Are Grains Okay When Healing Your Gut?

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Are grains okay when healing your gut? | I'm really, really pleased to focus our attention on a question I often get asked -- is it okay to eat grains if I'm trying to heal my gut? I asked nutritional therapist Lydia Shatney, teacher of the online class Heal Your Gut, to step in and help us really understand this issue. If you have questions or comments, be sure to speak up in the comments. | GNOWFGLINS.com

I’m really, really pleased to focus our attention on this question (which I get asked a lot) — is it okay to eat grains if I’m trying to heal my gut? I asked nutritional therapist Lydia Shatney, teacher of the online class Heal Your Gut to step in and help us really understand this issue.

Want more from Lydia? She’s hosting a free Q&A teleconference — sign up for that here. Even if you can’t attend live, sign up to check out the replay. Also? She’s so generous! Go here to grab your free guide, The Straight Scoop on Poop: A Guide to Healthy Bowels. (It’s great!)

Below, you’re hearing from Lydia. If you have questions or comments, be sure to speak up in the comments. –Wardee

Carbohydrates are made of sugar molecules, and can take the form of either monosaccharides, disaccharides, or polysaccharides. These names are really just a way of classifying carbohydrates according to their length.

Monosaccharides — also known as “simple sugars” — are single sugar molecules such as glucose.

When any two monosaccharides bond together, they form a disaccharide, which is essentially two sugar molecules bonded together.

Polysaccharides are the long chains of sugar molecules. An important polysaccharide in the kitchen is starch, which is a chain of thousands of glucose sugars!

All three of these — monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides — are known as carbohydrates.

If carbohydrates aren’t broken down in the gut properly, they cannot be absorbed by the body into the bloodstream. If they aren’t absorbed, they proceed into the lower gastrointestinal tract or the colon, where they are attacked by the microflora, bacteria, and yeast there. This produces carbon dioxide, which in turn produces gas and bloating. Not fun!

Let’s delve deeper into the subject of carbohydrates and discover exactly how each kind acts in our digestive system.Are grains okay when healing your gut? | I'm really, really pleased to focus our attention on a question I often get asked -- is it okay to eat grains if I'm trying to heal my gut? I asked nutritional therapist Lydia Shatney, teacher of the online class Heal Your Gut, to step in and help us really understand this issue. If you have questions or comments, be sure to speak up in the comments. | GNOWFGLINS.com

Monosaccharides

Monosaccharides, the simple sugars, include glucose, fructose, and galactose. They can be transported right from the intestine into the bloodstream, so these are the easiest carbohydrates for us to digest. Glucose and fructose are found in honey, fruits, and some vegetables. If you have gut dysbiosis (leaky gut, candida, etc.), these are the carbs for you!

(However, keep in mind that gut-healing diets, especially for candida, often exclude honey and most fruits.)

Are grains okay when healing your gut? | I'm really, really pleased to focus our attention on a question I often get asked -- is it okay to eat grains if I'm trying to heal my gut? I asked nutritional therapist Lydia Shatney, teacher of the online class Heal Your Gut, to step in and help us really understand this issue. If you have questions or comments, be sure to speak up in the comments. | GNOWFGLINS.com

Dissaccharides

Disaccharides, since they are made from two simple sugars, are harder for our body to break down. There are four main dissacharides: lactose (milk sugar), sucrose (table sugar), maltose, and isomaltose.

Enterocytes — cells in the intestinal lining — must produce enzymes able to split the disaccharides. However, in people with gut dysbiosis, the microvilli on the enterocyte cells may not be healthy enough to produce the enzymes at all.

As a result, the disaccharides will remain intact and cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream. They stay in the small intestine and become a food source for candida, pathogenic bacteria, and fungi — all of which convert the disaccharides into toxic substances that damage the gut wall and wreak havoc in the body.

