All About Gut Health: Podcast Episode #215
December 11, 2023

All About Gut Health: Podcast Episode #215

Kristin Revere chats with Josh Dech host of ReversABLE- The Ultimate Gut Health Podcast about the importance of gut health and how to achieve it.

Hello!  This is Kristin Revere with Ask the Doulas, and I am so excited to chat with Josh Dech today.  Josh is a podcaster, as well.  His podcast is named ReversABLE – The Ultimate Gut Health Podcast.  He’s also an ex-paramedic and a holistic nutritionist specializing in gut health. 

Welcome, Josh!

Kristin, it’s a pleasure to be here.  Thank you for having me!

I would love to hear a bit of your backstory and why you’re focus and passion on gut health emerged from all of the different focuses you could have in holistic nutrition and holistic health.

Sure, and I call it more of an obsession than I would anything else at this stage in my career.  I’ll give you the quick Coles Notes here.  I used to be a paramedic, and I realized very quickly it was just sick care.  You’d pick up the same people over and over for a lot of the same issues, and you take them to the hospital.  They get new medications or more of the same medications and send them back home.  And I really became a glorified taxi for the ill.  It’s not what I wanted to do.  I enjoy doing trauma and stuff like that, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do.  People weren’t getting better.  So through a series of accidents and happy accidents, I ended up getting into personal training when I was probably 20, 21.  One of my clients came to see me, one of my first clients in my professional personal training career.  She was 57 years old.  She was on 17 pills and insulin with breakfast, 9 pills and insulin for bedtime.  She had high blood pressure, slept with a CPAP machine.  She was on the disability list at work, so if the fire department got called, she’d have to wait 56 floors up for them to come and get her.  It was just a whole mess of things going on.  And by the time she turned 59 – we were working together on health and nutrition and gut and fitness and training – at age 59, coming from this background, she ended up breaking her first world record in the raw powerlifting division as a weightlifter.


Oh, yeah.  This 59 year old woman kept breaking records until she was 61, 62 when she retired.  5 foot nothing, 160 pounds, and she’s pulling 315-plus pounds off the floor.


It was incredible to see.  That was really my first window there, Kristin, into seeing that the human body has so much more potential and capability to heal itself.  So I got interested in that holistic side, and I started seeing people in my personal training space with skin issues, anxiety, depression, hormonal issues.  I started doing some self-study.  Found some mentorships; started working with and learning from different doctors.  I decided to ultimately go back to school and become a nutritionist.  The holistic nutrition kicked things off.  I started seeing gut disease and gut issues and severe IBS, until my career eventually landed specifically in inflammatory bowel disease, which is Crohn’s and colitis or ulcerative colitis, where I work now.  And through the work we’ve done there, I’ve been recruited since to the Priority Health Academy as a medical lecturer.  That’s sort of where my career is today.

I love it.  So as a paramedic, I have a side question for you.  Did you support any unexpected home births?  What was your experience with women in childbirth as a paramedic?

I had a few OB patients that we had seen.  You know, I got some OBs; more so when I was actually doing my preceptorship before I was a full fledged paramedic and student.  And the odd MVC, or motor vehicle collision, that we would see with obstetrics; thankfully, everybody was fine and healthy, nothing major.  Yeah, I did a little bit of a short stint there in the OB ward, as well.  Through clinical and through hospital placement, we work in the ER; we work in dialysis; we work in OB.  So we get to kind of see everything.  And I really found obstetrics fascinating, and it was through actually my career in the holistic side helping women with fertility or men with fertility issues that really sort of highlighted the importance of the gut to me in every aspect of our being and well-being.  And looking back now at my clinical and the stuff that I could actually see, I could see these gut connections and these chronic disease things that people started to have, so it’s a really cool 360 moment.

It really is.  I love it.  And I also appreciate that you mentioned working with men in fertility issues because it often is connected to the woman as far as any issues with conception.  And focusing on gut health for both would be so beneficial pre-conception or in that fertility stage of starting treatments and so on.

Oh, absolutely.  And there’s so much incredible things that happen with the gut to set things up for both pre, peri, and postnatal.  It’s really amazing when we make that connection, but it’s just like you said.  I think through a lot of history, fertility issues have been connected with women.  “Oh, she is barren.  She’s this.  She’s that.”  But they never look at the men who might have low T or low sperm motility or digestive issues or dietary issues, and we never really look at both sides of that picture, and I think it’s about time.

