How to Improve Your Gut Microbiome in a Day

How a Healthy Microbiome Can Help Prevent COVID-19 Infection

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

By now you probably know how important your gut health is to your overall health. If not, you need to! Eighty percent of your immune system is in your microbiome, your body’s bacteria, which help your body with just about every process, including digesting your food, thinking clearly, and even maintaining a healthy weight.

Your microbiome is housed in your gut and the other openings of your body, such as your mouth, your genitals, and your nose. When your gut microbiome is balanced, you stay healthy, you are in a good mood, and you have a lot of energy. When your gut microbiome is out of balance, you are setting yourself up for a host of health issues, including weight gain, diabetes, brain fog, and cancer.

Unfortunately, an unbalanced gut microbiome, or dysbiosis, is common today. Thanks to years of following diets high in processed foods and sugar, conventionally raised meat and dairy products full of hormones, plus rounds of antibiotics, too many antacids, and chronic stress, most of us have impaired gut health. I have also said for many years that our country’s C-section rate and formula-feeding contribute to a dysbiotic state in children right from the start, because babies need exposure to good bacteria in the birth canal and in breast milk to seed their guts. In fact, the allergies, autoimmunity, anxiety, and depression that we see at increasing rates in children today are due, in part, to impaired gut health.

Your Genes Don’t Matter, But Your Gut Microbiome’s Genes Do!

As a society, we have been quick to place the blame for everything from our weight to our moods on our genes. We say things like “She can drink wine and eat chocolate every day and not gain weight because she is French.” The truth is human beings all have similar DNA. So why is it that some people are healthy when they consume chocolate every day while others maintain a strict Paleo diet and struggle with digestive symptoms or worse? It’s because, unlike our genes, our microbiome’s genes are vastly different.

The good news is that you can change your gut microbiome. You see, the average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is 20 minutes! So, you have the opportunity every time you eat to begin to change the population of your gut microbiome. This is good news because it means that rather than having to subscribe to theories such as the Paleo diet, which assumes our genes evolve so slowly that we all need to eat like cavemen, we can begin to change our gut microbiome (and thus its genes) one meal at a time and even achieve a healthy gut very quickly.

Improve Your Gut Microbiome Today for the “4Rs”

There are a number of factors that contribute to the health of your gut microbiome, including your environment, the amount of exercise and sleep you get, and of course, stress. But the number one factor that determines what microbes live in your gut (and which ones die off) is your diet.

In Functional Medicine, there is a very successful protocol called the 4Rs, which stands for Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Repair. There are many resources for learning more about the 4 R’s. I like Raphael Kellman, M.D.’s book, The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss.

The beautiful thing about the 4Rs protocol is that it doesn’t have to be followed in order. Once you remove the processed foods and toxins from your diet, you can start doing all of the remaining 3 steps together. Unless you suffer from a serious digestive disorder or other condition, you can follow the 4Rs on your own. Or, find a practitioner who can tailor the protocol to your specific needs.

Here are my suggestions for following the 4Rs and improving your gut microbiome starting today:

  1. Eat the Right Foods. Your gut microbiome responds to what you feed it. When you regularly eat a variety of healthy, non-processed foods, your microbiome becomes programmed to work for you. The more varied your diet, the more flexible your microbiome becomes, allowing for that occasional dessert.
  2. Take a high-quality probiotic. Nearly everyone can benefit from supplementing with a good quality probiotic. Probiotics help maintain your gut’s ecosystem as well as the ecosystem of your respiratory tract and urogenital tract. Also, try to limit your use of antibiotics. While they are necessary sometimes and can be life-saving, most antibiotics are over-prescribed. Be sure to consult with your doctor about whether you or your children need an antibiotic, and always take your probiotics during treatment to re-seed your gut with healthy bacteria.
  3. Support your Digestion. Unless you know you have high stomach acid, stop taking antacids! Many people have low stomach acid but think they have too much and take antacids. Supplement with a digestive enzyme. This can help you digest your food better and get rid of your symptoms, such as gas, bloating and heartburn. Glutamine, an amino acid (a building block of protein), can also help to rebuild and maintain your digestive tract and support proper digestion. You may also want to try HCL if you know you have low stomach acid. Or, you could simply try drinking lemon and water or 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a little water before each meal to see if your symptoms improve.
  4. Get into a relaxed state. One of the most important factors to healing your gut is your own consciousness. Your gut is your second brain. If your microbiome is out of balance, you may feel anxious, depressed, or tired. You may also suffer from memory problems or brain fog. In addition to eating the right foods, try to get into a meditative state prior to eating. Do this by removing all stressors, including stressful people and conversations. If you are eating with others, try not to speak excessively, or talk about negative subjects. Every time you sit down to eat, take a deep breath, pause and give thanks to all of the plants, animals, and people who helped create your food, including God, then consecrate the energy you will get from your food to a good cause, or to someone you love. This activity can help transform even unhealthy fast food.

15 Ways to Optimize Your Gut Bacteria for Optimal Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, most diets focus on calorie reduction and exercise. While eating less and exercising more will usually result in weight-loss, Dr. Kellman says that if you get your microbiome healthy, you will lose weight. It’s all about correcting the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria, which is making you crave the wrong foods and triggering inflammation. This makes sense because when you change your gut bacteria, you change how your body produces and metabolizes energy.

This also explains why so many people lose weight only to gain it right back because the bad bacteria are still present in your gut. The bad bacteria remember when you were fat, and they want to continue to live, so they trigger cravings for the foods that feed them.  

In addition to the steps I outline above, here are 15 more ways to set up your gut for weight loss:

  1. Sweat every day. Your gut bacteria operate best when you exercise regularly. That’s because regular exercise promotes biodiversity of your gut flora. Research shows that exercise actually increases the good bacteria in your gut!
  2. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep has been associated with obesity. Now, research shows that one of the reasons sleep deprivation causes weight gain is because it significantly changes your gut flora. In fact, after just two nights of sleep deprivation the gut flora of patients resembled those of people who are obese. Now, here’s the catch, your gut flora can affect your sleep patterns, so in order to get a good night’s sleep, you must improve your gut flora.
  3. Get dirty. While being clean is fine, overly sterile environments don’t promote biodiversity of your gut bacteria.  Go ahead and get dirty. And, skip the hand sanitizer.
  4. Find time to de-stress. Research shows that prolonged periods of stress can impair your gut bacteria and make you susceptible to infection.
  5. Breastfeed Your Baby. While breastfeeding can help moms lose their baby weight, this one is for your child. Babies are born with nearly sterile and bacteria-free guts. Breastfeeding your child for the first year (or as long as you can) helps to colonize your baby’s gut flora. And, your breast milk actually nourishes the bacteria to allow it to become established.
  6. Eliminate artificial sweeteners. While the link between artificial sweeteners and weight gain is not clear, one thing research shows is that artificial sweeteners alter the gut bacteria in a way that causes glucose intolerance.
  7. Eat the Nordic way. Arne Astrup,‎ Jennie Brand-Miller,‎ and Christian Bitz, leaders in obesity research and authors of The Nordic Way cookbook, suggest eating skyr, whole-grain rye breads, and wild foods, including herbs, greens, nuts, and berries. They also suggest that replacing wheat with oats, rye, and barley, and eating seafood, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, clams, mussels, and even seaweed, helps improve gut flora.
  8. Make preparing your meals a ritual. Every culture has rituals around food, but with our busy lifestyles, we have all but forgotten them. Turning your meal prep into a ritual – and it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming – helps to bring awareness and intention to our meal and meal time. This relaxes you and sets you up for better digestion.
  9. Get your microbiome analyzed. If you want to know what is going on in your gut flora, you cantake a test that will give you a snapshot. But remember, your microbiome is changing all the time with every meal.
  10. Take the gut-brain test. Your gut has its own nervous system – the enteric nervous system (ENS). Integrative neurologist Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, author of The Prime, says that the answer to losing weight spontaneously is to make your gut smarter by bringing your enteric nervous system back online and in control of your food choices. To find out how well your gut-brain is working, take the Gut IQ Test.
  11. Remove the sugar and processed foods from your diet. Refined carbohydrates, sugar (including alcohol), and processed foods get absorbed quickly into your small intestine without any help from your microbes. That means your gut microbes stay hungry, so they begin snacking on the cells that line your intestines, causing what we call Leaky Gut. Your intestinal lining is meant to be a strong barrier between your gut and the rest of your body. When your intestinal wall becomes leaky, particles of food enter your bloodstream, causing your immune system to attack them, and ultimately your own tissues. This leads to inflammation and a whole cascade of conditions, including autoimmunity. Sugar also feeds organisms like Candida Albican, which also attacks your intestinal wall and can lead to a systemic Candida infection.
  12. Get your carbohydrates from vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Eating a lot of leafy green vegetables will help plant your gut with healthy and diverse bacteria. Dr. Kellman also recommends eating radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, jicama, asparagus, carrots, and, of course, garlic and turmeric. Be sure to get a balance of healthy fats and protein with each meal as well.
  13. Include fermented foods in your diet. Fermented foods seed your gut with healthy bacteria. Eat sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir, yogurt (not processed), and kombucha. These foods are rich in prebiotics.
  14. Try a food elimination diet to determine if you have any food allergies. Do you often have cramping, gas, or stomach pain after eating? You may have a food sensitivity or allergy. The most common food allergies or sensitivities are to cow’s milk, soy, peanuts (nuts), corn, eggs, and wheat (gluten). Some people find they feel even better if they eliminate all grains, including oats, quinoa, and spelt. But start with wheat at the very least. Do this for a few weeks and see if your symptoms improve. Also stay away from artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and coffee!
  15. Drink tea. Evidence shows that polyphenols increase healthy microbes (probiotics) and reduce harmful pathogens in your gut, which helps to keep your microbiome in optimal balance. Tea is one of the richest sources of polyphenols – healthy prebiotics that feed the healthy bugs in your gut. Tea polyphenols also have anti-viral properties that reduce harmful pathogens. The polyphenols in tea help you digest your food faster, while suppressing hunger cravings and allowing you to poop more. Research shows that the polyphenols in black tea decrease your gut’s ability to absorb fats and sugars. And studies show that green tea catechins prevent the absorption of triglycerides and cholesterol, which increases your body’s ability to excrete fat.

How a Healthy Microbiome May Prevent Coronavirus Infections

When your gut is healthy, you have a much better chance of staving off infections. So, it makes sense that a healthy gut microbiome could prevent you from severe COVID-19 infection. In addition, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity have the worst outcomes when they become ill from COVID-19 and other infections. And these conditions are associated with negative changes in the composition of the gut microbiome, possibly from medications as well as diet.

A preliminary study showed that a less-than-optimal gut microbiome was highly correlated with proinflammatory cytokines and that certain gut microbiota can predispose individuals to severe COVID-19. The reason may be because the coronavirus enters the body by binding to the ACE2 enzyme, which plays an important role in the regulation of intestinal inflammation and affects the microbes that play a role in diseases of the heart and lungs. This may mean that a healthy gut microbiome prevents some COVID-19 patients from experiencing the cytokine storm seen in severe cases.

Like everything else, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your microbiome. You may be a strict vegetarian, eat the Paleo way or fall somewhere in between. The key is to keep supporting your microbiome with the foods that are healthy for you.

How have you taken measures to heal your gut? Do you notice a difference in your overall health? Please share your comments below.

