Finding Your Way to Digestive Wellness: A Review of Gutbliss by Robynne Chutkan, M.D.

by Gena on November 1, 2013

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A few weeks ago, as part of a Weekend Reading post, I mentioned that I’d soon be reviewing Gutbliss, a new title from Dr. Robynne Chutkan, MD. Today I’m making good on that promise, in the hopes that you’ll find the book’s content as intriguing and important as I do.

I met Dr. Chtukan a little over a year ago. In the brief time since we’ve known each other, she has inhabited many roles in my life. Robynne is first and foremost an esteemed mentor and professional role model. From her, I’ve learned about the kind of attention to detail that goes into the physician’s diagnostic process. I’ve learned that it is possible for a physician to be as empathetic as she is effective. I’ve learned that practicing medicine entails both the capacity to wield knowledge powerfully, and the ability to acknowledge that medicine is an imperfect science, full of mystery and unanswered questions. I’ve learned that a stark division need not exist between the often polarized worlds of what we might call “allopathic” and “alternative” medicine. It’s possible for physicians to offer their patients treatments and care from both traditions while avoiding some of their biases.

Robynne is also my employer. I now work part time in her office, the Digestive Center for Women in Chevy Chase, MD, as an in-house nutritionist. Sometimes this means offering guidance to newly diagnosed celiac patients, who are daunted by the process of transitioning to a gluten free diet. Sometimes it means working with folks who have IBS or other chronic digestive struggles to identify trigger foods (and healing foods). Sometimes it means sharing basic, essential nutrition advice (eat more fiber, eat whole foods, eat regular meals, eat variety) to patients who simply want to make smarter food choices.

When Robynne and I aren’t working together, we share our enthusiasm for wholesome food, yoga, literature, and all things green. It has been a joy to watch Gutbliss unfold–I met Robynne as she was completing the book, so I know how much time and effort went into it–and it’s now a pleasure to share it with CR readers. Of course, I’m a little biased about this title, given my friendship with the author. But I can say with honesty that I have learned a great deal from reading Gutbliss, and I believe that many of you will, too.

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As most CR readers know, I became interested in veganism because of a long and colorful history of GI problems. I was a colicky baby, an irregular toddler, and I began showing the symptoms of what would become an intense case of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) as a pre-teen. Naturally, my eating disorder only compounded and intensified the trouble. By my early twenties, digestive upset–ranging from irregularity to recurring cramps that were sometimes incapacitating, and once so intense that they sent me to an emergency room–shadowed my life. I was always anxious about when the next flare up would strike. After some searching, I found a gastroenterologist who gave me a few important tips, such as avoiding artificial sweetener, not chewing gum, and steering clear of carbonated beverages. He also made the fateful suggestion that I try removing dairy from my diet. The rest is history: I decided to give veganism a try, got into raw food a couple years later, and ultimately experienced tremendous relief. While my IBS can and does return if I’m very stressed or not taking care of myself properly (which was not uncommon during my post-bacc), it no longer dominates my life.

Grateful as I am to have learned how to manage my digestive issues, I often wish it hadn’t taken me so long to become educated and empowered. I wish that I’d had resources earlier on to help me figure out what was going on, and why I was so often uncomfortable. Like many women, I was told (with a hint of condescension) that IBS was mostly stress-related, and that I should try to “worry less.” I knew that stress was a trigger, of course, but I also knew intuitively that there were physiological factors involved in my symptoms. I also knew–even if my physician denied it–that diet must be playing a significant role in the problem. I wish someone had given me a copy of Gutbliss way back then.

Gutbliss is, at least on first inspection, a book about the epidemic of bloating that seems to plague so many people these days, women especially. It analyses some of the common sources of bloating, such as IBS, food intolerances or allergies, SIBO, leaky gut syndrome, dysbiosis (microbial imbalances in the body), as well as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns and Colitis, which are among Robynne’s areas of expertise). If you ask me, though, Gutbliss is really a rejoinder to the notion, still shared among numerous doctors, that women who have digestive travails are really just “stressed out.” Because certain digestive problems, such as gallstones or IBS, affect women disproportionately, and because it’s an ancient medical bias that women are more “hysterical” than men, there’s still a tendency to assume that female digestive complaints are driven by anxiety, rather than biology. Of course, stress and biology are intertwined: stress alters hormone balance and suppresses immune function. And since hormone balance and immunity interact with the digestive system, it’s often the case that stress triggers a bout of IBS, or a flare up of colitis. So there’s plenty of validity to the premise that stress is (in part) to blame.