I agree completely.  So what are your tips for our listeners in each stage, whether it’s pre-conception, early pregnancy to focus on, you know, maximizing gut health, and then also in the postnatal recovery phase?

I would actually love to go through these step by step.  Why don’t we start with pre-conception, and we’ll work our way through early pregnancy, perinatal, postnatal, and just kind of talk about the role of the gut and these gut bacteria.

So let’s start things from the top.  I think first it’s really, really important to understand for the listeners how important our guts really are because oftentimes we hear in the mainstream, oh, gut health this, gut health that.  Yeah, okay, I get it.  But I think it’s really important to understand a reverence for gut health because in my practice, I often tell my clients, our gut bacteria are more important than our very own DNA and our very own genetics, which is a huge claim to make realistically.  We’re talking about the foundation of what makes a human being a human being.  But that’s actually being broken.

So to give you an idea, Kristin, if we take a look at the gut microbes, our microbiome, we have about ten trillion cells in the human body.  Your gut microbiome alone has about a hundred trillion different bacteria.  So they’re outnumbering your bodies own cells ten to one, which is pretty dramatic.  And if we look at the genetic material, there are millions – 10 or 15, 20 million different bacteria in there, multiplied out to 100 trillion.  Your own genes, the entire human genome, is about 23,000 different genes.  But looking at your gut bacteria, you have about 3 million different genes.  There’s 130 times more genetic material in your gut alone.

It’s shocking.  It really is astonishing.  We dig into what it does for the body, and it integrates with everything.  It integrates with hormonal health, which again, obviously, is very important for healthy pregnancy and delivery.  It integrates with your hair, skin, nails, sleep, moods, emotion, how social you feel like being, detoxification, vitamin and nutrient production.  There’s so much that they do.  There’s not a single aspect of your body not influenced in some way by our gut bacteria.

So just to illustrate one quick little story; it’s one of my favorite stories: the importance of small things.  If we look at – I’m sure you’re familiar, obviously, as a doula and with all your OB clients and interviews you take in – you’re probably familiar with toxoplasmosis and the dangers around that?


So have you had a chance to talk to your listeners about toxoplasma and what it does and how it works in the body?

Not that I can recall over the years.  Fill us in!

Here’s a fun little story for you.  Toxoplasmosis is an infection of a parasite called toxoplasma gondii.  And this toxoplasma parasite – this is just to illustrate the importance of small things in the body.  Every living thing on earth has a prime directive, right?  Grow and pass on its genes.  And even this parasite, this toxoplasma parasite, knows it has a prime directive.  It has to grow, pass on its genes, and live its best life, which ultimately is actually in the belly of a cat.  And so what we see this toxoplasma doing – it’s why you can’t change kitty litter if you’re pregnant because it could have these parasites in these litter, and you could ingest them and cause problems.  But this parasite wants to get into mice because it knows mice will end up in the belly of a cat.  But interestingly enough, mice are genetically wired – it’s in their DNA to fear cats.  As a prey animal who’s never seen a cat, a baby mouse will still run, and even mice who have never seen a cat who smell cat urine are hardwired to run the other way.  And so this parasite actually hijacks this entire living organism, and what it will do is it will get into the brain and it will burn out the dendrites in the fear center of the brain of the mouse, making it no longer afraid of cats, making this mouse very brave.  So it increases the likelihood to run into a cat.  But it goes one step further.  This will blow you away.  It actually rewires the brain to be sexually attracted to the smell of cat urine.


Oh, yeah.  So this one little parasite completely hijacks and rewires an autonomous living organism to get it more likely to end up in the belly of a cat.  Now it’s not afraid and it seeks cats.  And so then this parasite gets consumed; it can go to the belly of a cat where it’s happy.  But it can also be in any cat, even jungle cats.  So we’ve even seen humans who have this toxoplasma infection.  Now, obviously, over here, we don’t have to worry about cats, but in the eastern countries, the only predator of a human is going to be lions and tigers and large cats.  And so we’ve even found it in people.  Now, talk about bravery – again, we can often think, well, it’s just a mouse.  A parasite; it’s a small mouse; what’s the big deal.  We’ve even seen them hijack humans, kind of like The Last Of Us with the cordyceps.  These little parasites – we’ve found people who are very brave who jump into traffic to save a human being or a child or run into a burning building to save a stranger.  Many of these people have been found to be infested with toxoplasma gondii parasites, making them seem braver than they actually are.  It’s really interesting to me to look at what one little thing can do to hijack a host, a living organism.  And so I’ll often say, if one parasite can do this to a mouse or a human being, one little organism – you have a hundred trillion bacteria inside your gut.  Imagine what they can do for you when they’re aligned.  Or worse yet, imagine what they can do to you if they’re not aligned and they’re out of balance.  And this ultimately is the importance of gut health prenatal.