Dissaccharides are found in a lot of foods, including fluid milk, commercial yogurt, processed cheeses, ice cream, table sugar, corn syrup, and milk products with added milk solids or whey. Raw honey has virtually no sucrose in it, since there is an enzyme in the honey that immediately splits any sucrose present into fructose and glucose (both of which are monosaccharides). Cereal grains, tubers, and root vegetables are the foods with the highest levels of maltose.

Are grains okay when healing your gut? | I'm really, really pleased to focus our attention on a question I often get asked -- is it okay to eat grains if I'm trying to heal my gut? I asked nutritional therapist Lydia Shatney, teacher of the online class Heal Your Gut, to step in and help us really understand this issue. If you have questions or comments, be sure to speak up in the comments. | GNOWFGLINS.com

Polysaccharides

Then there are the polysaccharides. For the purposes of our discussion we’ll focus on starch, which can be classified into two different categories: amylose and amylopectin.

Amylose is a linear chain of glucose sugars, while amylopectin is a branched chain of glucose. As you might imagine, amylose is easier to digest than amylopectin. After these starches have been partially digested by pancreatic enzymes, however, the disaccharides maltose and isomaltose still remain as fragments of the original polysaccharides.

In some cases, the maltose and isomaltose escape digestion altogether and remain in the intestine to increase microbial fermentation. Amylose and amylopectin starches can be present in many types of grains and other starchy foods.

Are grains okay when healing your gut? | I'm really, really pleased to focus our attention on a question I often get asked -- is it okay to eat grains if I'm trying to heal my gut? I asked nutritional therapist Lydia Shatney, teacher of the online class Heal Your Gut, to step in and help us really understand this issue. If you have questions or comments, be sure to speak up in the comments. | GNOWFGLINS.com

So, what’s the bottom line?

Carbohydrates are hard to digest even for those with a healthy gut, so it stands to reason that those with digestive issues have a harder go of it. As a population, we have become more and more intolerant of carbs; nowadays even properly prepared grains are difficult for a damaged gut to handle.

Ancient, soaked, or sprouted grains may be tolerable at first, but in time, if the gut is damaged and candida, yeasts, or bacteria are present, healing will be prevented and further damage is unavoidable.

If your gut is damaged, I recommend you eliminate all grains from your diet for at least three months. Elimination diets are the most straightforward way to pinpoint the foods that affect your health and how they do it.

Usually, properly prepared grains can be added back to the diet eventually — but everyone is different and healing times will vary. Some people may find that excluding grains for the most part, with occasional consumption (such as holidays, birthdays, etc.), goes a long way to improving digestive issues and overall health.

Given the evidence, it is a good idea to remove most carbohydrates in order to heal the gut. Ultimately, however, the choice is yours.

What do you think about the role of grains in a gut healing diet — yes or no? If you have questions or comments for Lydia, let us know below!

Are grains okay when healing your gut? | I'm really, really pleased to focus our attention on a question I often get asked -- is it okay to eat grains if I'm trying to heal my gut? I asked nutritional therapist Lydia Shatney, teacher of the online class Heal Your Gut, to step in and help us really understand this issue. If you have questions or comments, be sure to speak up in the comments. | GNOWFGLINS.com

About Lydia Joy Shatney

Lydia is the blogger at Divine Health from the Inside Out and leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation chapter in Delaware County, Pennsylvania — is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner. She offers personalized step by step counseling via phone or in person to transform your health. Visit this page to pick up your free guide, The Straight Scoop on Poop: A Guide to Healthy Bowels. Or you can learn online from Lydia through any of her online courses: Heal Your Gut, Revitalize Your Health and A Calm Mind.

Heal Your Gut is open for enrollment! Click here for more info. Be sure to get your free guide The Straight Scoop on Poop: A Guide to Healthy Bowels, too!

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Comments

  1. Beth says

    Thanks so much! This was super helpful. I’ve been following the GAPS diet for about three months now and noticed much improvement, but I really didn’t understand the why behind the ban on grains and starches (other than that they’re hard to digest). Now I have this as a reference for myself and for others who question why I’m doing what I’m doing.

