the complete guide to gut health

The Complete Guide to Gut Health

Let’s talk about gut health.

This is something very personal for me – I’ve struggled with gut issues since I was a teenager, and I wish I knew then what I’m going to share with you now. We’re going to be talking about the most common…

…and the most treatable…

…cause of gut health problems AND how to feel better and live well again.

Who does this affect?

Studies show 49% of women and 37% of men are suffering from gut problems. That’s over 100 million people in the US!

If this is you, you’re not alone.

A Quick Guide to Gut Solutions

HCL Digest and Gut Soothe

Step 1- Relief: HCL Digest and Gut Soothe.

Start taking immediately(if needed based on testing results – more info below) and continue taking until symptoms resolve.

This step is all about helping you feel better right now, and while you are healing.  These supplements provide more stomach acid so you can start digesting and healing, along with relief to take care of your symptoms now.

Gut Health Gut Rebuild

Step 2- Repopulate: Gut Health and Gut Rebuild

Take immediately for 1-3 months until digestion and elimination improve.

These two products repopulate your gut with healthy microbes – probiotic yeast and bacteria – to improve gut and immune function.  This is great for use after antibiotics.   

Gut Well Capsules and powder

Step 3- Restore: Gut Well Capsules or Powder.

This is a long-term use product for the ongoing repair of the gut lining, absorption, elimination, inflammation, and more.       

What Kinds of Gut Problems Are the Most Common?

The most common problems are:

  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

These problems make people feel lousy and significantly impact quality of life.

I’ve lived that…

I’ve sat at tables, watching other people eat food I can’t eat, and feeling bad for myself.  I’ve also given in to poor food choices and have felt miserable for hours after.  I’ve even had meals where I was careful about what I ate and still felt poorly after.

Talk about frustrating! 

I used to joke that my favorite diet includes eating nothing but water and frozen water (ice) because those are the only foods that are safe.  

That’s not living, and it’s certainly not Living Well. 

I know because I lived that way for years.  After many long years, I found answers that I want to share. 

This is what Living Well with Dr. Michelle is all about…

…combining modern medicine and the wisdom of our grandmothers to find real answers for problems we have today.

Stomach Pain

What Causes Gut Health Issues?

The first question I hear about gut health is, “What causes gut issues?”  

This is a bit of a loaded question because gut problems can be the result of bacteria in food, parasites, infection, stress, chemicals in food and water, medications and more.  With so many different possibilities, where do you start?  

Let’s start where the food starts! 

Low Stomach Acid

Food goes in the mouth and travels to the stomach. The stomach should be full of acid to do three main things:

  1. Kill bacteria, viruses, and more in our food.
  2. Break food apart into absorbable pieces.
  3. Ionize minerals so they can be absorbed.

We hear so much about stomach acid and how it’s the enemy . . . isn’t that what causes heartburn and pain? 

You’ve seen all the commercials for antacids on TV with someone holding their chest in misery… 

Surprise! The acid is actually what helps you digest and absorb nutrients from your food.

Without enough stomach acid, you:

  • Will have more bacteria, viruses, and parasites in your digestive system
  • Won’t digest proteins like gluten in wheat or casein and whey in milk
  • Won’t absorb minerals so you become mineral deficient and have weak teeth and bones
  • Will have burning in your chest and throat, especially after protein-rich meals.
  • Will have food fermenting and making you feel miserable, especially after carbohydrate-rich meals.

Low stomach acid destroys a major part of your ability to digest your food. You don’t absorb nutrients which leads to you being protein, mineral, and vitamin deficient.

Heartburn is Often From Too Little Acid

If you are miserable after eating, you might take an antacid. If it goes on long enough, your doctor might prescribe a medicine that stops the production of acid altogether.

You’ve heard of these drugs. Some common names are Omeprazole (which is Prilosec), Nexium, and Prevacid. You can get these over the counter now….

The problem is that research shows up to 90% of heartburn and acid reflux are caused by too little stomach acid.

If that’s the case, these drugs shut off the last bit of acid you are producing, and the problems I just talked about increase. You stop absorbing food.

And, bonus, with prolonged use (over 12 months) of these acid inhibitors and blockers, you are up to 800 TIMES more likely to develop an intestinal infection like (SIBO) or C. Dif.

You also increase your chance of developing pneumonia by up to 160%, bone fractures go up by up to 300%…

…and stomach cancer goes up by nearly 250%!

These medicines don’t fix the root problem, and they lead to serious issues.

Why You Need Stomach Acid

Food is broken down in the stomach and it takes stomach acid, along with enzymes, to make this happen.

Specifically, the acid:

  • Activates pepsin: Pepsin is an enzyme that breaks proteins apart into smaller, more absorbable pieces called amino acids.

  • Breaks food into smaller pieces: Carbohydrates and fats break apart into simple sugars and fatty acids that the body can recognize and use.
  • Ionizes minerals: Ionizing makes the body able to utilize minerals for energy, bone and tooth health, and more.