What an amazing story.

It really is one of my favorites.  So we have to understand that your gut bacteria set up everything for you pre-conception.  They balance your hormones; they keep you healthy.  70 to 90% of your immune system comes from your gut.  If you find yourself getting chronically ill or having digestive issues, you’re going to be depleted on nutrients.  You’re not going to be able to have a full nutritional profile, even as a basic level, to bring a baby to term or to have healthy sex hormones and sexual function.  So we see a lot of people who have digestive issues who either, A, are more prone to having babies with birth defects or development delays, or B, may not get pregnant at all, or C, not carry a baby to term.  This comes down to nutrients because the body needs nutrients in surplus, obviously, when you’re pregnant.  And so in order to have that, you have to have a healthy gut because a healthy gut absorbs and produces nutrients.  But if you’re not eating well or your gut is unhealthy, you’re both going to be in debt because your body is burning through nutrients at an increased rate.  Any time you’re under stress or you’re inflamed or you’re sick, it’s burning through these nutrients in excess, and then you’re not ingesting or absorbing properly.  So now you’re in debt.  So what happens when you’re in debt – I mean, imagine, Kristin, if you went broke; you went bankrupt.  The only way to get money is to work more, work harder, or to borrow it.  The human body does the same.  It will borrow from hair, skin, nails, other organ systems, hormones, and all these other aspects that hold nutrients in the body in order to sustain its most vital parts, which is brain, liver, heart, digestion, the basics.  So if you’re in debt, you’re borrowing from other places, it’s no wonder we’re going to be so sick all the time and unable to carry or to deliver or to have healthy sperm and sperm motility if we’re constantly in debt.  So we have to have healthy guts ahead of time to get ourselves to the end goal of, obviously, conception and development.

Thank you for explaining that.  I feel like it’s often assumed that just taking prenatal vitamins and trying to eat healthy is all you need, both in preparing for conception and also during pregnancy.

We often think exactly that because it’s often what we’re told.  It’s just, take these vitamins; you’ll be fine.  Well, if you have an unhealthy gut, even if you may think it’s unhealthy – if you have skin issues, anxiety, depression – you might actually have an underlying gut issue.  So you end up with really expensive urine because the vitamins come in; your body can’t absorb, utilize, breakdown, and then they get wasted.  Or worse yet, most doctors will tell you to take folic acid, right?  Just folic acid.  Even if we look at genetics, something that’s become very popular and I’m sure you’re very aware of in this space is that 44% of the population has a particular snip in this gene called MTHFR.

Exactly, yes.

You talk about that, I’m sure.  So 44% of women can’t use folic acid, anyway.  So we need these methyl folates in usable forms.  So I think it’s really important to understand all sides of this thing, exactly like you’re saying, to really have a well-balanced idea of how to have a healthy body, healthy baby, healthy nutrients.  Not just coming from what you ingest, but how you digest.

Yes.  So true.  And obviously, I mean, it helps to be in a healthy state before conception, so exercise, water intake, nutrition.  And as you had mentioned, really setting yourself up for conception.  But getting into pregnancy – again, what are your tips once a listener is pregnant and wants to focus on their health?  Would that be to seek a holistic nutritionist?  What are your thoughts there?

Definitely, I am a little biased, because I am a holistic nutritionist.  So definitely seek a nutritionist, because they’re really great at making sure you’re getting what you need.  I know, again, not all practitioners are created equally, as you’re aware in your field, as well.  In any field;  not all doctors are going to be equal; not all engineers will be equal.  Not all janitors are going to be equal.  So we really have to vet to make sure they’re competent.  My specialty being in the gut, I can make those connections, particularly for those who are trying to conceive who have gut issues or gut disease.  But what I won’t actually touch – because I specialize in Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis – I actually will not work with women who are actively pregnant or breastfeeding because – in very rare circumstances, I will – but if there’s a lot of toxins in the body and things built up, flushing those out while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding is actually very dangerous for the baby.

That makes sense with your specialty, absolutely.