Last Updated: August 19, 2020

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


Add comment
  1. anne donato
    3 months ago

    Thank you

  2. John John
    6 months ago

    Hi Dr Northrup, I believe the discussion about measles in a page I cannot open now raised a principle: if it looks like it most likely is. People invent all kinds of arguments: it is a lupus, measles, lyme, etc LIKE disease – what about the tick, the last thing that happened, the law of the 1st or simple – some king or important person gets named over describing that way back in history

  3. Sherrin Ball
    11 months ago

    I like millions of others living the Western Culture diet used to suffer multiple health issues from poor teeth, ulcers, bad breath, colds, flu’s, reflux, the full range of the Bristol’s chart and some!!
    I began searching other diets. The Inuit, Asian, African, the vast array of tribal diets.
    Those that had strong healthy teeth with a well set jaw line got my interest going.
    What I learned was the Gut Biome adjusts to natural food intake and goes Pathogenic when fed packaged and machined products. (Pathogens go Nuclear when fed refined Carbs!!)
    A healthy person is never restricted to a fixed diet. In theory you could live anywhere in the world and eat ‘Local’ and never get ill (viral or bacterial)
    The vast gut biomes adjust to all food types the world offers except processed products.
    Only real produce and wild living creatures provide endless wellness, nothing else.
    I have in the last 5 years began adding Iodine, Mg and Selenium to my daily diet. This allows me to drink any water anywhere in the world as the Iodine is a 100% pathogen killer!!
    I have learned over the last 30 years there is no such thing as Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Supper’s etc. There is only eat when hungry which can be any time and only eat 100% Real foods. Keep the junk below 10% of your intake.
    In times of Old there were set shops that the masses went to for food. The butcher, the veg shop, the grain shop(still everywhere in Asia and Africa) and the Spice & Herbalist.
    Life was so simple 100 years ago. Now with the vast mega bucks of the Big Corporations people are being swindled into fake thinking. The Boxed and Package shopper is the current or future customer of a GP for life. The Produce shopper will rarely need to see a GP.

  4. rebecca
    1 year ago

    Dr Northrup, you talked about shedding after the covid 19 jab- I wonder how to protect myself while working with people who had the jab…I’m a dental hygienist.

    Thank you.

    1. Natalie
      1 year ago

      I saw you give quercetin recipe on Gareth ike show. You said grapefruit and lemons? Is that to boil the whole fruit or just the skins? Thanks xx

    2. Eileen Jensen
      8 months ago

      Did you ever get a response?
      I, too, am a dental hygienist.

  5. Anita Rutherford
    2 years ago

    I don’t see anything about PCOS. This is a very common issue for women

  6. Amy
    2 years ago

    Why can I drink one cup of caffeinated coffee ( half I drink in the mornings the other half I drink between 2pm and 5pm) for months and I am fine and love food. But then WHAM, I have diarrhea every morning that requires Immodium for the next 1-3 weeks. I am not overweight, my muscle mass is low. I’m a 48 nearly perimenopausal woman. I really don’t like the rollercoaster that I am feeling and the unmotivation and tears suck! I have a life to live and things to do.

  7. Chandni
    2 years ago

    Excellent post! We are linking to this particularly great article
    on our website. Keep up the good writing.

  8. Meghna
    2 years ago

    I have not seen such a post in my life till today, you get inspiration from people like you so that we too can share good posts like you. I hope that you keep inspiring such people in your life.

  9. Meng Lee
    2 years ago

    I had antibiotics Xifaxan then I had probiotics for 1 month. I am still experiencing all sorts of probiotics side effects for over a month. Probably I am overdosed with good bacteria and stopping probiotics is helping me getting better a little day by day.

  10. Ann E Bilyeu
    2 years ago

    Can you recommend a probiotic? There are so many out there, it’s mind boggling !

    1. José Sidenei de Melo
      2 years ago

      One of the best probiotic contained in several med brands is the “Saccharomi
      yces boulardiii-l 7

    2. Rowan
      1 year ago

      Saccharomyes Boulardii (sp) strain is specifically used to prevent diarrhea – so if you are constipated may not help – do your homework

  11. Charli Smith
    2 years ago

    I have been trying to lose weight for a couple months now and has been stuck at one weight. Do anyone have any fitness tips and also eating tips for me?

    1. Aja
      2 years ago

      Daily walking if you are not mobility impaired. 20-40 minutes at a medium pace with intervals of brisk pace 5x per week. Get your gut biome in order as Dr recommenda here, and I also love Triphala (Google it) I use the Planetary Herbs brand 1000mg, 2 pills in the mornings. I never worry about my weight anymore with those two pillars in my life. Best wishes!

  12. Patti
    2 years ago

    Excellent information! I shared this on my Facebook page and it was taken down. So Silicon Valley giants are still hard at work trying to silence medical experts.

    1. Mrs gillian Wardlel
      1 year ago


      Dare they do that! It’s none of their business . That makes me really angry.

    2. Raine
      9 months ago

      I agree with your comments. Terrible how they control and cover the truth. Dr. Northrop is a medical hero and I praise her for her strength and honesty.

  13. isabel Mccoy
    2 years ago

    Dear Dr:

    Thanks so much for the advise it is very informative I just did the Gut quiz and it was very accurate.
    with the corona virus at our door. It is so important to do all the ways to improve the immune system. I
    really appreciated.

  14. Liz from UK
    2 years ago

    Do you recommend actually testing to find if we have a good gut microbiome, Dr. Northrup?

    I’ve heard Dr. Bakker on youtube speak highly of these tests that can be done at home nowadays.

    I’ve also read that these tests can’t actually show anything useful so I don’t know who to trust. Please help, Dr. Northrup!

  15. Malathie
    2 years ago

    Thank you.Thank you. Thank you for this wonderful article.❤️

  16. Michele
    2 years ago

    Thanks for this blog. It reinforces much of the nutrition and diet information I have been reading about recently and the lifestyle choices I have been trying very hard to incorporate in my life. I believe that diet and lifestyle are the keys to preventing disease and living a vital, active and happy life. I have been doing the Bright Line Eating (BLE) program – i.e., no sugars, no flour (processed foods) and eating 3 meals of day – spaced 4- 6 hours apart to give my body a chance to process and digest optimally. I have also long felt that there is an important connection between gut health and mental health. Having eliminated some of the worst foods from my diet, and reduced diary, I really notice a positive difference, a lighter feeling. And, when I backslid and eat sugar, processed foods or heavy diary, I REALLY notice a difference, that is, I get brain fog, headaches (sugar hangover), gas and bloating. I have also definitely realized that I am lactose intolerant –and sugar-addicted. I will certainly continue to manage my diet via BLE and incorporate your suggestions and helpful tips, especially to include lemon/apple cider vinegar and more tea in my diet and be more mindful when preparing and eating my meals. THANK YOU!

    1. Cindy
      1 year ago

      Beware of Fodmaps if eating like this. Make sure you eat non dairy yogurt with no added sugar or fermented pickles….they must say fermented or low sugar kombucha, tempeh is also good. Eat a little bit of this at a time throughout the day. It’s so important!

  17. Angela
    2 years ago

    A lot of interesting points in this post that I’ve read before in scientific literature. But I do give pause when I read that you say the average lifespan of bacterium in our gut is 20 minutes but then you claim that people lose weight but gain it back quickly because the bacterium in our gut “remembers “ being fat and results in us craving foods we shouldn’t eat.
    So is it one, or the other-bacterium only live 20 minutes on average or they’re around so long they “remember” us being fat?

    1. Ida Friedman
      2 years ago

      This is a really good point. I’d love to hear Dr N’s response.

      1. Cynthia Wilcox
        1 year ago

        Since no one else is answering this question I’ll take a stab at it. My understanding of this is that any one bacteria in our gut may only live for 20 minutes but the size of populations of a bacteria live on for a while. This causes cravings and depending on how you’ve been eating it can cause you to overeat.

  18. Charli Smith
    2 years ago

    Dude, do some proper excessive. Walking won’t help you loose weight one bit, you have to to cardio like running.

    1. Aaron
      2 years ago

      That is not true at all. While its not going to help you lose it as fast as running or biking or ogher vigorous activity, long distance walking can be an excellent weight loss aid, especially for severelg obese and sendentary people. Walking three to five miles will burn a fair amount of calories, especially for a person who is carrying a lot of excess weight. Plus it positively impacts the body in other various ways, and when done consistently, set the person up for avoiding injury when they decide to incorporate something more intense. Distance walking is an excellent starting point and any kind of increased physical activity is going to benefit. Walking is an excellent choice for severely obese people because of the low-impact nature. For those with a lot of weight to lose, its not the best idea to push oneself too hard from the start and risk getting injured.

  19. Charli Smith
    2 years ago

    Pick up a 5 or 10 pound weight at the gym and visualize that weight coming off holding the weight in your hands helps bring home just how heavy even 5 pounds of extra fat can be.

  20. Leo Harry
    2 years ago

    Hello this is Leo Harry. t’s great because as mention before there’s different levels and you continue playing it through elementary, high shcool, and even college/university

  21. Leo Harry
    2 years ago

    Hello this is Leo Harry. You need to combine exercise with o good, healthy diet. Stay off the fatty, fried foods and don’t eat sugary snacks.

    1. Cynthia Wilcox
      1 year ago

      Good fats are fine. Even fried food is ok if fried in good oils like coconut oil and avocado oil. Omega 3s are fatty acids mostly found in some fish and they are soo important. Americans generally don’t get nearly enough of them. I like some good thick cut bacon from pasture raised pigs! Yum!

  22. Charli Smith
    3 years ago

    How tall are you? If your short it makes sense to weigh less. I would see a doctor if you are not gaining any weight. I’m thirteen and i weigh more than you.

  23. Charli Smith
    3 years ago

    Yeah I am on the smaller side like you, so I am sure it’s easier for us to talk about it.. but honestly all this dieting and health food is ridiculous.

    1. Cynthia Wilcox
      1 year ago

      Oh honey, just wait til you get older!

  24. Rob
    3 years ago

    Hi Christine,

    This is a great post. I have been having stomach issues since coming off two weeks of antibiotics for a bacterial infection, which caused swelling of lymph nodes under both the arm pits. I was given 4 pills to take every day for 14 days. Although the antibiotics seem to completely take the swollen lymph nodes down, l have had daily bloating and an uncomfortable feeling of wind a month after stopping the antibiotics. The bloating seems to have reduced a bit but my stomach does not seem happy at all.

    I am taking a high strength probiotic daily, slippery elm bark and digestive enzymes. Can you recommend anything else to help me? Before taking the antibiotics l did not have this problem

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Rayna Piskova
      2 years ago

      In France, antibiotics are always prescribed with probiotics in capsules. Always.

      1. Aja
        2 years ago

        That’s good! Should be done everywhere.

    2. Ida Friedman
      2 years ago

      I would like to see Dr Northrup answer this question from months ago. I also finished antibiotics and I’m taking a strong probiotic. I want to hear what she’s say. I wish she responded to comments.

  25. Constanza
    3 years ago

    Great article Dr Northrup! Concise and clear.

  26. Dunya Merell
    3 years ago

    Any tips on eliminating H-Pilori issue in gut without antibiotics ???

    1. DS
      3 years ago

      Dunya Merell:

      You will find that Heliobacter Pylori infections are largely due to a simple mineral deficiency — that being bismuth — as well as an under-acidified stomach (which is most often experienced as “gastric reflux”/”heartburn,” which unfortunately will often cause a *worsening* of the symptoms by a person’s misguided attempt to solve the problem by further weakening the stomach acid and INCREASING the stomach pH, rather than making it stronger and DECREASING the pH, by taking antacids). The trace mineral you’re likely lacking is bismuth (a simple source of bismuth would be Pepto-Bismol — though an easily-absorbed trace mineral source, such as a plant-based colloidal liquid mineral supplement, or a food source, is preferable). Increase bismuth intake. As for acidity, try this very simple trick: Drink some salt water next time you feel heartburn. The sodium chloride (table salt) is converted in the stomach to hydrochloric acid, thus increasing stomach acidity. You should feel fairly immediate relief.

      At the TOP of the stomach is the valve called the esophageal sphincter. At the BOTTOM of the stomach is the valve called the pyloric sphincter. When stomach is properly acidified, and digested food is thus ready to continue its trip into the intestine, the pyloric sphincter at the bottom opens, and the top esophageal sphincter closes. When the stomach is *NOT* adequately acidified, the OPPOSITE happens: The esophageal sphincter at the top remains OPEN, allowing the (albeit relatively weak) stomach acid to crawl up into the esophagus. Unfortunately, widespread public (and even medical) “wisdom” has this exactly BACKWARDS!

      Hope that helps. God Bless you.