  • Releases Vit B12: Releases the Vit B12 from foods so the body can use it.

  • Manages the openings to the stomach: Opens the gate at the bottom of the stomach so food can pass into the intestines and closes the gate at the top of the stomach so acid doesn’t travel back up the esophagus.

  • Kills pathogens: Acid kills harmful pathogens like yeasts and bacteria that enter the stomach with the food.

If the acid levels are too low, your food won’t be prepared to be absorbed in the intestines. This leads to nutritional deficiencies, stomach and GI pain and problems, tooth and bone weakness, and food sensitivities.

What Leads to Low Stomach Acid?

Stomach acid is turned off when the body is in stress mode. Think about it…

When you have to speak in front of a crowd or when you are worried about a test or something happening with a loved one, your mouth goes dry and your stomach stops making acid. The last thing your body needs to do at this moment is digest food. This is a natural response to stress.

What can push the body into this mode?

Emotional and mental stress – yes…

…but also infection (often in your mouth), chemicals in the food and water and environment, heavy metals in the body (also from the mouth!), poor sleep, and more.

This is why I talk so much about this problem – dental infections, heavy metals, and sleep obstructions are some of the leading causes of low stomach acid.

Common causes of low stomach acid:

  • Slowed stomach acid secretion as we age.

  • Nutrient deficiencies that reduce the amount of stomach acid that can be made

  • Using acid-reducing medications like Zantac, Prilosec, and Tums

  • Stress, leads to a ‘fight or flight’ reaction which shuts down stomach acid production. This can be mental, physical, or environmental stress

  • Heavy metals in the body, especially mercury from old dental fillings.

  • Infections in the body (especially the mouth) stress the immune system.

  • Sleep problems leave the body unable to get into deep, restorative sleep.

Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid

Along with the gut-specific symptoms we’ve talked about, a large majority of health problems can be traced back to your gut as well.

Symptoms can you expect if you have too little acid:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Tooth decay
  • Osteoporosis
  • Anemia
  • Dry and thin skin and hair
  • Acne
  • Gut Dysbiosis (improper balance of gut bacteria)
  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Weakened immune system
  • Inflammation

The Baking Soda Test for Low Stomach Acid

This simple “Baking Soda Test” will give you a quick way to see if this may be your problem.  This test can be done at home and is best done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

This test shows your stomach acid levels, which can greatly influence your stomach activity and the way your digestive tract operates.

How the test works:

Your stomach produces hydrochloric acid, which is necessary to digest food.  The baking soda solution you will be drinking reacts with the acid to produce carbon dioxide gas.  The amount of gas produced depends upon the amount of acid in your stomach and will show up as a BURP.

How to take the test

(Take first thing in the morning, before eating and drinking anything):

  1. Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of baking soda into an 4 oz glass of cool water
  2. Drink the solution and start timing
  3. Record how long it takes until you have a burp
  4. Compare your results for each day

You will see results on day 1, but you can repeat this test for 3-4 consecutive days (or longer) at the same time each day to give a better estimation of your stomach’s acidity

  • Day 1 _______________________________________________________

  • Day 2 _______________________________________________________

  • Day 3 _______________________________________________________

  • Day 4 _______________________________________________________

What Do These Results Mean?

Time Until First Burp

  • 1-2 minutes: normal stomach acid
  • 2-3 minutes: moderate to low stomach acid
  • 3+ minutes: too little stomach acid

*If you did not burp within 2-3 minutes, you most likely have too little stomach acid. This is making it hard for your stomach to digest food.

The Three Steps to Digestive Health Repair

Step 1- Start NOW (if needed based on testing results) continue taking until symptoms resolve.

HCL Digest and Gut Soothe
  1. Start taking HCL Digest with food and supplements if your baking soda test showed low stomach acid levels.  Continue until symptoms are resolved and you get a normal stomach acid result when taking the baking soda test again.

  2. Start taking Gut Soothe as needed for digestive pain or discomfort.  Take before, during or after a meal when symptoms arise.  Continue taking as long as needed for symptom relief.
HCL Digest

Treats the Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid Including Poor Absorption and Acid Reflux

HCL Digest contains Betaine HCL and Digestive Enzymes.

This product will help you digest food properly. Take with every meal and supplement until the cause of the low acid has been corrected.

Click Here to Purchase HCL Digest

Instructions for use:

Always take HCL Digest either halfway through the meal or right at the end of the meal. Taking it before a meal may create something that feels like heartburn and can turn off stomach acid production for that meal. When you feel warmth in your stomach that’s enough.  

Caution: Do not take HCL if you have been taking any medications like ibuprofen, Tylenol, or aspirin for two weeks or longer.