But are stress and anxiety the only, or even the primary, cause of female digestive upset? Robynne doesn’t think so, and in Gutbliss, she’ll tell you why not. The book makes clear–in fascinating detail–that there are physiological and endocrinological differences between men and women that affect digestion. Did you know, for instance, that womens’ large intestines are about ten centimeters longer, on average, than mens’? This means more twists and turns, which means more places where gas can get trapped (hence bloating) and a greater risk of constipation. Women also have reproductive organs, which vie for space with the large intestine; in male bodies, the colon is located further up in the abdomen, which gives it more space. Men have tighter abdominal walls, due to their higher levels of testosterone, which means that their bowels bulge less than womens’ do (which may be why you hear your male friends complaining about bloating far less than your female ones). Hormonal fluctuations throughout a woman’s cycle can impact bloating and regularity, as can perimenopause and menopause. Finally, women are more prone to thyroid disorders than men are, which can play a role in bloating and regularity as well.

So, the fact that digestive issues tend to affect women disproportionately isn’t all about our propensity to stress out, or be anxious. There are anatomical and biological factors that predispose us to gut trouble. Robynne also describes how digestive disorders can have special kinds of consequences for female patients. Women with celiac disease, for example, can become infertile or experience miscarriage if they’re not properly diagnosed or treated. Women with inflammatory bowel disease can experience irregular menstrual cycles. Pelvic floor problems after childbirth can have affect a woman’s large bowel. From start to finish, diagnosis to treatment, women tend experience digestive illnesses differently than men do.

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This isn’t only a book for women, however. It’s also a lively, readable explanation of how and why common digestive problems–ones that affect both women and men–develop. My readers who take an interest in the gut already (and there are lots of you, I know!) will be familiar with some of what Robynne discusses, such as the microbiome or celiac disease. But you may be less familiar with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), parasites, leaky gut syndrome, or conditions like microscopic colitis. Even if you are familiar with these diagnoses, I guarantee that you’ll learn new facts about their origin and treatment. I certainly did. I’ve been a self-taught student of gut health for years now, but Gutbliss has increased my understanding dramatically.

Not surprisingly, Gutbliss is also a book about food and the food system. While she is careful to note that food isn’t always the culprit behind digestive issues (a point which I think is important), Robynne makes clear that eating nutrient rich, whole foods, plant-centric diets can benefit nearly anyone hoping to improve digestive health. She’s passionate about fiber, and the many ways in which it can help to keep the digestive tract healthy and gut flora balanced (she recommends psyllium powder for those hoping to boost fiber intake–start gradually, she says, and work up from there). She comes down very hard on processed foods, along with artificial sweeteners, refined sugars and grains, GMOs, and excessive animal protein. She has a nuanced approach to gluten (her chapter on celiac is informative), but it’s one of the substances that is omitted from her 10 day plan at the end of the book, along with alcohol, refined sugar, soy, caffeine, and dairy.

Do you have to do the 10-day plan to benefit from Gutbliss? I don’t think so. Gluten, soy, and caffeine make appearances in my diet, and–having spent years exploring and refining what works for my body and my digestion–I’m not compelled to cut them out, even if I’m conscious of how I consume them. It’s also worth noting that the Gutbliss plan isn’t vegan, though Robynne is extremely supportive of vegan diets. As with all health and wellness books, you can take what you need from Gutbliss, and modify it to fit your own philosophy. For example, I’m much more persuaded of the health benefits of soy than Robynne is. But could one enjoy some organic tofu and still follow the basic principle of the Gutbliss plan, which is to eat real food, avoid processed snacks, forgo artificial sweeteners, and boost fiber intake? Absolutely. Better yet, you needn’t worry about good/evil thinking in this book. Last week, when I reviewed David Katz’s new book, I mentioned how grateful I am for the fact that he allows for some flexibility. Robynne does, too. She recognizes that health is about enjoyment as well as beneficial choices. She makes clear to readers that a fine glass of wine with dinner, a cup of morning coffee, wholesome desserts, and other pleasures can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, happy, and gut-friendly lifestyle, so long as one is moderate and mindful.