      1. Tanya
        1 year ago

        Hi I suffer severe stomach problems only in my late 40’s now 50
        I had a few acid reflux episodes per year maybe 2 and the dr put me on daily dosage of nexium I dont like taking any un natural drugs but she said if I didnt I would be at high risk of stomach cancer I found out after 2 yrs this drug can cause cancer too but the dr said the risk is way lower than not treating it and having high stomach acid – I hate being on it and if i miss a day I get this extreme acid burning and have severe acid reflux of coughing acid awakening and it feels like acid is going through my pores lungs etc I have never been so bad I only suffered it once or twice a year previously before going to the drs – I also suffer migraines which i never had and this causes me to throw up sometimes one time i threw up badly it causes a pain in middle / top of stomach I had a endoscopy and they said I have a slight sliding hiatus hernia – cant work as the nexium lowers my vitamin b iron and have severe low energy so inside most of the time and feeling nausea or pain so low vitamin d too.
        I read your message but I am confused to do salt or to increase acid scares me I dont want to be worse but I need all the help I can get hate not working or being active like I used to be and sick of feeling sick

        1. Bev Ross
          1 year ago

          Famotidine is a much better choice. Brand name in US is Pepsid. I refuse to take Nexium as it is bad for bone density.

  27. molly
    3 years ago

    I was told that you need a prescription for probiotics and that over the counter products don’t work. Is this true?

    1. Jones
      3 years ago

      Quality matters a lot. Not necessarily prescribed, but you need high quality and correct strains. Check dr. Michael Ruscio. He is above average good on the gut in general. His podcasts will cover the topic.

  28. Susan Mitchell
    4 years ago

    I has pelvic reconstruction surgery in 2016 and after about 6 months things in my digestive area went haywire. Always a thin person I gained weight and always was bloated like I was 8 or 9 months pregnant. In ,2018 I had to have my gallbladder removed and stomach issues are no better. I have a variety of physical problems including chronic inflammation…pain bad back issues….but the more I read the more I think maybe my problem may be leaky gut. Can u recommend a good probiotic as well as other supplements that may help
    Also since I no longer have my gall bladder I find it very hard to eat. Most food bothers me..still bloating issues with constipation stomach aches etc. About the only thing I can eat is oatmeal which I put a little flax seed on for the constipation. Any help or suggestions would be so appreciated. I could go on about more of my health issues but this post is already too long. Thank you in advance for any help. Susan

    1. Peter
      2 years ago

      Eliminate cow’s milk. Try a raw vegan diet or high in fresh fruits and vegetables or something akin to the 80/10/10 diet. This in my opinion completely restores health gut biome bacteria and allows one to thrive. Thriving and reducing your covid risk is the result.

      There are two views in medical science. Germ theory and terrain theory, the former allied to the fear of covid, the latter posits if you clean and take care of the vessel any risk of covid is obfuscated.

    2. Connie Krall
      10 months ago

      Ox Bileand digestive enzymes after my FB was removed was the key! I like Digest Gold Enzymatica product and from a practitioner I add Digest B and check out LV-GB Complex instead of the Digest B as your liver function must be addressed! I get it on Amazon.

  29. David
    4 years ago

    Regarding, section D ‘ try a food elimination diet’, you categorise peanuts as nuts. Peanuts are not related to nuts at all, they are legumes.

  30. Katherine Mohr
    4 years ago

    I have been taking probiotics for almost 2 years and I think they are making me sick. I have had bad sinus headaches, dizziness, fatigue, skin rashes, foggy brain. I’ve had to eat a very restricted low histamine diet all this time. I just stopped taking them about a week ago and am feeling better. I tried some higher histamine foods to test my body out, and it’s still not breaking histamine normally. Will my microbiome be restored to it’s original pre-probiotic state? If so, how long might it take?
    Thank you!

    1. Philippa
      4 years ago

      Are the probiotics dairy based and do you maybe have an undiagnosed intolerance to dairy? I did and was hopeless with them; I now take SBOs – soil based organisms and I am great!
      Hope this helps.

  31. Kamilla Sessions
    4 years ago

    I ended up with food poisoning 2 years ago, was hospitalized in horrible condition and went Sepsis. This almost claimed my life scarily. It turned out to be a Salmonella E.coli caused by eating coleslaw at a restaurant. My question is now I learn my Iron is low, Vitamin B12 is over 2000, Folate is low and just found out today that I have NO normal flora. I had an Endoscopy/Colonoscopy to check for bleeding (stool showed blood) and the colon was good, the upper digestive was good except the very beginning of the small intestine showed an AVM, the Dr. did treat that one but now I have to do a Pill Cam to check the rest of the small intestine for possibly more AVM’s. Can I ever get my digestive system back in perfect condition after the trauma of Sepsis?

    1. L
      4 years ago

      Try a fecal transplant. They have saved many peoples lives.

  32. Donna Bailey
    4 years ago

    I’ve had weight loss, very unwanted, from H Pylori which Ibfinslky treated with quadruple therapy. It was successful but now, still not gaining and not feeling well yet. It’s been about 6 weeks post-treatment.
    What can I do to regain weight and heal this biome?

  33. Elizabeth
    4 years ago

    What is your opinion of the pros vs cons of having your colon cleaned out prior to a colonoscopy? I have no GI issues and my IM doc is recommending one as I am over 50. My gut microbiome is likely very healthy–I never get colds or flu, grow my own vegetables, eat mainly whole grains and plant foods, grass-fed beef and all is organic. I even make my own sauerkraut and other fermented foods. There is no history of colon cancer in my family. If my gut microbiome can become permanently negatively affected by the pre-colonoscopy cleansing (i.e. perhaps never returning to its full richness of diversity), is this test worth it? My healthy microbiome is helping to prevent colon cancer naturally, right? I will submit to stool sample testing, which I realize is not as reliable as a colonoscopy. There appears to be little research in the how colon cleansing can permanently alter the biodiversity of gut microbiome. I have followed your work for many years and am grateful for all your knowledge and wisdom! I am a firm believer in the mind-body connection.

    1. Michelle Dennison
      4 years ago

      What are the results of not having the colonoscopy

      1. Ellen
        3 years ago

        While colonoscopy is the gold standard of colon cancer prevention, you are probably okay if you have a stool test annually. This is the standard procedure in my HMO for people without risk factors. In my case, when I was in my 60’s, the stool test showed some blood, and the subsequent colonoscopy found a couple of polyps that were taken out. Since I was then a “high risk” I had another colonoscopy after 2 years, and additional polyps were removed. I don’t need another one for 5 years. Like you, I eat a good variety of organic and unprocessed foods, and have remained healthy. For me, the risks of colon cancer were higher than any potential disturbances of the microbiome.

  34. Emily @ Amchara
    4 years ago

    Thanks for this. I was just wondering what your view is on colonic irrigation and it’s effect on gut health? Be great to hear from you.

    1. Connie Krall
      10 months ago

      Colonics are great to get rid of toxins and tone up your intestines etc. I had one this week and lots of energy. The internet is full of negative but get a good reputable hygienist. I was off any probiotics prior to my procedure and adding them back in now. Getting another one in Two weeks!

  35. Mary
    4 years ago

    First I went to weight watchers and lost 30 pounds and have done a lot of soul searching. With there new program and being able to track everything I eat and even track how much exercise I do. It has helped me pay attention to my body. I have suffered with constipation for years or diarrhea. Changing my eating habits and taking a good probiotic every day, eat salads, and lots of vegetables and 3-4 oz. of meat. Mostly fish, chicken, turkey…..I also walk a lot and now I am doing cardio and core workouts on an online program. This way of living works! I have also started to meditate everyday….not real good at it, but working on it. It is hard to change our habits but I want to feel good and stay healthy….
    I am 71 years old and feel like I am in my 40’s. and like to be with younger people. I am so grateful how you feel about aging. I plan on staying young in body and spirit…Thank you Dr. Northrup for your knowledge….

  36. Darlene McKee
    4 years ago

    Can you please give me some advise, anything else I can do? I am trying to eat healthier. I do not eat gluten but, I am trying to eliminate all processed foods. I feel like I have to heal my gut still. I was un-diagnosed celiac for at least 10 years and now I am very sick with Autonomic neuropathy/POTS. I went for B12 injections and I started to feels better even though my levels were normal. I feel like they were not a true representation of what I was absorbing. I am starting to take Fish oils, a probiotic and Vit D each day -Vit D level is low (32). I am also slowly developing allergies to foods as I age- almonds, eggs and now apples!! On another note, My son who is 15 now has small -fiber neuropathy?? He also has the celiac gene.
    Thank you kindly

    1. Carol Parham
      4 years ago

      Darlene, I am Celiac which I finally figured out when I was 59 1/2 year old because I had developed other autoimmune diseases: Dermatitis Herpetiformis, Alopecia Areata and Peripheral Neuropathy. I went on the “gluten free” diet but had a reaction to corn. I researched and found the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). It has been a lifesaver for me and many other people! It is for anyone with a GI problem or autism, but is a healthy diet for everyone, very similar to what Dr. Northrup is recommending, but it focuses on eating only simple carbohydrates until your GI system is healed, then reintroducing all foods that you can tolerate (except grains for celiacs) back into your diet gradually. The basic diet is Eating homemade yogurt cooked for 24 hours, organic meat [especially avoid those injected with broth (gluten)], all fruits, most vegetables, eggs, etc. and Eliminating grains, soy, starches, sweeteners (except limited amounts of honey), and dairy (except if grown with a culture & aged, like cheeses such as cheddar, and the special yogurt).
      The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ was clinically tested for over 50 years by Dr. Sidney Haas and biochemist Elaine Gottschall with convincing results, with at least 75% of those who adhere rigidly to the diet gaining significant improvement. People looking for the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle on Amazon can read many testimonials. There is a website that contains the basic diet that has enough information to get you started before the book arrives.

      1. Jessica C
        3 years ago

        I’m a believer in the SCD diet! It saved my life from debilitating ulcerative colitis in 2001 when I had no health insurance. I’ve found it be the best lifestyle for me. Although I’ve veered away from it due to being lazy, it’s my go-to for optimal health when I need it. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  37. Sue Reed
    4 years ago

    I LOVE your website , Thank You !!. Stunning layout and composition ,Hugely informative , easy to read , understand and encouraging !
    I am looking forward to following you .
    Sue Reed

  38. Don
    4 years ago

    I’ve read that taking Probiotics without also taking “Prebiotics” is pointless.
    Is this true? I am 47 years old and was told by the Doctor that I am pre diabetic,
    so I want to make a life changing diet that will improve my health. It seems that
    there is an overwhelming amount of information online with differing opinions.

    1. Tone
      4 years ago

      Stop eating sugar, bread, pasta, rice and potato. Keep your sugar intake under 7 teaspoons per day (look at the info on food packaging, 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar.

    2. Muni
      4 years ago

      Don, did you receive a response to your question?

    3. Kara
      4 years ago

      Eat prebiotic foods – leeks, artichokes, radishes, soaked/sprouted lentils, hummus.

    4. Philippa
      4 years ago

      Yes it is true. Find a pre-biotic that suits you and any intolerances you may have; I cannot take potato based resistant starch for instance.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Patrícia Aguilar
        2 years ago

        Eat 1/4 of a glove of garlic for 7 days, cutting in pieces and chewing this very good, in the morning before breakfast. Then stop for 1 week and repite the process… It worked for me, the terrible itching was gone. Keep eating garlic in your salads or food. Garlic kill H pylori and many others bacterias, is the best natural antibiotic. My nutritionist gave me this remedy, I was scare that my stomach was going to hurt, but nothing at all, because the PH in the morning is different. Better and healthy than antibiotics. Good luck…

  39. Linda Noel
    5 years ago

    Hi. I just realized that I mistakenly sent my prior response in error. The book that I am reading was recommended by Dr. N. in an article that I was reading. I apologize for the confusion.

  40. Linda Noel
    5 years ago

    Dr. N. I am reading your Microbiome Diet now and just finished the section about Gastric Bypass. Your book is the first of many I have read which addressed this situation. I had a Biliopancreatic Diversion Bypass 27 years ago. In my case, weight loss is not obtained by reducing calories as much as by drastically reducing my ability to absorb fat. My small intestine has been bypassed except for the last 50cm. Because of this surgical malabsorption, I have to wonder whether this plan will work for me. Currently I have a huge belly and 3 autoimmune diseases and am desperate for help. I have even started looking into having it reversed. My entire small gut is still there, it is just bypassed. Any thoughts/insight would be greatly appreciated. Blessings! Linda

    1. Nicole
      3 years ago

      Look into true hope empower plus. It’s a micro nutrient that’s broken down to make it absorbable. It’s being used for mental health because malabsorption is the root cause. I bet this product could help you get your nutrients absorbed.