Gut Soothe

Fast Acting Relief for Digestive Pain or Discomfort

This is a fast-acting, chewable formula of deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)

It helps strengthen the body’s natural inflammatory response to various foods or medications and may help protect the gut lining. Licorice also produces a soothing coat on the throat, stomach, and intestines, and helps maintain a healthy bacterial environment in the stomach.

Click Here to Purchase Gut Soothe

Instructions for use:

Gut Soothe is my emergency relief. Take Gut Soothe if you have discomfort before, during, or after a meal.  The relief is nearly immediate, and Gut Soothe helps heal and regulate the gut so you stop having gut pain. 

This is meant to be used as needed anytime you need short-term relief.

Step 2: Repopulate - Start both products NOW and use for 1-3 months until digestion and elimination improve

Gut Health Gut Rebuild

Our bodies rely on all sorts of microorganisms to keep things working and keep us healthy.  If you have a gut problem, you most likely have a gut microorganism problem…  

If you have low stomach acid, have taken antibiotics, have been sick, or struggle with digestive function from top to bottom . . . you need to repopulate your gut with helpful probiotics such as Gut Health with Gut Well.

Probiotics are the good bacteria and yeast that you ACTUALLY WANT in your system.  They support healthy body systems from your mouth to your gut and help control harmful microorganisms.

There are scores of strains of probiotics in our gut, and they serve different purposes.  In the following two products, the most helpful probiotics have been selected to:

  • Improve gut function
  • Increase nutrient absorption
  • Strengthen your immune system
Gut Health

Repopulates the gut with healthy probiotic yeast

This very effective product Includes a special strain of yeast called S. boulardii. Even though the majority of probiotics are bacterial, this yeast has been shown to be great for gut health by reducing symptoms and improving your immune health.

The yeasts in Gut Defense protect the intestinal lining from harmful bacteria and increase the production of digestive enzymes, which help break down dietary sugars. 

This action improves the absorption of water and nutrients in your small intestine, so you can get more nutrition and hydration from the foods you eat

Click Here to Purchase Gut Health

Gut Health

Gut Rebuild contains 10 of the most highly researched probiotic strains.  These are potent probiotics that can reestablish a healthy microbial balance.

Gut Rebuild contains 10 of the most highly researched probiotic strains.  These are potent probiotics that can reestablish a healthy microbial balance.

Click Here to Purchase Gut Rebuild

Instructions for use:

*Gut Health and Gut Rebuild work best together.

Continue taking these supplements for 1-3 months or until digestion and elimination improves.

Step 3: Restore - Start after the first month of beginning this protocol and continue for 2-6 months for long-term Gut Health and Wellness

Gut Well Capsules and powder

Rebuilds and heals the stomach lining and helps to promote the body’s natural GI repair process

Gut Well is made from amino acids, plant extracts, and minerals to rebuild and maintain the stomach lining and function.

Click Here to Purchase Gut Well Capsules

Click Here to Purchase Gut Well Powder

Gut Well Contains:

  • L-glutamine, an amino acid that provides structural and metabolic support for intestinal cells
  • Zinc L-carnosine which provides support for the health of the intestinal lining
  • N-acetyl-D-glucosamine which supports a normal inflammatory response in the GI tract
  • A blend of deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) extract, aloe vera, marshmallow, okra extract, and cat’s claw to coat and soothe the intestinal lining and repair the lining
  • Prune powder and citrus pectin to support bowel regularity
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) supports the structure, integrity, and permeability of the gut lining 

Treat Your Digestive Problems With These Three Steps

Your gut health is the foundation of your life.  Food enters, is metabolized, absorbed, and utilized for energy and nutrition.  If the digestive process doesn’t doesn’t work properly, the body simply can’t work properly either.

HCL Digest and Gut Soothe

Step 1 Supplements: HCl Digest & Gut Soothe (Start NOW and take as needed through all phases)

  1. Start taking HCL Digest with food and supplements if your baking soda test showed low stomach acid levels.  Continue until symptoms are resolved and you get a normal stomach acid result when taking the baking soda test again.
  2. Start taking Gut Soothe as needed for digestive pain or discomfort.  Take before, during or after a meal when symptoms arise.  Continue taking as long as needed for symptom relief.
Gut Health Gut Rebuild

Step 2 Supplements: Gut Health & Gut Rebuild (Start NOW and use for 1-3 months until digestion and elimination improve)

Take immediately for 1-3 months until digestion and elimination improve.

Gut Rebuild and Gut Health repopulate your gut with healthy microbes – probiotic yeast and bacteria – to improve gut and immune function. 

Gut Well Capsules and powder

Step 3 Supplements: Gut Well (Start 1 month after beginning this protocol and use for 2-6+ months for long term gut health)

This is a long-term use product for the ongoing repair of the gut lining, absorption, elimination, inflammation, and more.       

You can use the Gut Well Capsules or the Gut Well Powder

Save 20% On All Gut Health Supplements For a Limited Time!