Since many of my readers are already whole foodies who eat a ton of plants, you may not find that you need guidance on how to refine your diet for gut health. But what I believe you’ll take away from Gutbliss is information: lively and illuminating information from a medical professional who has been studying the gut for decades. More importantly still, the book may offer you–as it offered me–a sense of validation, an assurance that the gut distress you experience or have experienced in the past isn’t all “in your head.” GI illness can be terribly disruptive and profoundly isolating. There’s still quite a stigma surrounding “below the belt” problems, and many people are afraid to talk about their symptoms. Friends and family can’t necessarily see what’s going on when you suffer from irregularity, IBS, IBD, or SIBO, so it’s often hard to articulate how bad the symptoms are. And again, there’s that suspicion, so prevalent when one has a GI disorder, that the person suffering has somehow brought it upon him or herself with an anxious personality type.

There’s no doubt that stress and anxiety are factors in gut illness, and that treatment should involve stress management to whatever extent possible. But that doesn’t mean that patients and doctors shouldn’t also explore what else might be going on, from bacterial imbalance to parasites to pelvic floor problems. If you’re one of the many people who live with GI trouble, Gutbliss will give you a greater sense of how to start asking questions. And if you’re lucky enough to have a sturdy gut, the book may still teach you some fascinating facts about how your digestive system works, and how healthy foods can keep it strong.

You can read an interview with Dr. Chutkan here, or take some time to peruse her website. Whether you explore the book or not, know that I’m always wishing all of my readers a quick path to blissful digestion!

xo

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

janae @ bring joy November 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Gena, how fascinating! So many good things here. First, I always wondered why women seemed to have more intestinal issues than men. I’m so glad to see a female M.D. discussing diet/health. I’m tired of men (especially in the plant-based movement) who don’t seem to “get” women. We *are* different!

For me, I grew up experiencing a ton of gastro-intestinal issues & didn’t know what was wrong with me, or thought maybe it was just normal. Once I switched to a vegan diet, felt so much better, & even better once I cut out the gluten (for me, gluten makes me super-gassy/bloated & sometimes nauseated). I’m definitely putting this on my to-read list. Thank you for the recommend.

(& I too, like when there’s some room for flexability–I’m automatically suspicious of anyone who gives for the masses recommendations that are cut & dried & allow no deviations–”or else”)

Hope you have a great weekend!

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 7:39 am

You and me both, Janae! As someone who used to have very rigid ideas about what’s healthy and what isn’t, it has been nice to inch closer to health care work, because the evidence I see convinces me more and more that all bodies are different, that moderation is key, and that sweeping dietary recommendations (aside from the basic “eat whole food, eat a lot of plants” stuff) are usually biased.

Glad the book sounds interesting to you, and SO glad that you’ve found what works for your body!

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Heather @TheSoulfulSpoon November 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm

As someone who greatly struggles with her digestive system after recovering from a lifetime of disordered eating, I need this book. I just ordered the Kindle edition, and really wanted to thank you for describing the book so well. I found the facts about our digestive systems fascinating! Also, many of my own readers seem to have the same problems with their digestive systems as I do, and I know this book will give me insight, greater than what I have now anyway, as to what might help. As women, we face so many struggles and stressful situations, and our digestive tracts are often the first to let us know. Yet, despite stress, I know there are other things that must be affecting our digestion, and I’m quite intrigued by how hormones might do that. I know because of my own hormonal changes after my ED, my stomach was never the same. I was glad to hear she recommends psyllium, which I love in small amounts, along with coconut flour, which really helps me as well. Thank you for sharing this Gena, and thank you for being so open about your own struggles!

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 7:40 am

Coconut flour is wonderful stuff! And I’m glad you ordered the book, Heather. I hope that it is helpful to you.

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Liz S. November 2, 2013 at 1:52 am

The differences between men and women in terms of digestive issues are fascinating! Sounds like a worthy book to read for more information on gut health.

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 7:40 am

I thought you’d be interested, Liz!

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Nabeela November 2, 2013 at 2:05 am

Fascinating to hear your thoughts on Gutbliss – She is one who renews my faith in the progress of the profession, and reminds us that healing will always begin with lifestyle improvements. It would be a joy to meet her some day!

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 7:40 am

I hope you have a chance to! Robynne is incredibly inspiring.

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Emma November 2, 2013 at 7:29 am

This sounds like a fascinating read! I’m not a scientist by any means but I do love knowing all the ins-and-outs of how the body works. I’m someone who still struggles with digestion issues fairly frequently, no doubt after years of disordered eating…
Just added the book to my Amazon wishlist!