Yes.  We want to just make sure to take care of that first.  Now, if you’re looking to conceive or you’re finished breastfeeding, absolutely, we can get in and fix gut disease.  But if you have very basic gut issues – irritable bowel syndrome; if you have some acid reflux and bloat, some cramping, constipation, diarrhea – that can absolutely be managed through very simple processes often.  We just have to figure out what’s causing the problem.  So if the issue really is just gut bacteria, sometimes taking the odd probiotic.  Now, I’m not condoning taking probiotics randomly.  I’ll get into that in just a second.  But sometimes it can be as simple as a probiotic or sitting down to chew your food.  If you’re shoveling five kids in the car to soccer practice and scarfing down dashboard dining, you’re actively in fight or flight, so you’re not going to break down; you’re not going to digest; you’re not going to absorb.  Your digestive system will be compromised.  Especially if you’re pregnant, all your organs are displaced, and so you’re not going to be – your digestion is already going to be a little bit off.  You might be more prone to being burpy or bloaty or gassy.  So we have to take extra special care to sit, to eat, to breathe.  Sometimes digestive enzymes can really help with that.

But in the case of taking probiotics, I often caution.  Now, the good news here is there’s a safety net because most probiotics, oftentimes they’re dead in capsule, so even their postbiotics that they produce can have nice benefits going through.  But it’s hard to find, unless it’s a very high quality maybe refrigerated probiotic.  It may not be an active, live culture.  So you’re kind of okay in that regard.  But if someone’s adding live cultures – say you have an overgrowth of lactobacillus; a very common probiotic we’ll see.  You have an overgrowth in your gut, and that’s contributing to your issues.  You take that probiotic; well, now you’re pouring gasoline on the fire.

So I often recommend in gut issues, severe gut issues, to get GI mapping done, which is a DNA stool analysis of your gut bacteria, which shows us everything in or out of balance.  As much as we can really see; again, we have 20 million different bacteria.  The best GI maps can maybe show you 100.  So it’s a grain of sand on the beach.  But it’s all actionable.  We can actually do a lot with these 50 to 100 we can see and make actionable differences.  So if we’re looking at gut and just how to generally take care of a gut, unless you have some severe conditions, again, like severe IBS or inflammatory bowel disease, I would say digestive enzyme; pausing; chewing; eating whole foods, and just taking your time.  Even – it might sound crazy, but avoid water 30 minutes before, during, and after meals, sipping as necessary, because if you’re low on stomach acid, which is a very common cause for acid reflux, then you’re going to be diluting your digestive enzymes further, which will further prevent or inhibit your digestibility of your foods.

Great tip.  So how does this affect baby and just overall gut health?  Obviously, with breastfeeding moms, there’s a lot of correlation . I’d love to hear your thoughts on the newborn and how gut health affects the child or children if they’re multiples.

Sure.  Something to keep in mind, we often hear gut microbiome.  But microbiome is really just an ecosystem, like a neighborhood of bacteria that happen to live in your gut.  We have microbiomes everywhere.  Women actually have them vaginally, so the entire birth canal is coated in bacteria.  You have them in your mouth.  You have them in your stomach, your hair, your nails, your eyebrows, your scalp.  It’s all different, but these neighborhoods all talk to each other.  So if you have healthy microbes, you have healthy microbiomes in one area, it actually influences beneficially the others.  So if we look at the vaginal microbiome in the birth canal, healthy gut bacteria influences that directly.  So when the baby is born – this is the difference between, obviously, natural and C-section.  As the baby comes through the birth canal, they’re fully inoculated in these bacteria.  And having a healthy gut fully influences that bacterium.  But even in utero, a baby developing in a placenta, we used to think the placenta was sterile, but we now know it’s teeming with microbes that you get from mom who got them from her mom and her mom before that.  So these genetics are passed on, these genetics and these microbe genetics.  So it’s really important to have a healthy gut to provide healthy vaginal bacteria and healthy placenta bacteria.  So as the baby is being born, they’re fully inoculated – eyes, nose, mouth, everything – with these microbes.

Now, for those who might need emergency C-sections, something that’s now being explored I’m sure you’ve heard or talked about yourself is a vaginal swab, and then you cover the baby with that swab and those microbes to try to inoculate as best you can.

Yes.  The seeding is very popular.