    • says

      I’m glad you found this all helpful Beth. I learned this long ago from Elaine Gottschall author of ‘Breaking the Vicious Cycle’ – if you ever get a chance to read her book, it’s very eye opening!

      Dr. Natasha also explains the starch break down in the GAPS book too!

  2. Heather says

    I have read (forgive me , I don’t remember where) that consuming Vitamin C will aid in the digestion of grains. Does your research or experience support this? What about for disaccharides? Thanks!

    • says

      Heather,

      I have not read that it helps to break down the starch in the grains, but that it helps deal with the phytic acid which bind the minerals available in the grain. So, in a way it helps with the digestibility, however it does not deal with the actual starch structure. Does that make sense?

      • says

        Another thought on Vitamin C -is that it is essential for certain minerals to be utilized. Also, for our adrenal health, we need vitamin C -our adrenals actually help with immunity to food allergens etc…..So, yes we need that vitamin C but it won’t negate the starch piece as far as I know. Hope that helps!

  3. says

    Love and appreciate this post, Lydia. I found this to personally be so true. I was so ill when I started the real food journey and during the first couple years of switching to real food and adopting the practice of soaking grains, I was making progress and feeling better. Then I slowly started developing new symptoms and having more frequent relapses with my other conditions. After many tests and doing a food diary, I felt it was best to go gluten-free and as a result I experienced some relief, but it wasn’t until I went grain-free that I really made progress and started to feel good, have more energy and enjoy far less recurrences of symptoms. I think it’s so important for people to know that the real food lifestyle is a journey and it often means continually reevaluating what is working and not working for you personally – with the help of a qualified nutritionist and health practitioner, of course. I appreciate the time you took to explain the details of how grains can impact an already compromised unhealthy gut. I hope to get to know you even better! With many blessings and much appreciation, Kelly

    • says

      Kelly,

      I’m glad this post helped and resonated with you. It’s always helpful to understand how we actually assimilate our foods vs. just understanding why they could potentially be healthy for us. It’s not just what we eat, but what we assimilate and how it impacts us once in our guts!

  4. Noahla says

    Thank you so much for this! I switched over to traditionally prepared grains but I think I need to do an elimination trial! I still have terrible GERD!!! I have tried a LOT of alternative remedies all of which help but none of them enough to get complete relief!! Any suggestions would be helpful!! Thanks again!!!

    • says

      Hi Noahla,

      There can be many reasons for GERD. One way you can find out if it’s the grains is to just do an elimination diet. Starches are often a big part of reflux for many people. Try it out and see if it helps!

  5. Val says

    Hello, If the grains/seeds are sprouted does this make them a vegetable? I have been avoiding Gluten for a few years- it makes me feel lousy sometimes. Recently I found that eating paleo was how I finally lost weight and got rid of the inflammation that caused leg pain. I do feel good after eating oatmeal- its smooth and slippery and feels healing to my gut. If I sprout grains/beans/seeds does that make them digestible?

    • says

      Hi Val,

      I wouldn’t say it makes them a vegetable per say, but it does break them down quite a bit and help make them more tolerable. Some people still may not digest sprouted grains/seeds/legumes well -it all really depends on what is going on in the small intestines or not. Whether one has candida, or leaky gut etc…..I’d say if you eliminate them for a time and feel better that shows you’ve got some gut healing to do. Most of us in this modern day do!

  6. Claudia says

    Hi. I may be having issues with grains too. I have been sick for almost 2 years. I saw a gastro doctor and am scheduled for some tests and he recommended the FODMAP diet. Have you heard of it? Well I still eat grains that are gluten free but still feel off. I wonder if its time to take the grains out too. Would a modified paleo diet be good place to start off for recipes, snack ideas, ingredient substitutes, etc.?? Thanks in advance for any advice. This is do confusing and frustrating.

    • says

      Hi Claudia,

      I’m sorry you are frustrated and sick! Please know you are not the only one who feels like navigating all of this is a challenge.

      I often recommend a modified Paleo/GAPS diet to many of my clients because they both remove the most common inflammatory foods, yet include nutrient dense gut healing foods as well.