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Karen November 2, 2013 at 8:22 am

Thanks, Gena, for the detailed outline of Dr. Chutkan’s book. This really helps me determine if it’s a relevant enough read for me. I’m excited to delve into further…

Wishing you a relaxing weekend.

p.s. I’m still marveling re. how great this magnesium supplement you recommended recently works for me – so far, it has made a world of difference:)

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Same to you, Karen — a relaxing weekend. If you do explore Gutbliss, I hope you’ll find it informative!

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Kathleen November 2, 2013 at 8:26 am

Can’t wait to read this! Very thoughtful description. And thank you for mentioning how the pelvic floor is related to digestion. As someone who has undergone intense pelvic floor therapy (before and after childbirth!), I can attest that the two are very intertwined. Many women pay no attention to their pelvic floor, or don’t even know what it is, and it’s such an important aspect of not only women’s digestive health, but our sexual health as well.

I’m interested to hear her thoughts on soy. I was weary of soy for a while, mostly due to inaccurate information though.

Thanks again Gena for bringing this book to our attention!

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Kathleen,

In Robynne’s practice, we see many women with pelvic floor issues (unrelated to, or following childbirth). She has a stellar biofeedback therapist whom she often refers patients to, and works with. It has been fascinating for me to see how these issues intersect. Like a lot of folks, I had virtually zero understanding of the pelvic floor before I began this job.

In fairness, and in the interest of not misrepresenting Robynne’s opinion of soy, it’s truly processed soy she objects to. She says little about tofu, tempeh, or edamame. And I think her other concern would be GMOs, which she is suspicious of, but of course it’s incredibly easy to find non-GMO tofu and tempeh.

While I’ve seen compelling studies that point to dangers of certain kinds of soy isolates, a large majority of the evidence we have points to the protective and healthful properties of soy, ranging from cholesterol reduction to reduced inflammation to protection against breast cancer. I recently had to research soy quite a bit for a project I was working on, and — having historically been scared away from soy, as you were — I was amazed at how positive and supportive the studies are. I was also surprised to see that soy is associated with a protective effect against breast cancer not only from a preventative standpoint (ie, populations of people who eat more soy tend to have lower occurrence, especially if they begin eating it at a young age) but also among women who have already had breast cancer, as a means of lowering the risk of recurrence.

There are, of course a huge number of studies on soy safety, and there are a few that suggest a risk for women who have had/are susceptible to breast cancer, but there are greatly outnumbered by studies to the contrary. And again, soy isolates seem to be the problematic foods. Some good studies to read:

Shu XO, Zheng Y, Cai H, et al. Soy food intake and breast cancer survival. JAMA. 2009;302:2437-2443

Butler LM, Wu AH, Wang R, Koh WP, Yuan JM, Yu MC. A vegetable-fruit-soy dietary pattern protects against breast cancer among postmenopausal Singapore Chinese women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr;91(4):1013-9.

Wu AH, Koh WP, Wang R, Lee HP, Yu MC (2008) Soy intake and breast cancer risk in Singapore Chinese health study. Br J Cancer. 99(1):196–200.

Korde LA, Wu AH, Fears T, et al. Childhood soy intake and breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009;18:OF1-10.

Shu XO, Jin F, Dai Q, et al. Soyfood intake during adolescence and subsequent risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001;10:483-8.

Caan BJ, Natarajan L, Parker BA, Gold EB, Thomson CA, Newman VA, Rock CL, Pu M, Al-Delaimy WK, Pierce JP. Soy Food Consumption and Breast Cancer Prognosis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Prev. 2011 May;20(5):854-8. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-1041. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006;16(3):249 –258.

Sorry for the tangent/braindump — I just finished reading up on this, so the info is fresh :-)

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Karen November 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

Good stuff here, Gena!

(For myself, after conducting various self-experiments over the years, I’ve concluded moderate intake of tofu, tempeh and edamame work in my favor – strictly digestively speaking, that is. The extra boost of complete protein feels like a positive addition to my vegan diet.)

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Gena November 3, 2013 at 9:35 am

I agree, Karen. Tofu digests very well for me (tempeh is a little harder for me to digest, but certainly not prohibitively so!). And I also appreciate the complete protein and (in the case of tofu) calcium, too.

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Kathleen November 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Thanks so much for clarifying Dr. Chutkan’s stance and for directing me to these studies. I’m interested in looking further into soy protein isolates. While I stick to tofu, tempeh and edamame for the most part, my husband relies on isolates in bar forms when he is training for big races. Interesting stuff!

