Love Your Gut, Heal Your Gut, Heal Yourself

January 11th, 2013

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Do you suffer from seasonal allergies, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, mood imbalances or an autoimmune disorder?  If so, you may have a leaky gut.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly ¼ of us (about 70 million) suffer from digestive issues: gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and nausea.  In functional Medicine we believe that these symptoms may be displayed in your gut yet their effects are systemic and can affect the whole body.  We believe that the gut is the core of our health and that it is essential to have a healthy gut in order to have a healthy body.

It’s all about the gut!

A properly functioning digestive system (gut) is critical to good health. In fact, 60 -80% of our immune system is located in our gut and 90% of our neurotransmitters (chemicals responsible for regulating mood) such as serotonin are made in our gut.  Problems in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhea they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems.  Gut imbalances and leaky gut have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and hashimotos thyroiditis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and rosacea, just to name a few.

Love your gut! Heal your gut!

In functional Medicine we use a simple approach that we call the 4R program to heal your gut.  I walk you through this process in my latest eCourse The Myers Way Guide to the Gut.

The 4 R Program

1. Remove

Remove the bad.  The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract such as inflammatory foods, infections, and gastric irritants like alcohol, caffeine or drugs.  Inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs and sugar can lead to food sensitivities. I recommend The Myers Way® and IgG food sensitivity testing to determine if any foods are a problem for you. Infections can be from parasites, yeast or bacteria. A comprehensive stool analysis is key to determining the levels of good bacteria as well as any infections that may be present.  Removing the infections may require treatment with herbs, anti-parasite medication, anti-fungal medication, anti-fungal supplements or even antibiotics.

2. Replace
Replace the good. Add back in the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that may have been depleted by diet, drugs (such as antacid medications) diseases or aging.  This includes digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids that are required for proper digestion.

3. Reinoculate
Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria is critical.  This may be accomplished by taking a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species.  I recommend anywhere from 25 -100 billion units a day.  Also, taking a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) supplement or consuming foods high soluble fiber is important.

4. Repair
Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself is essential.  One of my favorite supplements is collagen which is rich in amino acids that quite literally, “seal the leaks” or perforations in your gut by healing damaged cells and building new tissue. Another one of my favorites supplements is L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining.  Other key nutrients include zinc, omega 3 fish oils, vitamin A, C, E as well as herbs such as slippery elm and aloe vera.

No matter what your health issue is, the 4R program is sure to help you and your gut heal. I have witnessed dramatic reversal of chronic and inflammatory illnesses in a very short period of time by utilizing this simple approach.


My favorite gut healing smoothie!

1/2 – 1 cup almond milk

1/4 teaspoon (100 billion units) probiotic

1 scoop (5000 mg) L-Glutamine

3 stalks red kale

3 stalks dinosaur kale

1/2 cup frozen organic berry mix (raspberries, blueberries and strawberries)

1 serving of collagen protein



Are You Ready to Heal Your Gut?

You can save almost $50 when you purchase The Myers Way® Leaky Gut Repair Program, which includes 5 gut-healing supplements, along with my Guide to the Gut eCourse for a step-by-step approach to healing your gut and taking back your health.

The Myers Way® Leaky Gut Repair Program includes:

  • Prescript-Assist Broad Spectrum Probiotic to reinoculate with healthy bacteria
  • L-Glutamine Capsules to repair and heal your gut lining
  • Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate to promote connective tissue health
  • Complete Enzymes to assist in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients
  • HCL to balance your microbiome and help with protein digestion
  • 4 hours of guided lessons on how to heal your gut
  • Special lessons on SIBO and Candida
  • Guide to digestion
  • Personalized gut exam
  • Symptom tracker
  • 4R Program guidelines
  • A week’s worth of gut-healing recipes

Get 35 Gut Recovery Recipes for Free!

Receive 74 pages of delicious recipes and tips to repair a leaky gut PLUS a $10 gift card when you join my free weekly newsletter

Your information is secure and will never be sold or rented to a third party.

