GI Restoration: How to Heal Your Gut (Part 1)

by Alejandra "Alex" Ruani — Get free science updates here.

It is estimated that up to a quarter of the world’s population suffers from gastrointestinal problems, and the majority of these are women (Shivaji and Ford, 2014).

Are you, or is someone you know, included in this statistic?

Chances are, the answer is yes.

If your symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, acid reflux or indigestion, amongst others, learn about ways to heal your gut in this comprehensive Science Report:

Grab “GI Restoration: How to Heal Your Gut (Part 1)” below:


Download PDF NOW!


Conveniently download this 55-page report (Part 1). Contains links to extra reading materials and scientific references.

Topics covered in this Part 1:

  1. What are your digestive symptoms?
  2. Our complex GI system
  3. The 4R Programme
  4. The first step
  5. Mitigating the risk of wrong advice
  6. Removing excesses and stressors
  7. Alcohol
  8. How alcohol affects your GI tract
  9. Alcohol and your gut lining
  10. Alcohol and acid reflux
  11. Alcohol: Mini Self-Assessment
  12. Alcohol intake recommendations
  13. Alcohol units and calories
  14. Small changes go a long way
  15. Energy intake
  16. Excess body fat and acid reflux
  17. What could explain that?
  18. Oesophageal pH and weight loss
  19. Energy Intake: Mini Self-Assessment
  20. Losing excess body fat
  21. Stress
  22. The gut-brain axis
  23. Stressors and your SNS system
  24. Inactivation of your PNS system
  25. Relaxation to improve symptoms
  26. Stress: Mini Self-Assessment
  27. Managing psychological stress
  28. Extra resources
  29. Allergens
  30. Common food allergens
  31. Understanding food allergies
  32. Food intolerances are different
  33. Food Allergy: Mini Self-Assessment
  34. Keeping a food and symptoms diary
  35. Excluding the suspected foods
  36. Keeping symptoms at bay
  37. Low FODMAP diets
  38. Food intolerance OR gut imbalance?
  39. Important points to remember
  40. Your key takeaways
  41. Learn more
  42. References and resources


Download PDF NOW!


Download the entire GI Restoration series by clicking on the links below:

  1. GI Restoration: How to heal your gut (Part 1)
  2. GI Restoration: How to heal your gut (Part 2)
  3. GI Restoration: How to heal your gut (Part 3)
  4. GI Restoration: How to heal your gut (Part 4)
  5. GI Restoration: How to heal your gut (Part 5)


Once you've had the chance to read Part 1, we’d love for you to vote in our poll and share:

Do you suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms? How did you do in the four Mini Self-Assessments? Which of the strategies from the report would you consider implementing?

Leave and comment sharing your thoughts with us and your fellow readers.


What are your symptoms?

Do you suffer from any of the below gastrointestinal symptoms? (select ALL that apply)


Alex Ruani leads the research division at The Health Sciences Academy, where she and her team make sense of complex scientific literature and translate it into easy-to-understand practical concepts for students. She is a Harvard-trained scientific researcher who specialises in cravings and appetite neurobiology, nutrition biochemistry, and nutrigenomics. Besides investigating and teaching the latest advances in health and nutrition science, Alex makes it easier to be smarter with her free Science Catch-ups every other Thursday.
Connect with Alex via email.

Every other Thursday we share our research and actionable advice to help you and those you care about. If you enjoyed this, join our FREE updates.


  • ellie

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    very very interesting

    • Sophie Ash (Research Analyst)

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015

      Thanks, Ellie. Stay tuned for Part 2!

  • Lesley Burrell

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    Very interesting and informative article. I have read a few things now about healing from the gut outwards, and so far it makes perfect sense along with the other things I have read. Thanks for the confirmation that I am on the right track.

    • Alex Ruani, Research Director

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015

      Lesley – with so much misleading information out there, I’m glad to hear that!

  • Lucia

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    I think a lot of people live with this problem and simply suffer in silence.

    • Sophie Ash (Research Analyst)

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015

      I think you’re right, Lucia. Perhaps this report will push a few people in the right direction in terms of taking control of their health. We must look after ourselves!

  • Penny Cilento

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    Thank you for these reports they are insightful and helpful.

