Published on May 25, 2021

A woman eating yogurt.

Is gut health impacting your efforts to lose weight?

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates is noted for the maxims "All disease begins in the gut" and "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Gut health continues to be a popular topic today as scientists learn more about the connection between the gut microbiome – the community of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in your digestive tract – and your physical and mental health.

"It’s important for people to understand how gut health helps them maintain a healthy digestive system and weight," said Nicole Crivello, APNP, a member of ProHealth Care’s Weight Management team. "People who learn and practice a better way of eating often lose more weight, have fewer gastrointestinal issues, and feel more comfortable and energetic."

Evidence shows that diet can play a major role in reducing gastrointestinal symptoms. Research also points to the removal of potentially harmful foods from the diet as a key to helping increase weight loss and restoring balance in the gut microbiome.

Chronic conditions including acid reflux, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and Crohn’s disease also may be better managed by emphasizing consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

ProHealth’s weight management program helps patients learn about and practice healthy eating so they can achieve dietary and weight goals. Along with Crivello, the team includes Julie Larsen, MD; Betty Holloway, clinical dietitian; and Leticia Hoisington, psychotherapist.

Together, they provide personalized weight management plans, behavioral health care, and evidence-based health and nutrition coaching through virtual and office visits. Patients also receive weight management resources.

"Our focus is on restoring health and wellness, preventing disease and helping patients learn an intuitive, sustainable way to lose weight," Crivello said. "We also help people understand how reducing sugar, red meat and processed foods can go a long way toward restoring balance in the gut."

Patients should always check with their primary care physician or specialist about any new symptoms they are experiencing or about weight management goals and safe approaches to weight loss.