I’m so glad.  And a lot of doctors will still say that’s stupid, but we know how important it is.  If we look at the importance of having these natural births, obviously, having a natural birth as best we can, we know babies who are C-section will more commonly develop respiratory or neurological disorders like autism spectrum, schizophrenia, or auto-immune related diseases.  They might have more asthma or skin issues, juvenile arthritis, celiac, diabetes, or even obesity through childhood if you don’t have these bacteria properly.  They’re very important for a healthy childhood.  And we’ve even shown, again, connections to weight loss or the ability to have healthy body weight to gut bacteria on the body in general through mouse studies where they’ve gone through and put mice, for example, and they’ve had them go through and they’ve gleaned out their bacteria through antibiotics and flushing, and they’ve put them on a caloric deficit.  Well, these mice with altered bacteria didn’t get the benefits from calorie deficits, so weight loss or bacterial or hormonal benefits.  But the mice who have healthy bacteria did.  So then they reinoculated these mice with the good bacteria from the healthy mice, and they were able to lose weight again and have healthy thyroid and hormones and other things.  So we’re still exploring.  This is a very new science we’re just bridging into in the last 10, 20 years.  It will take us 50 to 100 more to really map the biome.  It’s amazing what we’re getting into to see.

So let’s take the next step.  Baby’s been born.  They’re covered in bacteria, assuming it’s healthy, or they’ve been seeded with vaginal seeding, which is great.  And now we have to look at breastfeeding.  There are obviously huge risks of not breastfeeding.  Again, medically, some women just cannot, and oftentimes, it’s actually a prenatal issue of gut health and healthy production.  But if we look at women who are already developing or already have a baby in utero and they’ve already given birth and now they want to breastfeed – if you can breastfeed, obviously, that’s ideal.  If you can’t, in these cases it might be recommended to have donor milk because – and this is a really hard stat.  Again, I’ve been under fire for this one because it hurts people’s feelings, and I’m just talking about the science.  There are some medical circumstances, of course, where women cannot give birth vaginally, and it’s emergency, or they cannot breastfeed, and those are the situations we have to do our best.  But the reality is, if you’re able, for your baby’s health, you should.  We know statistically speaking, babies who are strictly formula fed from birth versus strictly breastfed are twice as likely to die from SIDs.  And so it’s detrimental to have these gut bacteria.  We know they’re a huge part of your immune system.  We know they’re a huge part of development and brain development, heart development.  So obviously, having these beneficial microbes the first three days – lots of colostrum.  A thick turf being laid down inside the gut and the gut bacteria.  But infants not breastfeeding, we can see infectious incidents of increased infectious morbidity.  We see elevated risk of childhood obesity, type 1, type 2 diabetes, leukemia, again, SIDs.  And even for mothers, a failure to breastfeed, it’s a bidirectional relationship.  We have a failure to breastfeed associated with premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, retained gestational weight, type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction – that’s heart attack.

So we see all these problems associated with not breastfeeding on both sides.  It’s this very natural process, and of course, the oxytocin and the bonding and all those things.  And those gut bacteria – the gut is like a meadow, a newly seeded meadow.  And if you were to take a meadow that’s just growing grass, a brand new patch of dirt, just getting grass and little baby plants starting to come in, and you light it on fire with drugs or medications or antibiotics, it may never grow back the same again.  And so this is the importance of long term breastfeeding, 12 months, or some women are doing 24 months, which, I mean, I obviously don’t have breasts or a baby, so I can’t say if it’s too long or not.  Some people say it’s the best.  And so really, we have to look at the science behind it, and that lays down this nice thick meadow.  And gut bacteria can grow from a meadow to a rainforest if it’s seeded properly, if it’s taken care of properly, if it’s fed properly, if we avoid fire and salt in the soil.  You know, antibiotics and medications where possible.  And this is how we prevent disease and have healthy lives later on.  And even just looking at tribes, a lot of indigenous tribes still living off the land, they don’t know what failure to breastfeed is.  They don’t know what Alzheimer’s is.  They don’t know what diabetes or obesity is because they’re all extremely healthy.  Their bodies are functioning as they should.  That’s sort of the link there between pre, post, peri, and all the things.

Yes.  And you mentioned donations, so milk banks do screenings, and there are different milk sharing groups.  We’re fortunate to have a milk bank in our area.

