works beautifully. I have rheumatoid arthritis and am trying to stave off the progression of other AI diseases.

    Hope this is useful! Thank you, thank you for your website. I have loved so many of your recipes. The bread recipes have been a godsend!

    Thanks again.
    Mara

    • Mara, thanks so much! I’ve heard of it but will look into it more deeply. I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying my recipes and that the bread recipes are a godsend!

  7. I follow a gluten-free, plant-based diet. Lot’s of probiotic-rich foods. That has healed me completely.
    I used to have IBS, esophagitis, colitis and endometriosis, and I am now symptom-free. I’ve never felt better!

    • Good to hear that there are people who suffered from these sickness are now completely heeled. Im still in the process of healing my gut. I only assuming that I have leaky gut from all the symptoms I am experiencing. I’m tired going to the doctor who are not really concerned about my condition. First, I don’t know why I am suffering from panic attact, I know everytime I eat certain food it flairs up my anxiety and the doctor only concern about my anxiety not what causing me having anxiety. So, I tried to listen to my body and eating gluten and dairy makes me feel so sick. But I’m not sure if I have celiac disease though, that is what I am aftaid of, but I don’t want to go to the doctor again and again because I don’t feel his concern. :(

      • Mae, I’m so sorry to hear about all that you have gone through. I would recommend a functional medicine doctor who will be more concerned with how you feel and getting to the root of your symptoms. Here is a great place that I work with that you might like:

        https://www.steadymd.com/elanaspantry

        I hope you’ll keep me posted!
        Elana

      • Hi Mae, you sound like me! I am dairy intolerant and have put myself on a paleo eating plan. After going to a functional medical doctor he gave me a breath test. It turns out I have methane dominated SIBO. Look up bellalinderman.com web site as she is a specialist in gut issues. All of the advice above is great to follow. What a journey.

  8. I have had gut issues for 10 years (ever since I took an antibiotic called Clindamycin). I was diagnosed with lymphocytic colitis after being told I wouldn’t live another 6 months without getting and keeping nutritional food on board. I took 3 months of Budesinide which helped somewhat. Recently, I seem to be back where I started due to inflammation/stress. I’m going to give your regiment a go. Thank you. I’ll keep you posted. I sure don’t want to have my life end and I’d like my quality of life to be all it can be.

    • Maggie, thanks for sharing your journey here. I’m so glad we’re on this healing path together and I hope you’ll keep me posted :-)

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