      I have heard of the Low FODMAP diet. It may be worth trying out – but I can’t say for sure as I don’t know all your symptoms etc….. I do have a colleague with a Low FODMAPs diet blog. She has amazing recipes with gorgeous photos – looking at her food you’d likely feel better about trying the diet out. Check it out here–> http://www.strandsofmylife.com/low-fodmaps/

  7. Carol Oliver says

    Lydia…. I’ve been off grains for over a year. Recently I’ve been trying to add a few gluten free grains. Oat bran has been one! What insight can you give me on how to properly prepare oats. Do you eat oats? Thank you!

    • says

      Carol,

      I personally do not tolerate oats, even soaked oats. Though initially, prior to my gluten free days soaked oats were better tolerated than quick oats that were not soaked. However, once I removed all grains for a time, and then added back in the occasional oats they instantly made me quite fatigued and slowed down my digestion. I believe oats are very hard to digest and I think traditionally were longer soaked/fermented than we are trying to replicate in our ‘Nourishing Tradition’ style kitchens. That said, some people may tolerate them okay…..we are all individual.

      Oat bran is the least digestible part of the grain and can be very hard on an already damaged gut. It can also go quickly rancid apart from the grain. I can’t really recommend it as a good option for an overall healthy diet, let alone a gut healing diet -it would also need to be long ‘fermented’ if it were to be truly tolerated at all. It’s best to get fiber from fresh vegetables and fruits.

      Oats are gluten free grains that are usually contaminated with gluten in the field or while processing. Only some are certified GF and are safe for celiacs. Look for oats that have been processed in dedicated gluten free facilities and labeled gluten-free. If you are unsure of the source of your oats do not risk consuming them, especially if you have celiac disease. It can take up to 6-8 months of abstaining from gluten grains to really know for sure if one is intolerant to them as everyone’s ‘reaction’ to them may be very different and some people do not experience digestive issues necessarily.

  8. Stephanie Lebron says

    This was a clear presentation and not too technical. I can better understand now why certain emails by various doctors talk about dairy in a negative way… (I’ve read “The Untold Story of Milk” and think that raw milk isn’t so nefarious). Thanks for the information, Lydia.

    • says

      Stephanie,

      You’re welcome! Yes, it’s not an across the board truth that raw milk is perfectly healthy. It always boils down to how one can assimilate the food being consumed!

  9. Angela says

    Thank you for this post, it is very timely because I am new on this adventure. I have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and have read so much mixed info that I feel there is not much left for me to eat! I believe carbs are not good for us but there is nothing to eat for a snack! I have soooo many supplements that they might as well be my meal. I also have acid reflux, fibromyalgia, thyroid (on meds for these)and osteopenia so I am afraid of illuminating some foods and becoming malnourished. My doctor says there is no food to help me (I do not believe him) and I really want off meds. Should I go off meds while healing or stay on them? I was also hoping for a list of foods either not to eat or that I can eat (I know everyone is different but I need somewhere to start! Probiotics, fermented foods? I know this is a lot but I am lost.

    • says

      Angela,

      Carbs are not necessarily bad for us as an entire food group. It’s a matter of how we digest carbohydrates and which are the easiest to digest. There are plenty of carbohydrate foods that are much more easily broken down. If you want a list – here is one that will say ‘legal’ for the more easily digested foods -that does not necessarily mean you can’t eat the other foods, but it’s a good template to go by: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/legal/listing/. You can also look up the list of GAPS approved foods too.

      It is not for me to say if you should go off your meds or not. But I do believe there are foods that can heal you and foods that can hurt you. I suggest trying an elimination diet for 3 months – I usually recommend a basic Paleo diet gameplan for my own clients as a starting point and adding in the healing foods from the GAPS (such as bone broth, fermented foods and organ meats etc…).