That’s amazing.  What a gift of technology, and even just human compassion, to understand the importance of these things.  Moms above all else are superheroes.  My mom’s got five boys.  I get it.  It can be a zoo.  Really, moms give up everything.  They sacrifice and will do anything for their babies.  And it’s interesting to see in nature how different species even – I sent my wife a video, and we’re both watching this and tearing up.  This little dog – it’s an old pup who comes out of its dog house and sees a little baby chick wandering by itself.  It scoops it up and takes it in and tucks it into its warmth inside of its little doghouse.  It’s just the sweetest thing, and it’s so beautiful to see nature take care of each other and moms take care of other moms with things like breastmilk and donation when there’s excess.  It’s just really amazing and such a great gift to be able to give another baby.  It’s as powerful as being a bone marrow donor or a blood donor.  It really does make a difference in the rest of that baby’s life as they grow to become adults.

Absolutely.  And I know some moms who’ve experienced loss who chose to pump and donate their milk as a gift and a way to work through their grief.  It’s very beautiful.

That’s amazing.  I love stories like that.  That’s incredible.

For sure.  So you had mentioned that you wouldn’t directly work with breastfeeding moms, but for someone who has finished their breastfeeding journey or was unable or chose not to breastfeed, what can our listeners do to improve gut health postpartum as a final question before we wrap up?

Sure.  That’s as you’re actively breastfeeding?

As you’ve completed breastfeeding or for listeners who are not choosing to breastfeed.

Great question.  And I want to be careful not to deter women who are actively pregnant or breastfeeding.  I don’t want to deter you from seeking help, either.  In rare circumstances in digestive disease, we still can help in get things reduced or at least cover some basics and give your body some basic nutrients to help heal or get ahead of the curve.  Because obviously, there’s breakdown.  We want you trying to recover as much as you can, give your body a tool to try to get ahead of the breakdown.  So I don’t want to discourage you from getting help.  It’s just that to clean toxins from the body and kill off gut bacteria and fungus and overgrowth – that can be very dangerous.

But for those who are done breastfeeding or choosing not to breastfeed in your postnatal, taking care of your gut is obviously very important.  The number one thing we want to do is look at the roots.  And this is really my qualm, my challenge that I have with western medicine.  It’s been a huge blessing to be able to work with doctors in this space who are in functional medicine or their doctor ego doesn’t get ahead of them, because a lot of doctors will just say nope, this is the protocol; this is what we do.  The protocol, what they do, unfortunately, is assess your symptoms.  With those symptoms, if you check all the right boxes, you get a diagnosis.  If you don’t check all the right boxes, you’re kind of left in limbo.  We don’t know what it is, or there’s nothing wrong with you.  We call that medical gaslighting.  And they just send you home and offer you antidepressants.  We see that all the time.

So if you don’t check the boxes, you’re kind of stuck.  If you do check the boxes, great.  They give you a diagnosis.  That diagnosis just attaches you to drugs A, B, or C.  We give you these medications, and it masks those symptoms for this diagnosis.  And a diagnosis – we often attach to it and go, okay, well, I have IBS, or I have Crohn’s or colitis or whatever it is.  Unfortunately, that diagnosis really doesn’t mean anything.  All it is in the medical system is one word that quickly helps a medical professional understand what’s going on in the snap of an instant.  Okay, you have colitis.  Here are your symptoms, and now I know what’s going on with you.  But we attach to these diagnoses and say, well, there’s nothing we can do.  It’s autoimmune.  It’s idiopathic.  It’s whatever.  Which I saw is asinine.  You know, looking at the ulcerative colitis space, for example, or Crohn’s disease, looking at inflammatory bowel, they say idiopathic, no known cause, or it’s genetic or maybe environmental.  But either way, take the drugs and hope for the best.  And this is where western medicine goes so wrong.  Even looking at the data, we’ve grown between 1.5 and 2 million, give or take, cases of inflammatory bowel disease worldwide since 1990 to 7 million today.  So we’ve 5x-ed the amount of bowel disease in the world in the last 30 years.  And 50% of that – the United States of America is 5% of the global population, but they have 50% of those diseases, and we’re still saying it’s idiopathic.  Well, if 5% of the world has 50% of the problems, and you tell me there’s no known cause, you better figure it out.  And if it’s just genetic, that is a statistical improbability.  It can’t happen.  So we have people worsening these gut diseases from what might be 72% of Americans who complain of gut issues, be it constipation, diarrhea, gas pain, bloat, whatever it is, at least once a week.  That is an open door.  That is a gateway disease process to inflammatory bowel disease or whatever else, and we know the gut is connected to 93% of the leading causes of death in the USA.  And that’s everything.  We’re talking heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, liver, diabetes, kidney.   All kinds of issues that we see in the States, gut issues are directly connected.