  • This is great — thanks for the recipe!

  • The four R’s (Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair) are essential to good health. Thank you for sharing this information in a way that is so easy to assimilate. The green juice recipe is fantastic. I usually juice organic celery, parsley, kale, chard and cucumbers. This Gut Healing Smoothie recipe has inspired me to add some more wonderful ingredients.

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  • Michele G

    Dr Myers, Do you have any comments about SBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I noticied it wasn’t mentioned in the removal part of your recommendations. Thank you.

    • What’s the question Michele? It can be a problem and I treat it with herbs or Xifaxin and low carb diet.

  • Michele G

    Whoops… SIBO

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  • almost 100% of our supplements meet those requirements. We have 2 with a soy derivative and 2 with corn derivative. All are gluten and dairy free and flaxseed free.

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  • Pingback: 10 Signs You Have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) » Amy Myers, MD Functional Medicine()

  • Bethany McGrath Sponseller

    I thought l-glutamine only worked if you took it on an empty stomach? If so, how can it be effective in a smoothie?

    • there are different thoughts about that – some say empty stomach and some say with food is fine. I believe as long as you get it in — it’s helpful

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  • Huia Crosby

    What about with a strong salicylate sensitivity??

  • Natalie

    Wouldn’t the fiber from the kale irritate the cilia of the stomach and keep it from healing? I’ve found success going the GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) route: broths, meats, fats, squashes, very soft cooked veggies and adding foods in gradually.

    • twinspeedr

      In general, my understanding is that fiber cleans the cilia and allows the natural mucous lining to repair itself when you consume a probiotic-rich diet as well. But again this should be what you are eating ALL THE TIME. Holistic dietary habits not remedial.

      I believe that pretty much all dietary “science” is only “pseudo-science” because true science is nearly with the variances in our individual diets and living habits out there. There are just too many variables. You need to do your own research and use reasonable trial and error to allow your family to live and eat in a more healthful way. In any event, if you want to eat right you’ll want to grow your own fruits and vegetables as much as possible.

  • teresaspeer

    I already take a probiotic and supplement with L-Glutamine. Do I need to add them additionally to this shake?

  • Sue Hnilicka

    Kale, kale, kale! Oxalates, oxalates, oxalates! Come on. High oxalate food can trigger pain and inflamation in the body. Getting tired of chasing the rat on the wheel here.Can you say “kidney stones!”

    • twinspeedr

      Moderation, Moderation, Moderation! (Assuming you have no GI issues present of course)

      Sorry, but kale is really good for you in moderation. We simply need to acknowledge that we must eat a good diet ALL THE TIME. If we eat garbage and then think that 2 giant kale smoothies per day will make up for it, then we are in for more of the anomalous pains, mental and gut issues we have today. Our diet needs to be approached holistically, not remedially. This is the key.

      Apologies if you already know this stuff, but there is too much F.U.D. out there these days and unequivocally demonizing perfectly good vegetables leads those seeking information to think that they cannot eat better because “everything” is bad for you in one way or another so “I’ll just go back to eating Hot Pockets and McDonalds”. I’m sure you don’t want to be the person to give them an excuse to to do that, right?

      • Sue Hnilicka

        twinspeedr, you are correct. I do not want people to not eat a healthy diet of all vegtables. And yes kale is deliscious and good for you. But I wish these articles would make people a little bit aware of moderation. And yes adding in “real” food like kale to everything from soup to smoothies is wonderful. But I wonder if people get the moderation and variety issue? You do make a very important point about the 2 giant kale smoothies not making up for a week of McD’s. Sounds like how some people go to church:) Sorry that is another article for another day.

    • Tom R

      You are 100% correct! Primum non nocere; that is First Do No Harm. Just because a particular food may be high in certain nutrients, doesn’t make it okay for everyone. Oxalates can be very destructive to some people; take it from someone who’s had dozens of kidney stones. As you mentioned, pain and inflammation, as well as certain types of neurological diseases such as autism can all be connected to excess oxalate intake. Bok choy instead of kale or spinach; cherries instead of berries, sunflower seed butter instead of almond/peanut butter. There’s plenty of healthy foods low in oxalates!

