Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health. Today is about listening to your gut. 

Listening to your gut is more than responding to your body when you feel uneasy or need to make a decision. The gut refers to your GI system, the health of which is generally determined by the levels and type of bacteria in your digestive, intestinal tract. Your gut microbiome (the bacterial colonies in the intestines) can affect every organ in our body. 

Microbiome research is continuously shedding new light on this subject. Did you know that 99% of the DNA in your body is not your DNA? It’s bacterial DNA from your microbiome in your gut. Think about that! Your gut microbiome may be as important as anything in your health. 


  • Our guts are born without any bacteria in it. Shortly after birth is when the gut gets colonized with bacteria (both good and bad). From that point, you always have bacteria being colonized.
  • While we can’t control our genes, we do have control over the microbiome through our lifestyle. Factors such as what we eat, what we do (exercise), our stress level, and even our pets influence our microbiome. Think about the gut brain connection. Your brain is under the direction of your gut!
  • The most important factor with your gut microbiome is what you eat. Processed foods and sugar negatively impact gut bacteria, which means dietary fiber is crucial. Gut microbes feed on dietary fiber, and without it they start consuming the mucus lining of the gut, which leads to conditions like leaky gut syndrome. When the lining (that protects your gut) is gone, the gut gets inflamed. Inflammation is the beginning, the root cause, of all diseases. 
  • You have a relationship with your food. It can be good, and it can be bad. 
  • In my opinion, everybody (from childhood to adult) needs to be taking a probiotic and prebiotic (think of a prebiotic as food for the probiotic). That’s why I love DigestShield. It contains 5 prebiotics, 11 probiotics, and 20 enzymes all in one capsule. This is my go to gut vitamin. 
  • There’s a problem when people have destroyed their gut, but the answer is not to just eat more fiber. If you tell a patient with IBS to eat more fiber, they will tell you they can’t because it causes too much gas and bloating. They are absolutely right! The better answer is to add fiber in small amounts and balance the gut microbiome. 
  • If changing your diet does not satisfy the gut, you probably need to get a stool test.Your stool carries a lot of information about you. Stool testing can provide insight into your gut microbiome, which is very useful! Watch the video to hear about the amazing twin study. 
  • If you think you have a gut problem and decide you’re going to change your diet, remember to start slow. Make small changes at first. If you overwhelm the gut, it will not respond well.
  • People process the same types of food differently. I recommend a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to help determine how foods are affecting your body. 
  • I’m really excited about new research and treatments such as the microbiome fecal microbiota transplants. They have shown efficacy in managing tough gut infections and are being explored for a broader spectrum of disease (including Parkinson’s and Crohn’s disease). 

Listen to your gut. Think of how you feel mentally and physically after you eat. Remember, you literally are what you eat. To learn more about stool testing, what to eat and what not to eat, and how to balance your gut with probiotics (like DigestShield) check out this full episode. As always, do your own research. 

Stay educated. Stay healthy. 

Till next week.