With artificial sweeteners working their way into products on nearly every aisle of the grocery store, it's becoming increasingly relevant to better understand how they can affect your gut physiology. Are artificial sweeteners bad for your gut? Do artificial sweeteners affect your microbiome? Can artificial sweeteners give you GI problems? While the data is controversial, there's increasing evidence that artificial sweeteners may not be as harmless as once thought.Read More
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a frequently prescribed treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly known as heartburn. Recent studies have drawn attention to potential risks associated with their use. What are the risks of taking PPIs? Should you avoid taking PPIs? What is the data behind PPI use and are they worth the risk?Read More
Mindfulness practices such as yoga have been shown to correct under activity of the parasympathetic nervous system and improve release of the relaxation neurotransmitter, gamma amino-butyric acid, also known as GABA. Yoga practice has been found to be effective in stress reduction and psychological distress in many different populations. In patients with IBS, yoga has been shown to improve GI symptoms, quality of life, and anxiety when compared to no treatment.Read More
What is Traveler’s Diarrhea? Is getting diarrhea abroad dangerous? How do you prevent diarrhea while traveling? As many as 40% of travelers from developed countries get diarrhea while traveling, but knowing what to watch for can help speed up your recovery.Read More
Via the Q&A section of our site we got the following question: "Ive been having a hard time with gastroparesis. I know my diet needs to be low fat and low fiber. Any chance you’d write a post on nutrition for gastroparesis patients?" Here at The GutDigest we are passionate about normalizing GI illness and this question highlights an important condition that we plan to write a ton about: gastroparesis. To catch everyone up to speed, let's start with some basics.Read More
Are probiotics good for your stomach? Do probiotics help the gut microbiome? Can probiotics cure irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Probiotics have been a hot topic for several years now and continue to gain popularity. They have been hailed as a potential solution for numerous gut health problems. What exactly are probiotics and does the published research match the hype?Read More
Are fermented foods good for your stomach? Do fermented foods help with symptoms of IBS?
Since launching the site, I've been surprised by how many companies are out there making solely fermented products that are in large part marketed on the premise of improving gastrointestinal health. What is the data behind these claims?Read More
Are organic foods better for your gastrointestinal (GI) system than non-organics? Most published research at this time doesn't specifically look at GI outcomes, but let's start with the best quality data and go from there.Read More
Via the Q&A section of our site we got the following question: "What is the effect of food poisoning on the microbiome?"
This is a great question, and while we still have a ton to learn about the microbiome (see our first of many posts to come on the topic here) there's actually published research looking into this exact topicRead More
What is the gut microbiome? Does what you eat alter it? While all of the answers can't be unpacked in a single post, we can begin to explore the world inside your gut piecemeal (food pun intended).
Imagine a 30 ft long tube filled with trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Sounds like a nightmare right? Well that is indeed our gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and the balance in composition of all those different organisms is what is commonly called the Gut Microbiome. It has important implications for your healthRead More
Via the Q&A section of our site we got the following question: "Why do greasy meals upset my stomach?"
It's a good question, and surprisingly in doing a cursory google search, it's pretty interesting what kind of disinformation is out there. It was nearly impossible to find any kind of scientific, straight forward explanation of why greasy foods give people gastrointestinal (GI) issues. Before we begin, it may be helpfulRead More
Via the Q&A section of our site we got the following question: "I drink a ton of coffee. Is it unhealthy for my stomach?"
A good question! Right off the bat I want to say a resounding no: in moderation coffee is perfectly healthy for your gut and may even be an important part of stimulating regular movement if you drink it regularly. That said, there's a few clarifying points about the questionRead More
Use the comments section of this post to ask The Gut Doc about issues with the stomach, gastrointestinal tract, and beyond!Read More
Colonic cleansing can be dangerous and has no scientific evidence of benefiting your gut health. It's probably the most common GI trend I get asked about as a doctor, and often patients fall prey to the false advertising and phony marketing that has characterized the practice for years. Let's explore these murky waters (pun-intended)...Read More
When you go to sleep, so does your gut. Overnight the gut will have slow sweeping movements, but in terms of forward momentum (through contractions, peristalsis, etc.) the GI tract is relatively quiet while you sleep. When you wake up, there is a huge spike in the activity of your gutRead More
What's all the hype behind apple cider vinegar? Is it good for your gut?
The first time I heard about the trend of drinking apple vinegar to benefit your health was actually in the hospital. A young woman had seriously burned the mucosal lining of her esophagus by giving the trend a shot. Turns out she's not alone. Before we go any further, just a quick public service announcement that if you're dead set on drinking vinegar, please dilute it with plenty of water.Read More
All calories are not created equal - simply counting calories may not be the best way to predict weight loss. Let's break down the data.
Calorie counting has long been the focus of fad dieting. Fad diets started popping up in the early 1800s - in fact the low carb diet popularized by Dr. Atkin in the 1990's was actually first described in a cookbook written in 1825. Until recently, calorie counting seemed entirely logical. If you eat more calories than you burn, that net calorie increase results in weight gain.Read More