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Elizabeth November 2, 2013 at 8:27 am

While my own digestive issues don’t seem to have been as severe, or as incapacitating, as yours, as someone with sensitive digestion, I can relate to the woes you describe. Even when it strikes only intermittently, say, when travelling, and even when it doesn’t occur frequently enough to merit a diagnosis of IBS, it can still provoke anxiety and become its own source of stress. I don’t know the allopathic diagnosis for my problem – in ayurveda it would be “low fire.” I’ve found own way of managing things, much of which contradicts popular wisdom. For instance, I tend to eat very lightly during the day, when I need to be getting things done, and a very large evening meal, after which I can relax with tea and a book and allow 12+ hours for digestion. Apart from processed foods, I haven’t eliminated outright any major food groups, though I do restrict animal products and grains (with exception of oats). Because I tend toward “vata” imbalance and yet prefer raw foods, I do try to keep my raw food diet “warming” in fall/winter by adding things like cooked sweet potato or legumes to my salads, not freezing fruit for my smoothies, etc., more hot tea, fewer cold drinks, etc. I think the biggest help is learning to “wait it out” rather than trying to fix immediately when things are off. So if I arrive in another city, maybe it will take 48 hours to be back on track, so to speak, but I find if I just eat lightly and don’t panic, I’ll be okay in a day or two. Fasting outright just exacerbates things.

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Elizabeth,

I, too, have found that much conventional wisdom isn’t what tends to work for me. I can’t tell you how often I’m told, for instance, that raw foods must surely be too hard for me to digest, tear my stomach apart, etc. Yet they tend to digest very well for me, and it was when I got into raw foods that I experienced the most significant GI improvement in my life. Not everyone’s experience, of course, and while I don’t practice either TCM or ayurveda, I know that both traditions would have me limit damp or cooling foods. But different things really do work for different people. I feel much better when I eat at regular intervals, but I also have my biggest meal at night, always.

I also can relate to your approach of waiting it out. It’s hard not to get anxious about GI stuff, especially when there’s pain, but a calm and patient response always helps me.

G

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Lauren November 2, 2013 at 9:09 am

WOW! I must read! Thanks for sharing, G!

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sassygirl November 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

a fantastic book and reference to have on hand. I
couldn’t put it down. thanks, gena!

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Kim November 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Excellent book! I am reading it for the second time. I wish she was my gastroenterologist. I was referred to a gastroenterologist for elevated liver enzymes which remain elevated for a year, he tested me for everything, I even had a liver biopsy. To this day it is not known why they were elevated (they are back in the normal range now). My diet was never part of the discussion. To educate myself I read everything I can about digestion and continue to stick to my plant based diet. I love your blog! Thank you for all the great information and recipes!

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Gena November 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Thanks so much, Kim! I’m happy you like my blog (and Robynne’s book).

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Robin November 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Fantastic. Really looking forward to reading this. I’m wondering if she or you have any opinions on FODMAPS diet. I just can’t bring myself to try it (dairy-free, gluten-free, other food allergies, low goitrogen, candida diet, plus FODMAPS is just too much for me), but even thinking about dates, apples and other high FODMAPS foods makes my stomach hurt! Plus I can’t afford and don’t want to eat all the meat/eggs that would be some on the only protein available to eat on that restricted diet.

Thanks for sharing your IBS stories. I almost went to the ER this week myself from stomach pain so it’s nice to hear hopeful stories.

I’m also really appreciating your recent comments with lists of journal articles, and I’d be happy to see more of that in your posts – it might seem too much for some people, but you do have a very aware readership! I’m reading through the soy ones now. Thanks!

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Gena November 3, 2013 at 8:17 am

Robin,

My readers are not only aware, but extremely knowledgeable, so it’s in part out of respect for them that I’m trying to include citations lately when I make statements about this or that food! It’s also an extension of my own learning process. In school, I’ve been learning how to evaluate, read, and draw conclusions from medical literature, and it’s important for me to bring that to CR from now on.