  41. mac
    5 years ago

    Dr. Northup, Please advise if people who are eliciting a histamine response in their bodies should be eating as much fermented foods as you advise here? And couldn’t a genotype phenotype gene expression dictate the capacity in which an individual actually processes food energy, in terms of nucleotides, amino acid breakdown. Haven’t the recent studies demonstrated that D1,D2 receptors along with 5HT 2c influence the dopamine serotonin uptake from the gut. I am trying to
    figure this out as well and want to know.

  42. James Clausen
    5 years ago

    Excellent article. My daughter now 25 has been having extreme headaches continuously for 18 months. This caused her to lose here full-time job which she held for five years. We took her to four doctors in Orlando and made 12 visits up to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville FL. The final diagnosis was “new daily persistent headache” (NDPH) as a disease of exclusion with no treatment. Not the answer we were looking for. We continued to read and investigate other possible causes. By now she had over 65 tubes of blood drawn, along with stool and saliva tests. I found a local doctor who was having open free seminars, (he posts them on youtube) The Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine. My wife went with our daughter and they signed up to be a patient, It has been five months and she smiles again, can work full time and has identified what was wrong and is correcting it. She had multiple lime diseases tests some positive, some negative, and all inconclusive, and was prescribed doxycycline for 10 days. The Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine prescribed doxycycline for 60 days. Did allergin testing and found wheat along with 4 other grains and some fruits were causing her negative reactions. She is now on a gluten-free diet and is rebuilding her gut with four supplements. Nothing is now prescribed form a pharmacy, and she is coming back to normal. Complete recovery is expected to take 18 months, and she will be gluten-free for life. I hope this helps someone else.

  43. Vicki
    5 years ago

    Thanks so much for your great description of leaky gut. I was diagnosed with this some time ago and have talked to health care professionals and read many articles but never REALLY understood exactly what it is til I read the succinct explanation above. Thank you, it makes sense now and I feel better equipped to help heal it yay!! Love your work x

    1. Kathryn Wells
      5 years ago


  44. Carol Long
    5 years ago

    Great article. What happens to your microbiome after you’ve had a total colectomy?

    1. Prairigrl
      2 months ago

      Geeze. I really wish someone knew how to answer this question. I’m with you. With all the knowledge about how much of our nervous system, immune system, mental health is tied into our gut…it would be really great to know what to do, if that is removed piece by piece, like for many, with serious IBD or cancer.

  45. Davinder Kaur
    5 years ago

    Hi Christiane,
    Such a fab article. I just wondered if you knew of any good people (naturapaths etc) in London that I could see about this? I just know something is off with my digestive system but i don’t know what it is and I just know that my GP will turn me away and be of little help. thanks, Davinder

    1. Barbara Mol
      5 years ago

      Hi Davinder! i just noticed your comment, not sure if you got any reply yet and I don’t know anyone in London, but I do know an amazing brand of gut healing supplements that eliminate bad bacteria, reintroduce the good ones and bring your micobiome back into balance. If you’re interested in learning more shoot me an email at

    2. Joan
      5 years ago

      London Clinic of Nutrition are excellent

  46. Rebecca
    5 years ago

    Happy Winter Solatice. I welcome the
    Light! I’m on A William’s heavy metal detox smoothly and try to follow his suggested diet. ( Love those daily wild blueberries!). My gut got messed up earlier this spring when traveling in Fla but probably has not been in the best shape due to general stress from living as a single, self employed 65 year old woman (now thankfully on Medicare so I can see docs more easily if needed though the ones I want to see do not accept insurance or Medicare!) my question- I’ve had gut pain and gas, spine and back tissue pain. After neg blood and stool tests they finally remembered to have me “pee in a cup” which showed a raging infection somewhere in the Urinary tract. An antibiotic took the pain away within 36 hrs. Doc took me down to one antibiotic a day which I’m finishing up tomorrow, and also approved and encouraged probiotics simultaneously. Good. Then, I caught the crud going around. I’m on another antibiotic for it ( I don’t usually need to do this!) because it hit hard. In spite of taking probiotics, at a different time of day away, from the antibiotics, I have a white coated tongue (thrush?). I’ve bern encouraged to take sovereign silver, Ester-C, monolaurin, and goldenseal. I’m not yet adding in goldenseal. I was told by a medical medium recently that I have a tendency toward yeast. Is it because of genetics or because I’m in a stressful lifestyle? I haven’t really experienced too much vagina stuff but my body always seems on the edge of yeast maybe in the gut. After the Fl trip I had my first ever colonoscopy, endoscopy which was pretty good- basically showing a tiny stomach ulcer ( which was a surprise) and small hiatal hernia which I was aware of. 2 1/2 years ago I was on low dose Zoloft to control the symptoms of anxiety which can’t primarily from an inflamed nervous system ( A Williams had a short reading
    One time only! ). So I don’t know how the metals are playing into balancing gut. I feel I should stay on probiotics for at least 3 months after antibiotics. What do I think. A Williams doesn’t promote cultured foods. You do. What should I do?! Should I take something more to knock out yeast? How do I manage an unruly bacteria that may still be in my gut? Will probiotics take over and rid it after a time or will it grow andvoroliferate!? Something is still throwing me off. Or is it the metals. I wish we all had a magic button tonknow what we need to know. Can you add anything to clarify? Thank you for all your wisdom and dedication. merry Christmas, successful healing everyone. Rebecca

  47. Rebecca
    5 years ago

    After telling my allopathic doc about my stomach, digestive hurt, upset, gas, really stinky bowel movements at times, blood wrk andcstook tests were done and all came back normal and negative. I made another appointment emphasizing once more that neither chiropractic or massage relieved my back pain in the spine as well as over the kidneys. THAT nurse heard me and suggested I “pee in a cup”. The result was a big time UTI. I ASKED how I got it. Of course they couldn’t tell me but put me on an antibiotic which gave huge relief, thank God. I did the urine test this week and all is clear, but, now I have a bad cold and a coated tongue. I was taking Garden of Life(mood) probiotics while on the antibiotic for the
    UTI and tried to est pretty clean. I don’t usually do antibiotics but when I have a cold like this it often ends up in my lungs and sometimes with pneumonia so, I succumbed. Am I doing the right thing?!! I’m still taking the probiotics at least two hrs or more away from the antibiotics. I’m supplementing with monolaurin, Ester-C, silver hydrosol and May add in goldenseal. I do have a high stress life and try to do my best with mindful meditations, breath work, prayer, etc. sometimes I get overwhelmed wondering if I’ll make it financially in my small business and usuelkyveork with too few employees because the business needs them but can’t afford them. I know I’m facing life changes but I’m trying to do what I can
    To manage and heal as I face change. It is making me aware of what so many men and women go thru who for what ever reason are dealing with abrupt change, need for shelter, money, safety, a caring family or community or support system. I pray for myself and others who may be dealing with these things. I’m also on Anthony Williams heavy metal detox. Yes! I eat those organic wild blueberries daily. Somehow, I feel that there is some residual bacteria that needs to be cleansed from my body. I left my March 2017 Fla vacation with a month of bad diahrea. I really haven’t been the same since. I had my first colonoscopy endoscopy. Everything was fine except for a tiny stomach ulcer which I’ve been trying to be mindful of thru food and digycer. Licorice. I sometimes still get the stinky bms and gas. What do I need to do to move more deeply into healing? I feel I’m on the right track but something isn’t balancing. I am not eating dairy rarely nor fermented foods (aka Anthony Williams). It’s confusing and if I only knew what to do, I would. Wish I had a good doc like you near me! It doesn’t feel good to be compromised at this beautiful time of year. ( sorry this was so long-so many things are interconnected.!).
    Happy Winter Solstice. This head cold and weary body isn’t going to make it to a winter solstice ceremony so I lit a candle and chanted prayers. I’d love to be involved healthily in life again!
    Blessings and Gratitude for yiur shared wisdom. Rebecca

  48. Alison Fox
    5 years ago

    Beautiful article! Thanks Dr. Northrup. So informative and eye-opening. I will share this with my friends, and keep it for reference. 🙂

    1. Christiane Northrup
      5 years ago

      Thank you! Lovely to hear this

    2. Joie
      5 years ago

      you get to the point and that is so welcome, thank you for this information that I kinda already knew, this will surely help get me off sugar and more!

  49. María
    5 years ago

    Thank you very much for this article with so much useful information. I am also grateful for the fact that I was not redirected to another site or having to purchase something. I will reread it and adopt as many of the recommendations given. Thank you again.

  50. lisa
    5 years ago

    This is one of the better articles I have read that contains short-order info on the microbiome and how to replenish or positively affect it. Thank you for this info and for putting it all HERE instead of doing what many other sites/Drs. do and redirecting the reader elsewhere to some purchase etc. I will be visiting your site and following your work more. Well done! <3

    1. Christiane Northrup
      5 years ago

      I am glad to hear this. Thank you.

  51. alexa
    5 years ago

    I got food poisoning and a uti while in punta cana in august. When i came home i took almost two weeks of anitbiotiss for diarrhea and stomach cramps. Since then the symptoms have gotten worse i have diarrhea/constipation, terrible gas pain, burning pain in the intestines, brain fog, fatigue, headaches, food allergies, loss of appetite, and bloating. They have done a lot of blood, stool, and a colonoscopy and it all comes out normal im so confused I had a very strong stomach before this.

    1. Kate O'Neill
      5 years ago

      I’d say work with a good dietician to get your microbiomes in better health – all the best

    2. Annie
      5 years ago

      Hi Alexa, look up “Post-Infectious IBS”. What you are describing sounds like it (in fact, it’s surprising the doctor hasn’t mentioned this possibility yet, as this same issue has occurred to many others in similar circumstances to yours, i.e., having had a severe food poisoning episode like you mention, and being ill with those symptoms afterwards.) Getting very sick like you did seems to trigger a type of IBS (why they call it “post-infectious” or PI) in some people, and it happens to them suddenly (after having been horribly ill like you were) and with no past history of such digestive problems in their life before. There is actually a specific antibiotic that can be prescribed for such cases (which helps about half of those with PI-IBS, which is not great odds but much better than nothing!) called “rifaximin” or (brand name) “xifaxan”. (Standard dose for PI-IBS is 3 times a day for 14 days.) Really hope this info helps! (Additionally, a probiotic drink blend called “GoodBelly”, which you can find in the refrigerator case near the yogurt and kefir at many health food/grocery stores, can restore some of your gut biome, it would not be a substitute for the antibiotic treatment but a great supplement to it.) Best of luck, it may take a while to recover, but eventually you will feel better, as PI tends to resolve itself over time (as opposed to IBS with other causes or triggers.) Take care! 🙂

    3. Pam
      5 years ago

      It’s imperative that you restore your gut microbiome as soon as possible. You can get assistance with from a natural health professional. A colonoscopy won’t show the need for gut restoration. The symptoms you describe reflect a leaky gut and if left unchecked could evolve into more serious dis-ease in your body along the line of auto immunity. If you are unable to see a natural health professional, google leaky gut and follow the protocol until you get a definitive diagnosis from a practitioner.

    4. Charmaine Embleton
      5 years ago

      Hello Alexa,
      I hope this message finds you getting well.
      I have found Anthony Williams book ‘The Medical Medium’ extremely helpful and so with lots of other humans I know also.
      Do your own research on Anthony Williams and his books. He is wonderful.

      Sending you lots of LOve and Light your way. Stay Well and be Healthy.

      Charmaine Embleton

  52. Lori
    5 years ago

    I have had Crohns for over 30 years, I have a stricture in the area of my jejunum. That area keeps flaring up and as such my GI has put me on a no to very low fiber diet. Is it possible to build up my microbiome on this type of diet? At this point I am afraid of fiber.
    Thank you for any input you can give.