      You may want to read this post of mine about soil based organisms (probiotics) -they could be very helpful to you and are definitely a good choice for someone with ulcerative colitis. http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2013/03/the-missing-piece-to-the-probiotic-healing-puzzle/

      Also, you may be interested to read Jennifer of Hybrid Rasta Mama’s story about ulcerative colitis -she is a client of mine and we were able to stop the colitis in about 6 weeks or so. It was a serious protocol she had to go on, but it shows it’s possible to stop the symptoms. She wrote a series of posts about her health, but here is just one to start with: http://www.hybridrastamama.com/2012/11/healing-naturally-my-journey-towards-better-health-november-2012.html

  10. says

    Thanks for the excellent post!
    Would eating honey on true sourdough bread or squash make it ok to eat while healing? Would fermenting squash make it safe to consume during the healing phase?

    • says

      Liz,

      Adding honey to sourdough bread will not change the fact that it is a hard to digest starch. The enzymes in raw honey could aid digestion some. As far as squash, winter squashes are one of the more easy to digest starches. And adding honey is not necessary to help it be more digestible.
      True sourdough bread is far more digestible than if it were not, however it is still hard on a deeply damaged gut as I mentioned in the article. If you know you have gut dysbiosis it’s best to just remove it for a time and wait until you are healed to reintroduce it fully.

      Elimination may be the only way to show you whether or not you really do tolerate it well or not. If you are unsure and don’t feel ready to give up the bread an elimination diet will be very telling for you and may be the deciding factor for you on whether to remove grains or not.

      Hope that helps!

  11. Jena says

    I hope sound silly, but is quinoa included in this? I believe its considered a seed. I have a hard time cutting out grains. :/

    • says

      Jena,

      Quinoa is not included on a gut healing diet and for good reason. Quinoa is very high in a substance called ‘saponin’. Saponins can be very hard on the gut as well -they basically create holes in the surface membrane of the cells which line the gut (enterocytes), allowing a variety of substances found in the gut to enter the cell.

      If you want to read a bit more about saponins affect on gut health – check out this post from The Paleo Mom: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/03/how-do-grains-legumes-and-dairy-cause_29.html

      She states:

      ‘When large amounts of dietary saponins are consumed (especially in the presence of an already leaky gut), saponins can leak into the bloodstream. When saponins enter the bloodstream in sufficient concentrations, they cause hemolysis (destruction of the cell membrane of red blood cells). Saponins also have adjuvant-like activity, which means that they are able to affect the immune system leading to pro-inflammatory cytokine production (again those chemical messengers that tell white blood cells to attack) and can further contribute to inflammation in the body. ‘

      If you are going to consume quinoa at all, I would not consume it often and I would take care to soak it before you eat it and I’d cook it in bone broth. Use this recipe here: http://www.realfooddigest.com/basic-quinoa/#

      If you truly want to cut out grains to help heal your gut, but are finding it hard I’d recommend using organic white rice (preferably NON-GMO) and something like buckwheat groats or flour until you are ready to cut them out altogether. White rice has the least amount of problematic proteins, and buckwheat seems to be tolerable for many as well.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Rosie says

    Wow! Thank you for the well written, easy to ‘digest’ info! ;) My son has been on a long journey of healing. We took wheat out of his diet about a year and a half ago, and quite honestly it took a LONG time to see results, but he is so much better now. Practically a different kid! I did not know that so many other grains could also inhibit his healing. We do eat oats, quinoa, and rice in our house. The occasional gluten free bread (mix from Bob’s Red Mill). Do you have a list somewhere of what qualifies as a grain and what qualifies as a seed? I’d love to have some more clarification to continue on with my son’s healing! Thanks!