As for FODMAPS: I cannot speak for Robynne directly, but she and I have of course discussed the diet. I think she thinks it’s helpful for some, possibly not for others. In my mind, one of the problems with the diet is that it tends to assume that all IBS stems from the same root cause (short chain polysaccharide malabsorption), thus presents itself as a universal answer. Many people with both IBS and IBD do have lactose and/or fructose malabsorption, so FODMAPs will help quite a bit. But the causes of both conditions do vary. With IBD, for instance, one can have a genetic case of Crohn’s, infectious colitis that becomes chronic, or other kinds of complex etiologies (this something Robynne explained to me directly only a week or two ago). And with IBS, the origin and symptoms can also be very different. Folks with IBS-C, who are chronically constipated (this is what I used to have), may find that incredibly amounts of fiber are crucial for feeling better, and in this case, FODMAPs may not be helpful, since the fiber in legumes, avocados, fruit, etc. are doing a lot of good. But if you have visceral hypersensitivity with IBS, the fiber may exacerbate symptoms, and of course if you do have a fructose malabsorption issue, many of the illegal FODMAP foods may indeed be your triggers.

So, I think this is a complex issue. FODMAPS has a lot of promising research attached, but Robynne seems to think that it can be somewhat arbitrary, and also that it doesn’t work for everyone. My understanding (more of a layman’s understanding) is similar. I think it’s a good solution for those who have lactose or fructose malabsorption, or who digest starches like raffinose (found in beans, broccoli, asparagus, and cabbage) poorly. But even within FODMAPS, I think that triggers are probably quite specific: a lot of folks go on the diet and eliminate all of the illegal foods for the long haul, which may or may not be necessary. The goal really should be to identify those few, specific foods that pose a big problem (I, for instance, do have a tough time digesting raffinose, but I can handle it in moderation/balance, and a lot of other illegal FODMAP foods tend to digest just beautifully).

And of course, one has to remember that many different things work for different folks. While FODMAPs may be the answer for some, there are other diets that are drastically different and happen to be a godsend for others. Take the soluble fiber approach to IBS, which is full of non-FODMAP friendly ingredients (like gluten). It works for a lot of people. So there’s no real way to say that one of these protocols is a universal answer. We so desperately want there to be an IBS solution for everyone, but IBS is a highly nuanced, complex phenomenon, and appropriately, it seems that identifying a way to manage it through diet is also very complicated, and involves careful listening to one’s own body.

Hope this helps!

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Kathleen November 3, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I’m going to echo Robin’s comment per providing us with journal citations. Thanks for that extra effort which I know requires much more work on your end.

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Alicia @ Weekly Greens November 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I have read this fantastic book so I have to chime in! I will also disclose that I know (and love) the author. :) what found most fascinating about your review is your perspective as someone who has suffered greatly with GI illnesses. I am lucky to be free of GI issues (not even bloat) but I still found so much worthwhile information in the book. I completed her 10 day “detox” and felt great. It was a well worthwhile exercise. I had no idea how this book might be received by someone who has dealt with IBS or colitis or Chrohn’s and you opened my eyes in that way. I really love that we can all – no matter what our GI history – benefit from Dr. Chutkan’s sage wisdom.

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Gena November 3, 2013 at 8:02 am

Just as you find my perspective as someone with chronic GI issues interesting, I think it’s equally invaluable to know that Robynne’s plan has helped you feel more energetic and healthy — a reminder that the book is for everyone!

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance November 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Gena I absolutely adored this post. What a wonderful M.D. to work for. I only hope I become as fortunate after I complete my R.D internship. I do experience symptoms from I.B.S and it can be quite difficult to find relief when you feel you are doing everything you can to prevent symptoms. I look forward to completing her detox.

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Gena November 4, 2013 at 7:47 am

Thanks Christina! Robynne is fabulous. I hope you enjoy the book.

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Sarah November 3, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I am very excited about this book. It will help me continue to manage/heal the dysbiosis in my gut. Digestion is fascinating and I hope to learn more about how my body works.

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Alexa November 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Wow, fascinating stuff, I can’t wait to read the book :) Tofu definitely digests really well for me, I love it.

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Rose! November 4, 2013 at 7:45 am

I wish I’d had a copy of Gutbliss in college! Had someone told me in writing to avoid 4 a.m. vodka-fueled pizza feasting, I may have been more inclined to abide :) This sounds incredibly informative and I’m so glad you have a role model in the medical field who is successfully (and gracefully!) balancing naturopathic and allopathic medicine…. it makes me want to consider becoming a doctor all over again!

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Gena November 4, 2013 at 7:47 am

Ha! Well if you do, I can offer you some tips on being a post-bacc :-)

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Rose! November 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

Oh dear, I’m sure you can! Let’s… um… cross that bridge when we come to it :/

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