  53. Linda
    5 years ago

    I’m a REIKI Master so my body is treated as the temple of my soul. I recently found out I have leaky gut and SIBO, so my Naturopath put me on a round of heave duty/expensive antibiotics including the Mycin family which caused Tinnitus and moderate hearing loss in one ear. I am at a loss for words to comment how upset I am about this. I also have been on BIO ID Naturally Compounded HRT since age 47 and I am turning 68. I just found out that Women’s International Health Pharmacy compounds the HRT using SOY (which I’m very aware of the US SOY being GMO). What next? I have always attributed my bone density of a 30 year old to the success of the HRT but now that I found out it’s been made from SOY I feel like I’ve put a Glyphosate daily poison drip into my body. Next steps: stop taking the HRT and try detoxing my leaky gut using charcoal which attracts toxins to it like a magnet and passes them thru the body. I am eating a LOW FODMAP diet which has helped greatly! I have read a few of your books over the years and thank you for being a wise woman and pioneer for the rest of us!

    1. mary
      5 years ago

      It seems that you’ve stayed mostly well with strong bones in spite of these insults. I admire your positivity. Maybe undo the poison visual and see your self as cleared and being restored…. What do you think? You’re onto it but the self belief was working for you. Don’t be undermined. You are your own Goddess. That seems to be the message here and a great one!

    2. leigh smith
      5 years ago

      HRT has many other dangerous implications well beyond being made from soy. The research exists.

    3. Christiane Northrup
      5 years ago

      Most all bioidenticals start with soy or wild Mexican yam ( same with birth control pills). Then, individual phytoestrogens from them are isolated and synthesized into bioidentical hormones.
      What you’re getting is a pure bioidentical hormone, not anything like consuming GMO soy.

  54. Rob Cox
    5 years ago

    Hi there, I’m a 35 year old guy who suffered from Ulcerative Colitis, I’ve had surgery 6 years ago to remove my large intestine. I’m interested to know if and how I can improve my microbiome health, is it even possible if I no longer have my large intestine? I feel somehow that my microbiome suffered from my UC and has never restored itself. Any advise on what I should do is greatly appreciated!

    1. Mike
      5 years ago

      Hi Rob,

      There has been a recent and profound breakthrough in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

      The treatment, by conventional medical doctors in Australia, is about replacing the patient’s microbiome via infusion of balanced microbiome product directly into the gut. The doctors conducting the program advise that they have achieved a 100% UC cure rate following generally one, but sometimes two, infusions. Ecstatic patients have noted additional benefits such as the elimination of previously chronic arthritic disease.

      Australia’s television broadcaster, the ABC, ran an excellent episode on its Ask the Doctor series, (Series 1, Episode 9), which talks to doctors and patients involved with the treatment. You may still be able to review that episode on ABC’s iView portal at the following address/es:

      Good luck.

      1. Andrew
        5 years ago

        No that’s not for UC it’s for c Diff !!! And you call yourself an expert smh – 100 cure for UC ???

        1. banner
          5 years ago

          Hey andrew I had that cure done myself for UC. I know for sure it’s not a hundred percent cure, but for those it works for it can be amazing. I count myself as one. It’s been six months since i was treated and I’m basically where I was pre sickness health wise and I’m completely off my maintenance meds.

    2. Christiane Northrup
      5 years ago

      It is always possible
      To improve one’s gut microbiome. Even meditation will help. Read Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life… always relevant..

  55. Sandra
    5 years ago

    My question concerns my diagnosis of high stomach acid and GERD. In Oct. of 2013, i was diagnosed with anemia caused by a stomach full of oozing ulcerations and the esophageal biopsy revealed cellular changes conistent with the changes in Barrett’s disease. Dietary changes and one 40 mg omeprazole capsule daily were prescribed and I did them religiously and within two months the cellular changes in the esophagus were no longer present and only a small area of my stomach lining remained irritated and was still healing. The endoscopic pictures ‘beforeand after’ pictures were astounding, In the first, my stomach lining looked like a bag of stew meat, the rugosa were indistinguishable, two months later, there were normal pink stomach folds with only a tiny red ulcerated area. He told me then that I would need to take omeprazole for the rest of my life.

    Since that time, I have take the medication daily, but the recent flood of research on gut microbiomes and epigenetics and the effect of medications to reduce acid has made question my regimen. Are there any natural alternatives to treat my condition that you recommend to replace the omeprazole?

    1. Dave
      5 years ago

      Hi Sandra, thought you may be interested in my little story. I also suffer from GERD. About 5 years ago I was was taking 3 X omeprazole per day. I had shocking acid reflux!! After getting an endoscopy done I was told by the doctor that I had 4 bleeding stomach ulcers and what looked like cancer, my stomach looked shocking!! Thankfully my results came back cancer free but that was enough of a scare for me to do some research and change my lifestyle. I started out juicing cabbages everyday, this cured my ulcers, 3 months later after another endoscopy my stomach looked brand new! My doctor also told me I had to take omeprazole for the rest of my life due to GERD. No way I was doing that!! I raised the head of my bed by 8 inches (my head is 8 inches higher than my feet when I sleep) , I cut out all wheat, sugar, processed foods and alcohol from my diet. (scratch your arm with your nails, that is what gluten is doing to your insides when you eat it) will give you an idea how I eat now, its a high fat low carb diet. Im now 75kg and have lost over 25kg. Lots of vitamins are also a good idea and the information in this article is also a great way to go. Moral of the story is, you dont need to take omeprazole for the rest of your life!! By the way, my hiatus hernia is large so if I can do it anyone can!! Good luck;)

      1. Leigh
        5 years ago

        thanks for mentioning that you have a hiatal hernia – i thought that because of that, there was no cure. very informative comments. thanks

        1. Christiane Northrup
          5 years ago

          Great comment. And so helpful!

      2. Carol Parham
        4 years ago

        I also have a hiatal hernia and had GERD. I am also Celiac and on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. As long as I keep my gut microbiome healthy (and stay mostly on my SCD & grain free), I have NO symptoms. Taking probiotics/eating homemade yogurt cooked 24 hours AND limiting honey, my only sweetener, is essential.

    2. Connie Krall
      10 months ago

      I’m sorry but I think you’re getting the wrong advice from these doctors as you need more acid most likely. I have been through all of this and it destroyed me and I will never take those as a Loring drugs again. I have done Apple cider vinegar and I just enzymes and if I feel any symptoms I do Apple cider vinegar again and it works. Maybe get yourself a holistic practitioner

  56. Jessica
    5 years ago

    I’ve become interested since reading an article in the NYT about the link between a brain disorder I have and bacteria in the gut (Cavernous Malformation Syndrome). Are there different ways to heal the gut/heal the brain depending on one’s specific brain/biome? Or should I just eat gut healthy food?

  57. Margot Williams
    5 years ago

    I am celiac and have been in remission through lifestyle with my symptoms for years. Recently I started with digestive symptoms again distended colon, weight gain, with strange noises. I had a stool test which revealed somehow my microbiome literally never existed. I live Paleo and never ever cheat. I have had a very stressful year and a half with mother issues, but she recently passed. I am doing everything and more you suggest here to restore my gut it has been 15 days now taking probiotics and all mentioned with no improvements. How long can this take? Im desperate especially with the weight gain too

    1. Christiane Northrup
      5 years ago

      15 Days is not a lot of time..Be Patient..I might also suggest the Colorado Cleanse from Dr John Douillard, an Ayurvedic approach.

  58. Very nice article. My Functional Medicine Physician talks about the Four K’s: Kefir, Kombucha, Kraut and Kimchi! Nice to see the Four R’s! I have stayed away from gluten as well after learning about non-celiac gluten sensitivity from my son’s endocrinologist. I had breast cancer one year ago and elected to have a partial mastectomy to get rid of it. The wonderful team of Dr. Mel Silverstein, the Godfather of onco-plastic surgery and his plastic surgeon got a 72 mm high grade DCIS with microinvasion out with clear margins. Then the plastic surgeon cut the right breast down to size so I had a matching set! I was eatting a mostly raw diet and taking a dozen supplements for 5 months prior to surgery to get in the best shape I could be. One year later, I just had an MRI which came back with “no suspicous lesions” and no evidence of disease! I completely attribute my recovery to a diet of real food, no processed food, almost zero sugar except for the occasional piece of dark chocolate or when buried in a food item like kombucha….and rare chicken and fish….as well as a number of essential supplements like Vitamin D with K, DIM, I3C and curcumin among others. Thank you for your work towards real health!

  59. Thank you for your very balanced approach! It seems like so many tout that you must eat a certain way for optimal health, but there are a variety of ways to nourish the gut, and foods that are harmful to you can only be found by keeping a food journal and watching closely what works and what doesn’t. I am a big proponent, though, of eliminating the unhealthy carbs and eating fermented foods daily. If you can’t do dairy, eat kraut! And now you can get those wonderful, small-batch fermented veggies in most health food grocery stores! We are without excuse. 🙂

  60. Heather
    6 years ago

    When you say eat radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, jicama, asparagus, carrots, and, of course, garlic and turmeric do you mean raw or it it ok to eat them cooked?

    1. Dot
      6 years ago

      I believe raw.

      1. pephie
        5 years ago

        Certain of these vegetables should be eaten raw, in order to benefit from their “soluble fiber” – especially jicama and Jerusalem artichokes. Leeks and the whole onion family can be lightly saute’d or boiled, “al dente” still a bit firm. For turmeric, read up on how to make your own “Turmeric Paste” and keep a little jar of it in the fridge, and add it to just about any food or drink you are preparing. It can be cooked.

  61. Jesmond Mifsud
    6 years ago

    Thanks for your informative posts. I have been obsessing over the microbiome for the past three months. I used to suffer from severe anxiety, which plagued me throughout my entire life. Three months ago I started drinking home-made kefir daily (one glass in the morning, and another glass before bed). The effects were astounding. For the first time in my life, I am free from anxiety; haven’t had single moment of anxiety since introducing kefir into my diet. I am constantly learning new things about the importance of having a healthy gut. This post was very helpful.

    1. Sharleen
      5 years ago

      Would you mind sharing your recipe? And where do you buy the Kefir? Thank you.

      1. pephie
        5 years ago

        Kefir is basically easier to make than yogurt. You can order starter “kefir grains” from or get them from someone who makes kefir. The starter “grains” will multiply on their own, and you can pass them on to others!

      2. littledove
        5 years ago

        Sharleen, I make kefir, kombucha and kraut and kimchi. I ordered my grains from
        Donna Schwenk Cultured Food Life. They are shipped in milk, alive and ready to use.

        If you live in the stated i will be glad to send some of my kefir grains to you, will save you $. I also will share a live, active scobby for kombucha if you want one. Just let me know.

        Google Cultured Food Life and get lots of info.

  62. Lizzie
    6 years ago

    I was diagnosed with duodenal ulcer caused by Helicobacter Pylori. Took course of strong antibiotics, but it came back after a few years. I refused the next stage, even stronger, antibiotics. Now I am just keeping it under control using Mastic gum and slippery elm but when it is active I get very constipated. I’ve just started fermenting veg after listening to the interviews on the “better belly” summit, and hoping I can crowd out the bad bugs by loading up with good ones. I know when I take kefir my bowels are better, but I sometimes get ulcer pain and gas – I think the bad bugs fight back if they are threatened. So now it is all out war,

    1. pephie
      5 years ago

      The veggies Dr. Northrup is recommending are “prebiotics” and they are great for the microbes you already have. Pre-biotic’s are needed so that your microbes can ferment them. Try to eat more pre-biotic veggies — as well as consuming pro-biotic fermented or cultured foods. Maybe you can build up gradually so that you get less gas.

    2. M. van der Linden
      5 years ago

      You might consider adding a tea of Phyllanthus niruri to your regimen. In the June 2012 issue of Phytotherapy Research (26:791-799), scientists from the US and Chile reporting that Phyllanthus niruri inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, suggested three mechanisms for this result:
      1) It can inhibit H. pylori invasion and adhesion to human gastric epithelial cells.
      2)The biphenolics contribute to H. pylori cell membrane breakdown.
      3)The querticin in P. niruri acts as a urease enzyme inhibitor.
      Another advantage of P. niruri is that it doesn’t affect friendly bacteria. Probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria can be taken concurrently with P.niruri.