So the question is what do we do or what can we do.  Well, number one, we have to get ahead of this thing if you’re on that slippery slope.  Because we look at it as a severity spectrum.  Right now, you’re wearing a pair of shoes, and you’re not wearing socks, and you’re a little irritated.  Your foot might be red or raw or blistering.  Great.  We can get ahead of it and put socks on now.  Or you can keep waiting until it’s bleeding and raw and you’ve worn down to the bone, and now there’s a lot more recovery process.  And that’s really how we look at these disease processes worsening over time.

So if you can get ahead of it now, if you just have gas or bloat or something, seek someone out.  I mean, I do work all over the world, but if I’m not a fit – some people hate my personality.  That’s fine.  Go see someone else who can help you, but I just care you get better.  We just want you to get ahead.  Gas and bloat or acid reflux is an early warning sign something else is going on.  If you have acid reflux, I hate antacids.  They make it worse as far as I’m concerned.  If you have bloat, digestive issues, IBS, IBD, get a stool sample done.  Look at your gut bacteria.  Seek an expert who specializes in these gut bacteria to actually help you rewind and reverse and rebalance.  Again, I’m very careful with who I work with on gut bacterial issues because of what we talked about, but there’s always a way to reverse it.  Inflammatory bowel disease – I talk about it because it’s a severity spectrum.  It’s the 12 out of 10.  It’s as bad as it gets.  It’s crippling.  It’s the worst next to bowel cancer.  But on the low end of the spectrum is bloat.  And so you have the potential to get worse, and if you don’t get ahead of it, you’re going to have a lot more cleanup to do down the road.  But even those cases of IBD, they are very reversible.  The western world says it can’t be helped.  Your doctors will give you a diagnosis and give you drugs.  But they’re not looking for the roots as to why.  So your gut issues come out in two ways.  One, it’s a slow wear and tear.  Something happened, like that wear and tear of a heel in a shoe.  Or two, it was an insult like antibiotics or a flu virus or a disease; something happened, food poisoning, and you’ve never been the same since and it got worse.  That’s an insult.  Those are the only two ways we really get these diseases.  Genetics are a very small component.

So my advice is don’t let your doctor just give you medication and send you on your way and chalk it up to genetics or say it’s not known.  Every symptom, every disease in the body, is a symptom of dysfunction.  We can simply correct that dysfunction and your body will heal itself in every instance of almost every single disease.  And that’s where I’d like to leave that one for you.

I love it.  Yeah, finding the root cause versus just treating the symptom.  And you had mentioned even like skin issues.  So I was having breakouts and was trying to change products, get facials, see my dermatologist and so on, but it ended up being, after I spent all of this money on product changes and so on, it was allergy related.  And I had blood work done, and certainly gut health was also a factor.  Once I made changes, I was able to see immediate improvement when I had been struggling for so long.

That’s amazing.  It can be so easy, right?  Something like the skin, we go to a dermatologist who gives you cream for the skin, but your skin is a detox organ.  It’s a direct outside reflection of what’s going on inside, and your food allergies created leaky gut, created inflammation in the system that came out in your skin.  It always has a root.

Exactly.  So how can our listeners find you, Josh?

Well, Kristin, it’s just like you said earlier.  The best way to find me is on ReversABLE – The Ultimate Gut Health Podcast.  And we have the absolute pleasure of dealing with all things gut.  And it’s not just about our guts, but we talk about all the things in our world that affect our gut: our food, nutrition, stress, lifestyles.  We have had gynecologists on and OB-GYNs and all kinds.  We’ve had all kinds of different specialists and doctors, and we talk about how our gut influences our world, how our world influences our gut, in long interviews like this, about an hour, and we also have short, quick, ten-minute tips that you can always write in.  And if you have questions and you’d like more information, head to  There’s contact information.  There’s free stuff.  We actually have free gut health programs for acid reflux and fatty liver, irritable bowel, SIBO, the works.  You can find it there for zero charge.

My goal is just to make this information free to the world, and I believe it should be.

That’s amazing.  Well, you are a wealth of information.  I see you’re also on social media between Facebook and Instagram?

That’s right.  That’s

Excellent.  Well, I’ll have to have you on again, Josh.  It was so wonderful to chat with you today.

It was a pleasure, Kristin.  Thanks so much for having me.



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