  • JC

    You may want to investigate the Freeda SCD Multivitamin. I know it is gluten and lactose free, and I believe it is also soy and corn free. Not sure about the flaxseed.

    • Kathy Boyle

      Look in the phone book under organic health food store, If they don’t have the item you’re looking for , They usually know where to go to find it…also if you don’t go out much look online at and do your shopping, there is a fee for delivery….They have the best selection…Good Luck :]

  • twinspeedr

    Drink Kefir from raw milk from grass fed cows and you will eliminate the “problems” that modern science thinks there is with dairy for most people. You will also get tons of probiotics in the process. You can replace lots of things with Kefir.

    Artificial supplements are not nature’s way. The problem is our food system. Damage our food with industrial production methods and shortcuts to increase production. Pesticides and herbicides through out our nutrient poor vegetables that were harvested before they were ripe. Bovine feed lots and chicken houses with 20-50x the number of animals that should be living there, all being fed a cheap totally improper diet sorely lacking in nutrients. Then try to sell us piles of supplements to replace what was lost and remedy the problems that they caused. We are all taught that this is somehow “normal”, folks it is NOT normal! This “Jetson’s” post-WWII “modern science knows better than nature” food anomaly is coming to an end and it was a failure, IMHO.

    • Andrea Winship

      IMHO, milk in any form is the perfect food———for the calf, not for humans; even in the raw, organic grass fed form. It is meant to take a newborn calf to an excess of 500 lbs or more and with all of its mothers innate, natural hormones is exactly what it does to humans. It does not do a body good!

      • Hayley Richards

        I totally agree!

      • Carol Allison

        Very true! Well said.

      • Jack Flexington

        Well if you are a male trying to get big that it actually a good thing. Plus, milk is great macro ratio: 12g carbs, 8g protein, 8g fat

    • Jennifer Pikey

      Well said.

  • Colleen G

    Add some organic cinnamon and pure vanilla bean powder to that smoothie and see how extra yummy and healthy it is!

  • Chelsea Long

    is it safe to take l-glutamine during pregnancy?

  • Krista Daugherty

    How do you know when your gut is healed? I’ve been working on this now for quite some time. I removed gluten 2 years ago. Added probiotics, L-glutamine, aloe vera and other vitamins/supplements to my daily regimen.

  • James Cross

    How about a good enema now and then, a high and low colonic, take fiber every night, phyllium to scrub the colon in the morning when you use the bathroom. By the time a person is 35 yrs old they have 3 to 43 lbs of undigested red meat in their colon. They eat bread with their meal, water and flour makes glue, don’t chew up their steak or meat real good, swallow it whole, wash it down with tea or coke, and shuabang, you have a piece of meat stuck in your colon, 98.6 degrees rotting in your intestine, causing a stink and releasing toxins everywhere. Get real people, You are what you eat and drink.

  • James Cross

    I meant 3 to 4 lbs of undigested red meat, not 43 lbs

  • disqus_4uSURfkzJb

    Frankly I am lost – my symptoms match so many different problems which is how I got here, to this site. I read that one thing is good and then I read somewhere else that it is bad. I am completely lost and just about out of hope that I will ever feel better again – this really sucks!! I work 14 hour days 6 days a week and I do not have hours to research only to find out that everything I thought I found is some how not really true or making the problem worse. I then read all of these comments and being well seems impossible

    • I completely understand the feeling. Because autoimmune diseases are so varied in their symptoms and presentations, some people benefit from some things while other people benefit from others. But I think you could really use some specific guidance tailored to YOU. Would you be interested in setting up a consultation with my clinic? Here’s some more information on that:

  • TrueCourage

    Modern dental procedures and materials create half the medical problems we suffer from IMHO. I have cured my own pyrolytic seborrhea, lymphoma, cancer and am working on MS as it was all caused by an anaerobic bacteria of the dinoflagellate type. A broken off tooth root in my jawbone almost killed me. A large prescription of Metranidozole and amoxicillin knocked my symptoms out in a huge way. COLONIC HYDROTHERAPY with a little hydrogen peroxide 1/4 cup per gallon worked wonders.