  63. Chris
    6 years ago

    Hello. At the end of the food elimination section you have coffee listed with artificial sweeteners and alcohol. Those two I understand but why coffee? I drink black coffee. No dairy added and no sweeteners of any kind. No lattes, mochas, caps or any of that kind of thing because of all the unnecessary sugar in them.

    1. Joe Smith
      6 years ago

      Coffee is a stimulant. Avoid coffee because it disrupts sleep, your metabolism, it increases your stress hormone and is a diuretic, which means you pass urine more often and therefore minerals you need for your body to function properly are flushed away; and these are just a few side affects.

      You’re better off switching to green tea – macha tea is a great pick-me-up and is full of nutrients and antioxidants due to it being grown in the shade, and made from young leaves.

      1. Kubda
        6 years ago

        Some research shows that green tea is the highest tea source of aluminium.

        1. Heather
          5 years ago

          Really? I didn’t know that. Makes sense why everytime I reach for the green tea my hand twitches and reaches for the turmeric tea instead. Haven’t used the green tea in a while. Now I know why. Straight on the bin it goes 🙂

        2. pephie
          5 years ago

          Here is an article that explains why the aluminum in tea is not likely to be dangerous, as it is not absorbed, and it is also relatively low. Even 6 cups of tea per day is 1/4 of the amount that would be dangerous, and even the aluminum in 6 cups is mostly not absorbed by the body.
          (Aluminum is one of the most common elements on planet Earth, so perhaps it makes sense that our bodies can deal with a bit of it!)

  64. Amy
    6 years ago

    I’ve tried proboitics, enzymes, Paleo diet, vegetarian diets, fasting, juicing, glutamine (for months without ceasing), exercising regularly and everything in between. Yet I still suffer from abdominal pain, chronic constipation, fatigue, and occasional nausea. I have a gluten sensitivity and haven’t eaten gluten in over 6 years and have eliminated dairy for over a year also. I’m really at my wits end with it, and have no idea what else to try.

    1. Sandra Cason
      6 years ago

      HI Amy,

      I had to reply because I have the same issues, tried the same things, but still have these issues. My heart goes out to you.

      1. Sara
        6 years ago

        Have you had your thyroid checked? Low thyroid can cause constipation and fatigue and some vague abdominal pain.

        1. Penny
          5 years ago

          After having your thyroid THOROUGHLY checked, stop eating every type of wheat and refined sugar. Your digestion may protest for a while over losing its crutch! Sugar in one fruit a day is OK. I’ve done this for years. Pennyi

          1. Patty
            5 years ago

            Do you cut out any other foods Penny? What improvements have you seen.

        2. Connie Krall
          10 months ago

          Lugols iodine daily at 3 to 5 drops a day helps my hypothyroid. If my energy is low it’s always low iodine as , If I miss any iodine supplementation. Have your Dr check iodine deficiency!!

    2. Dani B
      6 years ago

      Have you been tested for Candida?

    3. Jacqui
      6 years ago

      Just wondering if you have been tested for parasites?

    4. Kelly Servello
      6 years ago

      I’ve done everything under the sun. Maybe it is Gasteoparesis. You possibly are just eating too much at a time no matter if it is healthy or not, so limit portions or not digesting your food at all leading to the stomach paralysis. I am going for my test tuesday. I am doing everything you are. Also make sure you skin all your vegetables and fruits!!!! This helped me as well. Steam your veggies (non starchy). And yes maybe you have candida as well. Find a holistic MD to speak to. Good luck!!!

      1. JAN LEVINE
        6 years ago

        Should have included this also by Dr. Mabry,, Eating plants increases your risk of developing an autoimmune disease due to “Leaky Gut Dr Mabry will also answer questions on a general level.

      6 years ago

      Check out this video,, Little Shop of Horrors? The Risks and Benefits of Eating Plants — Georgia Ede, M.D.

    6. Kubda
      6 years ago

      Sounds like your next adventure is a trip down Heavy Metal Lane. If you have a heavy metal burden, it will undermine everything you are doing until you shift some of the heavy metals we all live with….. that is, if you haven’t already looked at the heavy metals. Best wishes

    7. Pam McAfee
      6 years ago

      You might look into Dr Amy Myers autoimmune protocol. You can find it on her website. She’s in Austin, Tx where I live so I was able to go to her in person, and after a year I was so much better. My gastro did tests and could find nothing wrong. She ordered a stool test and besides candida I had a parasite. You would think a gastro would have thought of that… I have been following the protocol for 6 years now and at 65 feel better than I have in years. (And no, I don’t work for her.) She has just helped me and my whole family and a number of friends. Her website is a wealth of information. Feeling bad is no fun! Hope you find a solution that works for you:-).

    8. Denise
      6 years ago

      I’m a huge believer in the benefits of food journaling. I went through similar symptoms… I learned that gluten is definitely out… But although my symptoms lessened in intensity and frequency, they were still occurring… (And on an off and on basis.) Finally, I began the process of recording everything I consumed for a year. I can now name my list of foods that I know I cannot tolerate, as well as those which I can eat in moderation or prepared certain ways (is, cooked vs raw). On my website ( I offer more insights into how “food journaling saved my sanity”, as well as “tips for the timid”. Now any time I eat something new that disagrees with me, I know right away. It’s pretty miraculous, and really ties in with the fact that no one size fits all when it comes to health! So worth the little bit of extra effort.

    9. Julia
      6 years ago

      Perhaps you should try lectin avoidance to help. Listen to Dr. Gundry speak about “Turning off Autoimmunity with a Lectin Avoidance Diet.”

    10. KB
      6 years ago

      Try IsoThrive prebiotic! It is a miracle for the gut and bowel. I tried everything as well. This fermented prebiotic coats the gut and squeezes out bad bacteria ..Allowing good bacteria to thrive. Reduces bloating, sugar cravings etc. Order on Amazon

    11. Mary Blaha
      6 years ago

      The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was a lifesaver for me. I had severe ulcerative colitis following C.Diff which was brought on by overuse of prescribed antibiotics for repeated sinus infections. Before I became so sick, no one told me about probiotics.
      After a month and a half on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, all of my symptoms resolved. It is imperative to follow it exactly.
      It even cleared up my chronic sinus issues and high triglycerides.

    12. 2D
      6 years ago

      Hi Amy. Have suffered 25 years and pretty much tried it ALL. I come back again and again to The Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Elaine Gotschalls book “Braeaking The Vicious Cycle”……( because that’s exactly what it is….vicious). Every time I get better….get into bad foods…..follow her protocol… works!!!! And boy do I feel good. Her premise is stay on this diet a few years until gut heals. Hard!!! To keep true to it because you start feeling better and begin eating wrong. BANG!!! You get in trouble again Hope this has helped Good luck.

    13. Lemurian Grandmother
      6 years ago

      Are you eating conventionally raised meat? If so you’re getting a dose of antibiotics every time. Go organic and see if it helps.

    14. AmyT
      5 years ago

      As it has been 6 months since you posted, I hope you have found some relief. For me, the final piece(s) of the puzzle were giving up all things bird (eggs, chicken, turkey, etc), beans, and oats which had been diet staples for me. Perhaps retrying a food eliminations/allergy diet might help to identify further food sensitivities? If you aren’t already seeing one, a rheumatologist consultation might also be in order to check for autoimmune disease.

    15. ellen kroese
      5 years ago

      research FODMAP out of Australia or Standford University. Might give you a clue.

  65. Bobbi-Jo
    6 years ago

    Hi Dr Northrup! Thank you for taking time to provide information and answer questions. I have for the last 3 or so months had
    -cramping in the lower abdominal area (if I were to guess the area I would say ovaries) when the cramping is there my knees also ache.
    – bloating, heaviness, gas, discomfort, irritable mood
    – yeast infection
    I’ve attempted to treat the yeast infection and was seemingly successful, then I was put on antibiotics, of course now the yeast infection has returned.
    I have been taking probiotics but during the time I was on antibiotics I was told that taking probiotics with antibiotics would weaken/void the affect of the antibiotic. Is this true?
    I noticed in your above info that you suggest a probiotics while taking antibiotics.
    Also can you suggest a way to get my healthy microbes back so that the yeast infection goes away. Since I have had these issues (the last 3 months) I have also been lethargic and have gained weight (15 lbs).
    Ps, problems began when I took a 5 day dose of Valtrex.
    Thank you!

  66. Jacksi
    6 years ago

    You didn’t mention about resistant starches, like, potato starch, tapioca starch, green banana flour, etc…I’ve been taken starch mixed in a glass of water 2x pet day and my digestive system has been very smooth: no bloating, no burping, no belching. Regularity is also improved. The micro biome loves to eat the starches and well fed micro biome gives us better general health.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      6 years ago

      Hi Jacksi, This is great information. Thanks for adding it to the topic. This will help many!

  67. Peri Gordon
    6 years ago

    I too wonder about trying to schedule a session with Anthony William. Please let us know if you feel it is worth the $500.
    I have a condition my doctor have not been able to diagnose. I thought it might be worth a try having a session with him
    Thanks. I value your opinion.

    1. Christiane Northrup
      6 years ago

      Anthony William is no longer doing private sessions. I would recommend Ray Vielleux, the Health Medium, also from Maine. Ray’/ work is excellent . And is right in line with Anthony’s. At a much lower cost.

  68. Angie
    7 years ago

    Dr Northrup,

    2 years ago, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in situ in my right breast. My record says the size of the carcinoma “in submitted cores is 0.7-0.9 cm.” My lymp node biopsy was negative. I was told I had stage 1 breast cancer. Because I got too scared, I had a double mastectomy. I’ve been trying to live a healthy life by cutting all sugar from my diet and eating a lot of vegetables, no more processed food, and do yoga and tai chi. My blood work every 3- 4 months had been all “very good” according to my oncologist. But I’m on Tamoxifen and on my last visit to my doctor, she said that studies show now that instead of taking Tamoxifen for 5 years, it is now better to take it for 10 years ! I don’t even want to read anymore about the side effects of Tamoxifen. But my heart is telling me to stop taking this medication and I feel Im being over diagnosed. I bought one of your audio downloads and was listening to you on Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and heard you mention about ductal carcinoma in situ and Tamoxifen. Somehow, I just want to get off it without my oncologist permission. Can you please guide me?

      6 years ago

      Starving cancer: Dominic D’Agostino at TEDxTampaBay,
      How Do People Get Cancer | Cancer Awareness | Memorial Sloan Kettering,

      This site does have Christian material, and some controversial material, I use it for the excellent health info, esp info on carbs.
      Tackling Brain Cancer with Ketogenics: Presenting Andrew Scarborough,
      Andrew is on Twitter, so he updates regularly.
      I am not a doctor, but find after much research some info here very beneficial.

  69. Morris Masaracchia
    7 years ago

    Another way to keep your microbial balance on an even keel is to take as few courses of antibiotics as possible. This will help minimize the carpet-bombing effect antibiotics have on gut microbes. Antibiotics indiscriminately take out everything in their path — including the good gut flora your body needs to support long-term health. When your doc or dentist prescribes antibiotics, politely but firmly ask if they’re absolutely, necessary. If the answer is yes, then insist on the shortest course possible.

    1. Alex
      7 years ago

      I understand where you are coming from, but I slightly disagree. While maintain a large amount of good bacteria and many strains of it is a massive issue, if someone has a bacterial infection they should stay on a course of antibiotics until the infection is completely gone. It is incredibly dangerous to walk around with an infection left in the body. I would want to make sure it’s out of my system. A course of antibiotics shouldn’t clear out all bacteria in the gut. Bacteria usually grows back (as long as you follow the aforementioned advice by Dr. Northrup. People can also use natural antibacterial herbs and plants which fight infection. I’m more worried about how the antibiotics in meat has and is affecting everyone’s microbiome and intestinal wall. While these are my thoughts on this, I now wonder why Dr. Northrup would suggest.