  13. says

    Hi Lydia. I found your article extremely helpful. I have been struggling for a couple years with stomach issues. After a couple misdiagnoses I was finally referred to a gastroenterologist. Just this past week I had testing and some biopsies taken. He said there was some erosion and believes it is a form of IBS or possibly crohns. I will not know until results come back. Now I am so in the dark and have been reading a ton to try to understand but without knowing what it is I am overwhelmed with all the info. So I guess my question for you is with the erosion should I be on a specific diet? He did not say to limit any foods and honestly I did not think to ask if I should. After reading this I will definitely call tomorrow and ask. With the erosion, is that something that can heal over time? I have an appointment with my gastro when the results come in so I am sure we will go over all this but your article has sparked many more questions. Lol will definitely be taking notes from this and writing all my questions for the gastro app. Thank you for all the information and advice!! It really is helpful to someone so in the dark still. :)

    • says

      Ashley,

      You of all people will need to find what foods are adding to your condition. Unfortunately, your gastroenterologist will not likely agree. I had to insist to my GI doctor, only saw one because my regular doctor could not order certain tests I wanted, to order a stool analysis and the type of food allergy tests I wanted. This is all stuff I cover in my course Heal Your Gut. I can’t say for sure what diet you need, it will depend on what foods your body has allergic tension to. I would consider this post timely and maybe even start looking at something like GAPS. Sounds like you have some damage in your gut and certain foods may be playing a role in that damage. I don’t know to what extent your damage is, or what exactly is meant by ‘erosion’. You said stomach troubles -were the biopsies in the stomach or are you really referring to closer to your belly button area, the small intestine? That is usually where biospies are taken from and how something like IBS or Crohn’s gets diagnsoed. You may want to ask your doctor to clarify as specifically as he can on what he means by ‘erosion’.

      It should be possible to heal it, as for how long I really can’t say. A lot of things play in to this….

      • Ashley says

        I am sorry I was so unclear. I just read it back and realized how vague and confusing that was. Let me try again. :) so I have been having tummy and digestive issues. I had a colonoscopy and the erosion he was found in the intestine. I am not sure exactly where because I was still pretty sedated. I have an appointment to go over the results. He believes it is a form of IBS where moisture is taken from the stool too quickly and causes constipation, then causes diarrhea because of the build up of stool. He did take the biopsies from the intestine. I will ask about the allergies though because that is something that has crossed my mind. I haven’t noticed any certain food rigging it but have decided to start a food diary to see exactly how I feel after each food. Thank you for all your information and help. I really appreciate the advice.

        • says

          Sure thing Ashley! I can’t recommend trying an elimination diet enough in your situation. Hope you get some answers and start feeling better soon!

  14. Marilyn says

    I’m trying to heal leaky gut working with a trusted naturopath whose specialty is the gastrointestinal tract. My problem is with eliminating so many foods and food groups , I often get hungry and seem to have nothing to eat. And what does one eat for breakfast on a grain free, gluten free, dairy free, egg free diet ?

    • says

      Marilyn,

      It may take some shifting of what should be consider ‘breakfast’ food. I was actually grain-free/egg-free for quite awhile and had to get creative. Breakfast hash with lots of veggies and ground meat or sausage, soups, stews, coconut yogurt, Smoothies. I suggest looking for Paleo egg-free recipes via google -you should find plenty of ideas!

    • says

      Krystle,

      So, to be sure I understand your question correctly -do you mean what grains would be excluded or what would a grain-free diet look like?

      All grains – including rice and even pseudo-grains would be removed from the diet – you can check out a GAPS allowed foods list to see more of what foods to potentially remove or even a Paleo diet list of allowed foods. Once you removed them you may notice less inflammation and many symptoms relieved you didn’t even realize you may have had. You will also want to make sure you replace the grains with lots of veggies -to make sure you consume enough fiber to keep that ‘train rollin” ;)

      Hope that helps….let me know if I am not understanding your question!

      • krystle says

        Yes you understood correctly! I guess why i was curious is because I’ve tried going grain, basically carb free and my body pretty much rejected it. I was shaky and had that empty hungry feeling like i havent ate in a while. I would love to be grain free but cant imagine my body agreeing with it. Is that common?i cant find info on the shaky thing and my blood work is always normal

        • says

          Krystle,

          When you removed the grains prior, what did you replace them with? It sounds like hypoglycemia to me – that’s low blood sugar. If you remove a large source of carbs from the diet all at once, it’s very possible your blood sugar could go a little AWOL. I suggest doing it gradually instead and be sure to have plenty of veggies and make sure to have fat/protein at all your meals. So, start with breakfast grain free for a week, then do lunch for a week, then dinner for a week, then snacks – make sense?!