  • Shane

    I’ve heard a lot of bad things about almond milk for people with IBS. Like it causes cramping, bloating and diarrhea. Are these just rumors?

  • Carol Allison

    Dr. Meyers, do you have any articles on
    parasites, like the one you have on candida? I was wondering what presc. meds you prescribe for anti-parasite medication. By the way, I love your work. I’m
    one of your biggest fans! I hope to be able to come to your office soon. Thank you!

  • Dominica Applegate

    $500 for a phone consultation with the Dr.? Are you kidding? Wow. That’s all I can say.

    • andrea

      GEEZ! well so much for seeing ” the doc”. back to interweb stuff/

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  • Betty Russell

    I’ve been seeing naturalpathic MD in Phoenix and her phone consultations usually cost around 120-150$ per hrs $500 is a Little on the high side. But that being said, this is to pay for the steps of healing shouldn’t it be worth it to you? Personally I wish I could afford her and ridding myself of this autoimmune.

    • Mary Lou

      A Naturalpathic is not the same as an MD. If they have earned a PhD inanything, they can call themselves Doctor, which is not interchangable with MD. Dr. Myers is an MD, with hours of additional training on top of what your PCP has gone through! As I believe she was first an ER doc.

    • Hi Betty, I just wanted to let you know that $500 is just the price of an initial phone consultation with me, without becoming a patient. Phone appointment pricing for patients is different. Here is a breakdown!

  • Cher

    ZammyB – Try Nordic – I switched over all vitamins & supps w/them

  • Christi Urlacher

    How would this work for severe Crohen’s?
    On Humira now and really looking to not take anything but all natural, but I am unable to eat and/or drink anything!

  • Robin

    I have Fibromyalgia and get migraines. I am finally ready to try a dramatic diet change (although I have eaten mostly organic and live a chemical-free life) in terms of eliminating all the items Amy discusses in her book (gluten, legumes, etc). I do believe my gut has definitely been my source of health problems for years, and have worked on healing it in a variety of ways, except haven’t gone gluten-free yet. My concern is with taking glutamine. Because I get migraines, I have a sensitivity to glutamine. The migraines are the most challenging aspect of my health problems because so many so-called healthy foods and supplements can trigger migraines (think yogurt, fish oil- which always gives me migraines, certain nuts, etc). Any advice on how to heal the gut without glutamine? I presently take DGL and feel that has helped. Thanks!

  • Andrea from FL

    I purchased Dr. M’s book and didn’t read anything about dehydration. I am experiencing dehydration that is causing symptoms including dry, cracking skin on my hands. I was told by a doctor that all the water I was drinking (filtered and up to a gallon daily) would not help. He suggested G2 or Vitamin Water. I purchased Vitamin Zero for the zero calorie factor, but haven’t noticed a change and also question if will lead to inflammation?

    • julie1939

      Get acupuncture. It sounds like an imbalance that an acupuncturist would know how to treat. However, don’t go to one who only knows how to treat pain.

      • Andrea from FL

        Thanks for taking time to make a suggestion Julie1939. I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist for some time now actually. It helps with relaxation and temporary reduction of some of the symptoms, but not consistently or for all symptoms. It’s a snail’s pace for sure and I’m learning that patience and compassion toward self is the key (hard for a type-A :-)). I just received a Sjogren’s diagnoses last week and while it is all new to me, I’m reading that dryness is common.
        My PCP agrees that diet can really affect outcomes, so I started Dr. Myers’s eating plan from her book and saw a decrease in symptoms in just 2 weeks (from a 36 to a 16 on the score sheet in her book) so I’m going to stick with it and see what happens. Still doing the acupuncture too. Fingers crossed!