    2. Annette
      7 years ago

      While you shouldn’t take MORE antibiotics than nessesary you really need to take what is needed to actually get the infection out to not foster resistant bacteria (don’t stop taking your antibiotic without consulting your doctor!) I’m hoping that your doctor wouldn’t prescribe more than what is needed, so you don’t have to ask weather or not he is giving you too much. But who knows… It really also depends on the type of infection. If it’s relatively harmless your body might be able to deal with it on its own.

  70. You advised “yogurt (not processed)” what yogurt is non-processed?

    1. Elizabeth
      7 years ago

      Barbara – Dr. Northrup might mean homemade yogurt for a non-processed alternative. Commercial yogurt has a lot of sugar.

      1. liz
        6 years ago

        Buy plain yogurt—no sugar!

    2. Rick Acree
      6 years ago

      I believe she is recommending we consume yogurt that contains live cultures. Processing milk (or soy milk, or other) before the yogurt culture is grown is expected and has benefits such as eliminating unwanted bacteria. Homogenization, or other harmful processing after the yogurt has grown would kill the beneficial live cultures.

      Consuming yogurt that contains sugar can be considered counter productive. Eliminating sugar is one of the 4Rs. And when it comes to sugar, just don’t… don’t feed the yeast.

  71. Gina
    7 years ago

    Hi Christine and fellow sharers,
    Thanks you for valuable insight.
    I had my appendix removed (open surgery) last year after it burst the year before. I was diagnosed with IBS-C @ 15 years ago, and am now post-menopausal. I wonder how much of a factor hormones and hypothyroidism play in transit time? I continue to find time to breathe deep, get my heart rate up and eat vegetables. Still having issues. Even looking into the FODMAP diet. Any insight, anyone?

    1. Joe
      6 years ago

      Hi Gina,
      The appendix is now thought to be an important reservoir of bacteria (we finally know it’s purpose). So, after a case of diarrhea, the appendix plays a role in re-establishing the normal flora of the large intestine. Sorry for the bad news.
      The FODMAP diet does help many with IBS-D. and is worth trying.
      Re-setting this ecosystem of bacteria via an FMT is working for some. The best in the world is Dr. Thomas Borody, Centre for Digestive Diseases, Australia. Though for IBS-C his success rate is 20% to 30%. For IBS-D he is achieving an 80% success rate. [you can read about this in “10% Human” by Alanna Collen] It appears IBS-C is more of a challenge. I suspect this is because it is connected with an imbalance of the flora in the small intestine, and an FMT does not change that flora, it only changes the flora in the large intestine.
      The best I can say is to eat fresh fruits and fresh vegetables {as long as you can tolerate them] The fresher the better. It turns out that fresh fruits and fresh vegetables actually have good, beneficial microbes on them, the ones we need. So, the fresher the better. Good probiotic foods are also helpful.
      There is a great deal of interest in restoring the microbiome. I would encourage you to keep an important clue in mind ; a baby establishes their microbiome over the first three years of life. What is going on during that period ? Well for one, babies crawl on the floor, and put everything they can in their mouths. What we haven’t realized is ; we shed our microbiomes as we walk (it’s normal). Thus, the baby is sampling others microbiomes, and small amounts of dirt, when they put their fingers in their mouth. Quite a normal and important process. It’s an important clue into how our microbiomes are established early on in our life. Another thing happening during this first three years of life ; breastfeeding. I suspect one day we will find important enzymes or bacteria that are helpful in the establishment of the microbiome, in breast milk. It’s another important clue. We already know there are bacteria in breast milk, and I hope more studies are underway.

      Also worth noting; we can’t expect to restore health to our microbiomes unless we stop the damage to these ecosystems. We need to eliminate our use of antibacterial soaps and other antibacterial products. We need to purchase meat that was raised without antibiotics. We need to re-examine our use of mouthwash and toothpaste, and ask if these are hurting our good, friendly bacteria. We need to eliminate our practice of bathing in and drinking chlorinated water {not that it is not important, it is, but one should consider removing it at the tap, after all, chlorine kill bacteria} We need to eliminate the digestion of products that have been produced using Roundup (which has been found to damage our good bacteria). We need to avoid processed foods, as the emulsifiers in these processed foods cause inflammation in the gut (harmful to the microbiome) So, simply said; we need to look for every way that we are harming this ecosystem and stop that harm first. Then, we can go about trying to re-establish diversity.
      In some cultures they eat dirt. Dr. Josh Axe has a book called, “Eat Dirt”. I haven’t decided if this is the right approach, or not. Yet I hope we will have more research on this soon.

      One more thing. It is well known that athletes tend to have more diverse microbiomes. There is something about regular exercise that helps the body to establish a more diverse microbiome (which is what we want !) So, get moving. It is an important part in re-establishing your flora. Couple this with raw, fresh vegetables, every day.
      best wishes.

      1. shan shimbo
        6 years ago

        Question about eating raw fresh vegetables. I have a question about non-organic vegetables. i cannot afford every vegetable as organic. I wash non-organic vegetables in vinegar water to remove pesticides. but won’t that also kill the bacteria?


        1. Darren
          6 years ago

          Google: Clean fifteen and the dirty dozen. This may help.

        2. Lisa
          6 years ago

          Unfortunately, RoundUp, which contains glyphosate and other chemicals, is absorbed by the plant so it can’t be “washed off”.

  72. Caterina
    7 years ago

    Can you please recommend me a probiotic and a digestive enzyme?? I am a little bit confuse if they can be some supplements in my diet. Thanks in advance.

  73. Joan Mansson
    7 years ago

    Dr. Northrop,
    Is there anyone or any layman’s literature that deals with the issue of nutrition and weight gain after a colostomy and ileostomy ? I’ve been working on this since my surgery in Jan. 2014 learning only that hi fiber vegetables are a waste money.
    Thank you.

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      Hi Joan– first of all, I want you to know that your BODY always knows that it is WHOLE. I just had a session with Anthony William this week– the renowned medical medium. And he said something I’ve always felt intuitively. And that is that women’s bodies always KNOW they are whole– even if an organ has been removed. So– start there. Then I’d make sure you are on a really good probiotic. And also a great multivitamin. You may well have to put the vitamin in a blender to chop it up first!! Blessings!!

      1. Jessica Pykiet
        7 years ago

        What did you think of your session with Anthony William? I’ve been reading his book and had great results healing from Epstein Barr Virus. I was wondering if it’s worth trying to get a personal session.

      2. Teresa
        7 years ago

        Hi Christine, I am also very curious about your reading with Anthony. I have read his book and I am thinking whether an appointment with him is necessary. Perhaps a blog on the topic would be really helpful? 🙂

        1. Janet B Jacobsen
          6 years ago

          I’m a physical therapist and I too would like to know whether to recommend my clients pay $500.00 for a 1/2 hour phone visit with Anthony William. Thank you for all you’ve done Dr Northrup.

      3. Trasa
        6 years ago

        Hello lovely Dr I would dearly love if you could tell me what is a really good probiotic as there are so many on the shelves and I never really know which one I should buy. I live in Dublin so hopefully I can get what you recommend here. Thank you for all your wonderful wisdom in our lives. Blessings too

  74. Andrea Sargeant
    7 years ago

    Thank you for the book references and the multi-level approach. We are so fortunate you publicly share such valuable information!

  75. Ione
    7 years ago

    Hello and thankyou for all you so generously give
    us with your vast knowledge on health issues .
    I find that another component to good digestion
    is adequate sleep. My body does not digest properly
    and seems to just shut down when I’m sleep deprived .
    It also seems to be the time I crave sugar or unhealthy
    processed snacks for energy . So for me , sleep is another
    key component to healthy digestion .

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      Dear Ione, Boy are you RIGHT on THAT ONE!!! Sleep– and lots of it– is my number one personal medicine!! Thank you!! Christiane

      1. Joan Mansson
        7 years ago

        Thank you. I’ll have a new conversation with my body.

      6 years ago

      Please read book, Lights Out, Sugar, Sleep and Survival by Bent Formby and T.S. Wiley. Available used on Amazon.

  76. Elizabeth Peterson
    7 years ago

    The only problem with eating meat is it keeps you on the acid side and we want an alchali system so Paleo is fine for the vegtables.

    1. Eileen
      6 years ago

      Lots of veg will correct that.

  77. Esther
    7 years ago

    I bought your book from because first of all, I truly love and resonate with the goddess analogy to a woman’s life; and secondly, I was recently diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue. I’m just getting back on my feet and back to work after four months of sick-leave. I found your book to be extremely helpful in understanding the dis-ease in my life and highly recommend it to anyone suffering from an immune deficiency condition. In 2007 I started to eat gluten-free, but lately my body has called me to eat organically. I made the switch and after my recent diagnosis, I did kidney, liver, and gallbladder flushes. I found those cleanses were comparable to an oil change and tune-up in my car. In order for a car to run efficiently, without sputtering and stalling, the engine must be clean. Same with our bodies. If we put something other than the recommended gas in our car, it might not even run. Our beautiful bodies were designed to eat “real” food — organic food. Also, our bodies were designed to eat food, not drugs. I had to find a new M.D. to support me in my new way of living, and so was able to locate a Functional Medicine Doctor, who I dearly love. She is simply awesome! Thank you, Dr. Christiane Northrup for inspiring me with your book to believe in my body, to know I could be truly well!
    We all deserve health and wellness!

    1. Carrie
      7 years ago

      Hi can you Facebook friend me and please tell me about the cleanses you did? I’d love to try those “tune ups” too and really need to!! Thank you 🙂 Carrie Ann Wolak

    2. Christiane
      7 years ago

      Dear Esther– you are right on the mark. I love hearing about your success!! Thank you. Christiane

      1. Alex
        7 years ago

        Dr. Northrup,
        Do you recommend certain fasts or cleanses?

        1. JAN LEVINE
          6 years ago

          Please check out, ,DR. ART AYERS blog.

  78. Patty
    7 years ago

    After an intense flair up with diverticulitis I discovered a book called FIBER MENACE by Konstanin Monastryrsky which was so helpful in understanding how our intestines work. His advise was eye opening in explaining how we are taking in too much fiber and it is causing more problems than it is solving. High fiber works for awhile then other issues develope from it and are never associated with it, then we are advised to take in more fiber. Read the reviews on Amazon. Their is also a website so you might not have to buy the book.

    1. Linda
      7 years ago

      Everything in moderation and that includes fiber. My brother used to laughingly say about me. “My sister eats nothing but twigs and berries.” Well, after a colonoscopy, I had a small section of my colon removed because I had two large polyps that may have resulted in colon cancer if not caught in time. So even though it’s healthy to include fiber, too much of any one, good, thing may not be the answer. Balance is the answer.

  79. Diane Brisebois
    7 years ago

    I keep my gut healthy by doing a 24-hour fast once a week. I drink only water during those 24 hours. I have been doing it for over 20 years and if I happened to be travelling and skip my fast, I really feel the difference, feeling more bloated and missing my 24-hour fast. So I do this religiously once a week and feel so much better having eliminated and cleansed. I sometimes add chlorophyl in my water as I know some people have difficulty drinking just plain water and it is actually beneficial.

  80. Connie
    7 years ago

    Dr. N, will this way of eating help with IBS? I have just been diagnosed and am searching for a way to naturally alleviate the symptoms. Thank you so very much for all you do.
    With love and deep gratitude, Connie

    1. Kimberly
      7 years ago

      It can help IBS, absoloutely. My husband had issues with it for years, now with a clean diet and eliminating foods that caused the issue he hasn’t had symptoms in a few years

    2. Christiane
      7 years ago

      Hi Connie– Kimberly is absolutely right. I’ve seen IBS and even Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis heal with good diets. Especially all organic food and eliminating most grains and even dairy for a while.

  81. Audrey
    7 years ago

    I’ve struggled with IBS with constipation my entire adult life. Many years ago, stopped eating processed foods, fried foods and soda and had very few IBS symptoms after. The constipation and bloating always remained an issue though. On the advice of my chiropractor a year ago, I removed white flour and sugar from my diet, and to my amazement, everything started moving! I also work two tablespoons of flax seed into my diet each day and the results are life changing! My gastro dr. has always pushed medication, which I’ve resisted. Really makes me mad that conventional western docs don’t give easy, natural advice..and I know they know this stuff works! I’m now looking for a holistic dr. Love you dr. Northrop!