  15. Lana says

    Thanks for the wonderful information! My daughter is a little over 3 and a half. If our family decided to cut out carbs and grains, would it still be okay for us all (especially her) to enjoy our raw milk and yogurt? The strands of probiotics in it, as well as the fat, are great for young children. I don’t think we have “bad guts” when it comes to grains and carbs in our family, but I wouldn’t say we are at the healthiest level possible. Thanks!

    • says

      Lana,

      If you wanted to namely cut back on carbs per se -then taking out grains is a huge first step. Dairy can be carby – namely just plain milk. Yogurt, if you are doing 24 hour yogurt will have most of the lactose removed and that is a sugar that many people have a tough time dealing with. I’d say try grain-free first and see how it goes – if you find you need to keep healing further you can eventually tackle cutting out certain dairy and working with dairy that has the lactose mostly removed. Some people need to pick their battles and go slowly as they remove foods and that is totally okay!

      Hope that helps!

  16. Dawn wise says

    Oh my goodness! I have been dealing with gut issues for thirty years and this is the first time I have ever had it explained to me. I knew I was lactose intolerant but this explains so much more. In the last 6 months or so I have been dealing with a lot of persistent rashes. I brought up the idea of candida overload in my blood stream as the cause to my family doc, due to some articles I had seen recently, but my question was pooped and I was told that wasn’t a consideration. I just had my first colonoscopy and in talking to the doctor she thinks I have an over aboundence of bad bacteria in my intestines. I will be taking this article with me when I see her next month. I did buy a liquid probiotic but every time I take it, it gives me diarrhea, so I have discontinued for the moment. Thank you again for all the info!!!

    • says

      Dawn,

      You may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth – at least from what you’ve shared to me that would be my guess. In that case, candida surely could be possible. It could also be why you reacted to the probiotic so strongly – with bacterial overgrowth you need to avoid certain strains of probiotics and select the right ones (I cover this in my course now). So, consider looking that up to see if it rings true for you…..Just some thoughts, hope it’s helpful!

  17. Theresa Brennan says

    I am just now seeing this post and hopefully it is not too late to ask a question. I would like to know about beans and whether they are a “safe” food to eat when healing the gut? It can be quite expensive to just eat mostly meat and veggies and beans are a cheap and healthy source of protein but I’m not sure if they are OK for people with gut issues?

    Thanks.
    Theresa

    • says

      Hey Theresa,

      Good question……the simple short answer I have is to remove them for a period of time, along with all other gut troubling foods, at least a month to start though 3 would be better – some people will need longer than that. Then add them back in slowly and minimally – the GAPS diet allows certain legumes that are better tolerated, such as white beans, lentils and lima beans. Make sure they are properly soaked/prepared and pair them with good fats and broth if you can.

      Certain gut issues, such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth will need to be more fully dealt with before a person can tolerate legumes in the diet regularly again!

  18. Marlene says

    I use your website for recipes all the time, as I am really conscientious about healthy eating. But how do you know if your gut needs to be healed?? Would it be obvious if I had leaky gut?

    • says

      Hi Marlene,

      This is Lydia (I wrote the post), and my quick answer to your question is with this list of symptoms that are correlated to a leaky gut:

      How do you know if you have a leaky gut – you will have several of the following symptoms-

      Mild to moderate GI symptoms, such as bloating and gas
      Abnormal bowel movements
      Systemic inflammation
      Food sensitivities
      Skin Rashes
      Headaches
      Abdominal Pain
      Joint Pain/Body Aches
      Swelling
      Depression or Brain Fog
      Fatigue/Poor Muscle Endurance
      Poor Recovery from Injuries
      Autoimmune conditions (even without digestive symptoms)

      The more you have the leakier your gut likely is. A traditional diet won’t be enough to heal it.

      Hope that helps!

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