        • Wow that’s amazing that you’ve already started to see some symptoms decrease! Sjogren’s does cause dryness–I have an article with some specific suggestions, you should check it out!

          • Andrea from FL

            Thank you Dr. Myers for providing this information and for giving those of us who suffer from the confusing/bewildering/annoying symptoms of autoimmune/inflammation some real strategies and hope! Your book has really made an impact. Halfway through reading it, I ran into two other folks suffering from autoimmune disorders. I do not believe in coincidences so shared what I had been learning from your book. They ordered a copy of your book too.

  • Hi Zammy,

    We have an online store where we sell allergen-free, high quality supplements that I recommend.

    If you have questions on a particular supplement, the nutrition labels are available!

  • Patricia Caputo

    I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. I went to a specialist for 2 years who had me on a similar vitamin and herbal protocol. I wasn’t able to tolerate all the things he was giving me; I was feeling worse and constantly nauseous. So he would cut back on some things …. And on it went. Bottom line, after 2 years I didn’t feel any better and had all the same symptoms. Can anyone with these diseases comment on what worked for them? Or Dr. Meyers could you suggest a course of action and where to begin? It’s so overwhelming when I read all this stuff but I want to get better; the fatigue is disabling. I just don’t know where to start.

  • Dave

    The autoimmune solution book says ‘Inflammatory foods to toss include nuts’ (Myers, 2015, p.183), however there are recipes that contain nuts (and seeds) listed on your site as approved on ‘The Myers Way’. For example:
    * crushed cashews – see /2014/07/chicken-and-spaghetti-squash-pad-thai/

    * almond butter and almond flour – see /2013/10/pumpkin-cookie-dough-bites/.

    Can you please clarify whether nuts are allowed on the autoimmune solution?

    • Not all recipes approved on The Myers Way® are autoimmune protocol friendly. The Myers Way® is the general elimination diet I put all my patients through, but not everyone I treat remains strict AIP.

      Nuts are NOT autoimmune protocol friendly, which is why I exclude them in my book.

      • NanNansgirl

        Dr. Myers, can you tell me the name of prescription antibiotics you use to kill blastocystis hominis with?

        • It depends on the person and their medications

          • NanNansgirl

            I’m not taking any meds at all Dr. Myers. Just supplements for autoimmune( monolaurin),
            Omega 3, multi, choline, biotin, sea cure, enzymes, b12, and probiotics for leaky gut and celiac.
            Just trust function drs advice more over dtraditional drs advice. I feel you understand the body so much more.
            Thank you for your concern and kindness Dr Myers.

          • NanNansgirl

            Hope this helps Dr Myers, so you can help with a protocol on how to treat Blasto bugs along with Dientamoeba fragilis. I am very sensitive to medications but I’m sure this can not go untreated. Was ready on xifaxan and thought maybe it would not be as had for my body.
            I could use your advice so much better being in functional medicine and understands the whole body over tradional, that would not look at me this way . Thank you for your caring support Dr Myers , God Bless.

          • Laurie Lowen

            Dr, Myers
            what about taking nyastatin to start?

  • Gillian

    Can burning mouth syndrome be considered an autoimmune disorder?

  • Arlene Hegedus

    I have been told that I have interstitial Cystitis, but after checking my bladder it is clean and urine culture is clear. The only pain is in the Urethra I have severe constipation, Leaky Gut with food allergies so am thinking this is all connected. Have been off all sugar and caffeine for a year. My PH is VERY acidic. I Try to eat healthy with fresh veggie salads every evening adding. Protein on top of salad. I don’t eat breakfast and thinking about doing smoothies there. Have had Bladder infection symptoms for 5 months now. I am 78 and not overweight Can anyone add a protocol to help me out. I only do 5mg of Norvasc for BP. try do do everything natural. Need to find some self-help as medical has not found a problem.