    1. Gina
      7 years ago

      I have IBSC as well. Audrey, do you grind your flax seeds? Have you tried chia seeds?
      Has anyone tried the FODMAP diet?
      Looking for ways to get things running more smoothly

  82. Nancy
    7 years ago

    I’m wondering what effect Microwaves have on our health. Do you think they alter the nutritional value of food? They must surely kill the good bacteria? I would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      I try to avoid microwaves. They absolutely destroy nutrients and kind of NUKE our food. Best to use regularly cooking methods.

  83. Mary
    7 years ago

    I am a fan of your work, Dr. Northrup, but I wish you had phrased your comments about the Paleo diet in this blog differently. If someone stopped reading before the end, she would think that you don’t encourage Paleo, but further down the blog, you do exactly that. I would add that I’ve had great results from Dr. Davis’ “Wheat Belly” diet, and would encourage everybody to try it as a variation on an elimination protocol.

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      HI Mary– thanks for this comment. I love Bill Davis’s work and also that of David Perlmutter- author of Grain Brain. I think that what everyone agrees on these days is that healthy fats are very important. And that refined carbs are not good. I had a recent reading with Anthony William the Medical Medium– and he told me that no one ever go a fatty liver from eating bananas. He’s a fan of healthy fruits and legumes. The area is evolving as it should. But what we all know is that the notion of “low fat” eating is obsolete and scientifically wrong.

      1. Alice
        6 years ago

        I just recently pretty much stopped using free fats after reading comments by Dr. John McDougal. I have had on-going problems with sporadic unintended stool passage off and on for years sometimes quite significant requiring a lot of bleaching and discarding of underwear. Now, cooking in liquid I am finally seeing a cessation! Even Psyllium seed hulls in water had only helped part of the time before. I eat a no grain omnivore diet with lots of veggies and some fruit.

  84. Janine
    7 years ago

    Dear Dr. NORTHRUP. I’ve been healing my gut for the last 2 years. And I found that my giving up processed foods have helped with my bladder. Before I used to eat the standard american diet. I use to drink normal amount of water. But I always felt like I had to pee. My daughter would joke and say I had the bladder the size of a pea. I recently went to a high tea and I drank a whole teapot and a cup. And I didn’t need to go to the ladies room. Please share my finding with people so they don’t have to wear those new undergarments for there bladders or take pills. I love how you empower women everyday. Love you. Many blessings to all Janine

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      Great comment!! Thank you!

  85. Joan
    7 years ago

    I have been inclined to years of constipation. Doctors, even after a colonoscopy, have said I need to add more fibre in the form of cereals and grains. I reduced my meat consumption in order to increase my fiber consumption, hoping not to keep too much weight. Then, in addition to constipation, I was always feeling bloated. After reading Joan Borysenco’s Plants Plus Diet Solution and your book Goddesses Never Age, I eliminated all grains and processed foods and began eating more vegetables, fermented foods, and appropriate meat and dairy products, probiotics and digestive enzymes. Drum roll please, no more constipation and bloating. After a month, of feeling great, I started adding back one form of grain at a time. It seems I can tolerate oats and wild rice, but that is about it. TA DA!

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      Bravo!! And thank you for sharing the great news!!

  86. dawn
    7 years ago

    Dear christine
    thankyou for the advice however since being diagnosed 2 years ago with cfs from a head injury etc,I have tried and tested many different supplements and therapies
    i have been gluten free for 18months been taking a very good probiotic and am mindful of what i eat,i do need to have coffee to start my day as without this i simply cannot function
    my digestive problem is most concerning as still without taking constipation tablets regularly there is no movement,i live in wiltshire half an hr from glastonbury (bradford on avon) and although I am greateful to have a caring gp need i say anymore to what i have just shared
    glad you felt the magic of glastonbury since my head injury and my huge awakening i now live mostly by synchronicity and flow,
    any advice would be much appreciated
    wishing you a happy autumn equinox

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      HI Dawn, It’s fun to think of you living in the fairy realms over there– which I fell in love with. I suggest that you go to And read all the testimonials. And also do the free healing program. Really DO IT. And if at all possible, get in on one of Robert Fritchie’s Divine Love healing webinars. You can heal just about ANYTHING this way!!

  87. Traci Rae Wong
    7 years ago

    The top of my foot has been hurting and I’ve been having acid reflux symtoms at night along with hot flashes and heart palpitations. I ate about a cup of sourkraut last night and experienced no acid reflux, slept much better and my foot is not hurting as much. Not sure if it’s all related but plan to eat sourkraut nightly now. Thank you for this article!

  88. Anna Marker
    7 years ago

    Hi Dr. Northrup!

    You are my go to Goddess. So much so that I am going to Stewart Springs next week! I can hardly wait. I have been dealing with EMFs in my home and really need the springs to heal. Your information on Stewart Springs was a gift.

    As far as a probiotic, how do you feel about kefir. It is all the rage right now since Donna Schwenk came to Hay House. I have been making it religiously since June and have shared my grains with friends and they are spreading it also. I use raw milk as pasteurized rapes the milk of enzymes. Only problem is weight gain.

    If you have the time for a comment, that would be great.


    Anna Marker

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      Enjoy those hot baths and the sauna and cold plunge!!! And give the Stewart Springs masculine /feminine springs altar a little prayer for me!!

      I adore Kefir– but– it can be really high in calories. which, unfortunately, do count at least to some extend. SO– I get my probiotics from fermented foods, raw milk yogurt, and the USANA brand probiotic.

  89. Armechia
    7 years ago

    I have Acid reflux along with weight gain & OCD. I currently take a probiotic and you suggest a probiotic I can use long term.

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      I use the USANA brand. And I am a USANA distributor ( full disclosure). You can order through my healthstore on this site. Dr. David Perlmutter makes a good brand which is available through natural food stores. It’s called FitBiotic. I also very much like PB8 which is widely available in natural food stores. Hope this helps.

  90. Sandra I Biascoechea
    7 years ago

    Love your article about the gut. I have lots
    of problems with Candidiasis, that is also
    in my blood, and feels like anemic symptoms
    all the time. No energy at all. I will try your
    recommendations to see if I improve. I will
    let you know. Thanks

  91. Annelies
    7 years ago

    Very clarifying, whilst cutting through the hyberbole. Thank you! Will share with my loved ones.

  92. Kat
    7 years ago

    Dear Christine,
    As a child clinical psychologist I am really intregued about how the micro biome also impacts on mental health! Fascinating! Some friends of mine who teach ACIM based course in the UK also make a fantastic probiotics. Their business is called Microbz and based in the Uk. I am an avid fan of the chalice well also! Isn’t it fabulous!
    Best wishes

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      HI Kat– I brought some Chalice well water home with me. Will use it to baptize my little new grand daughter soon. Thanks for the heads up about Microbz!!!

  93. Sharon Hill
    7 years ago

    Since having my gallbladder removed 12/20014, I have had bloating, gas, soft stools, and malaise. I was told by the Dr. that I am now lactose intolerant and removal of cows milk has relieved most symptoms and by drinking Metamucil at night. Will this go away with time and is this normal? I am 67 and in very good health otherwise and am very active; walking, hiking, skiing. Thank you.

  94. Rebecca
    7 years ago

    What kind of enzymes (ie brand /specific enzymes) are needed to support digestion? I have been looking into this, and doing the other things you suggest, but still not sure about what enzymes.

  95. RaeMarie
    7 years ago

    In my experience with Hashimotos, I needed to eat organic because our food supply is loaded with Genetically Modified Organisms and our wheat supply is drenched with Round-up (glysophate) which causes intestinal damage and can cause cancer. Organic flour is tolerable for me.

  96. Sue
    7 years ago

    Thank you Dr. Northrup!
    I will check out the resources you have given! I am an RN who has always had a “strong stomach”, but developed digestive issues with long term stressful situations (e.g.caring for and loss of a loved one). I am improving and on my way back to my usual health. I am doing many of the things you recommend already and I believe that part of our problems in today’s society is not taking time to sit down and enjoy our food! That is something I have always felt was crucial to good nutrition! So, I am making real effort to do that, also! I always taught my daughters, “eat slowly and enjoy each morsel”. I am in great health, and want to maintain that! Thanks for what you do!

  97. mary grace
    7 years ago

    I have been suffering with gerd since I was seventeen. The symptoms have not been consistent until this past year. My PCP has me taking 40 mg of generic Prilosec x1/day. My results in the two months that I have been taking it, are fair. I also have osteoporosis and cannot take supplemental calcium due to increased gerd symptoms when I take it. I am CONFUSED as to the program plan that is correct for me. HELP.

    Mary Grace Decker

  98. Donna Mae Smith
    7 years ago

    Wonderful article. I recently was diagnosed with pancreatitis. I was in pain all summer and all the doctors could say was don’t eat fried foods or drink alcohol. Late August I received an email inviting me to free webcast titled Happy Belly. I listened to Dr. Ruthmarie Loscalzo for 90 minutes and then signed up for her Happy Belly class. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. She teaches the same subject/material you wrote about in this article and for the first time in 3 months I have some pain relief. I still have a ways to go but I’m on the right path and feeling so much better. It was nice to read and confirm what I am learning on your website since I respect your advice and knowledge. Thank You for all you do.

  99. Joan
    7 years ago

    After many years I found the key to healthy weight loss but I have Crohn’s disease and now an ileostomy. My diet changed and after regaining the surgery loss I seemed to be okay with a return to no caffeine, no sugar and limited wheat. Month s later I began to gain weight until now I weigh what I did before the original weight loss. No one seems able to explain this beyond my body needs nutrition and you’re overeating. Occasionally yes when I have a pity party I have donuts. But 1700 calories is not enough to gain weight. How has losing my colon effected the digestive process beyond not digesting fiber. My diet at this point is little sugar no caffeine and minimal wheat. My greatest concern is keeping fiber low because of the bag. I’m 65 and ready to just relax into a world of coffee and donuts.

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      I would suggest Jon Gabriel’s book on Visualization for Weight Loss. It’s fabulous. And will help heal you on many levels. ( I also love your comment about coffee and donuts–cause we ALL feel that way sometimes.)

    2. Patricia
      6 years ago

      In today’s world, I think we need to look carefully at our daily dietary intake because for 50 years we have been systematically eliminating all forms of fats and oils. Dr. Mark HYMAN’S book, EAT FAT GET THIN, is a marvelous book to begin understand the BIG role good dietary fats have on our system and general health. Do you eat enough good fats, along with you protocol presently? And, since you are a coffee drinker, have you researched Bullet-Proof Coffee? What a delight!

  100. Kenneth Greenblatt
    7 years ago

    Dr. Chris, Thank you!! Miss you!! Love, Ken

  101. jorunnninnimehammer
    7 years ago

    I love your simple way to explain health issues and give advice! Thank you for that and for making me and of course all of your readers and listeners understand that there is simple but powerful things we can do ourselves to improve our health!

  102. Susan Spanedda
    7 years ago

    Can u please give me some advice on nausea. It’s been 2 days with feeling awful. Vomiting and not feeling better at all.

    I’m drinking ginger ale. Seems to help but not for long.

    Thank you.

  103. Sonia
    7 years ago

    I am wondering about your views on stevia. I have been using it in place of sugar for years in my tea or coffee and sometimes worry thati will find out it is EVEN worse than sugar… I hope not. Please comment.

  104. Eskander Sharifi
    7 years ago

    First of all I wanna thank you for your posts. I don’t even know why I am writing to you. My 34 old daughter has lupus and under treatment. I wanna study Lupus (autoimmune illness). Please can you guide me as to what books I should read. I will always be indebted to you and pray for you and your family. Thank you very much.

    1. Christiane
      7 years ago

      I use stevia all the time. Especially the NuStevia brand. I’m even thinking of growing some in my yard next summer.Where did you read that it’s worse than sugar?

    2. Christiane
      7 years ago

      Hi Eskander– so sorry about your daughter. Many many people recover from Lupus. Start with suggesting she stop all gluten and eat organic foods.

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