  • Sarah

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    Another interesting report! However, I was very confused by the alcohol “unit” section. I had always understood that the greater the strength of alcohol, the less you should drink of it: yet a 175ml glass of wine contains 2 units and a shot of whisky contains 1. Although wine is generally around the 12 – 15% ABV (i.e. you are drinking 12 – 15% neat alcohol) but whisky is around 40%! So why is 175ml of wine considered worse when you are drinking a lot less pure alcohol? Would be very interested to know. As a related comment, white wine and whiskey give me acid reflux, vodka, rum or red wine do not. Is this to do with the process of making those types of alcohol? Or to do with the specific issues in my gut!

    • Annnie Miller

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015

      Sarah I don’t drink alcohol but I think page 17 is the guideline so you need to use the calculator on page 18 with % and units

    • Sophie Ash (Research Analyst)

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015

      Hi Sarah,

      Just to clarify this a bit more…

      A “unit” takes into account both the strength of the alcohol within a drink and the amount of the drink that is consumed. Because of this, you can compare lots of different types of alcoholic drink alongside each other, as they’re then all on the same scale, and work out how much you’re having in total compared to the daily limits.

      Hopefully this makes sense now :-)

  • Annnie Miller

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    Thanks so much, I printed my report and learned loads, feels like a mini course! I am going to apply the symptom diary strategy and see how I do. Can’t wait for part 2!!! Loving this

    • Sophie Ash (Research Analyst)

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015

      I’m so glad to hear that, Annie :-)

  • Sarah

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    Thanks Annie, unfortunately the calculator simply reflects the guideline units. It doesn’t actually explain why 1 unit of an alcohol with 40% ABV is the same as 1 unit of alcohol with a 12% ABV. It is very helpful on the calorie counter though!

    • Hi Sarah – glad to hear you enjoyed the report!

      Regarding your question, the calculator is correct, and I think I know where your confusion comes from. To work the formula backwards and make sense of the numbers, you need to compute the glass volume in milliliters and compare things like for like. In other words, glass size matters.

      For example:

      Spirits 25ml glass = 40% alcohol = 1 unit
      So (40% x 25ml) /100 = 10ml
      Then 10ml is 1 unit of alcohol (per the calculator)

      Beer 568ml glass = 4% alcohol = 2.3 units
      So (4% x 568ml) /100 = ~23ml
      Then 23ml is 2.3 units (per the calculator)

      Therefore, a 25ml spirits glass has 10ml alcohol (1 unit), whereas a pint of beer (much larger volume) has 23ml (2.3 units).

      It’s a simple mathematical correlation – glass size needs to be computed when comparing different drinks.

      In any case, the calculator does all the maths for you, so no need to worry so much about this :-)

      • Sarah

        Reply Reply June 21, 2015

        Aha! Thanks for that Alex, that’s a lot clearer now :-)

  • ida

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    I would like to understand if there is any scientific truth if eating alkaline and acid foods cause constipation or can I be signed post to the relevant evidence.

  • Steven Parker

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    Thanks for the steps, I agree with Annie, like a lesson! How interesting that it’s mostly women who have these issues, I wonder why! I will try to cut out alcohol in my case and keep a diary as suggested. I suspect the sugar, yeast and sulphites in alcoholic drinks may also have something to do with symptoms, looking forward to Part 2. Thank you!

    • Sophie Ash (Research Analyst)

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015

      Hi Steven,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the report and are taking the first steps to healing your gut! You’re right, it’s interesting that the majority of people with digestive symptoms are female. Perhaps it’s hormone-related.

      I hope your food and symptom diary helps you shed some light on your symptoms. It can be a long and drawn out process but once you get to the bottom of it all it will be worthwhile :-)

  • Lorena

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    Very interesting. Very good article.

    • Sophie Ash (Research Analyst)

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015

      I’m glad you liked it, Lorena :-)

  • Nurten

    Reply Reply June 19, 2015

    I know the 4R program is a major part of practice for many medical conditions in functional medicine and I am familiar with it in general. If followed and implemented correctly, it solves many complex imbalances without any need for medicine. I like this presentation as it offers much more details and so much scientific support. I hope the series for all 4 R steps will be presented continuously, so we can have a comprehensive understanding of this program. Thank you so much.

  • Donna

    Reply Reply June 21, 2015

    I was in the hospital and missed this much needed article. Reading all of of your comments trying to see if I can learn a bit of what I missed. All it’s telling me is how much I really needed it. lol. Oh well, hopefully part 2 will be available next week and I can gain enough from that one.

  • Marion Doherty

    Reply Reply July 2, 2015

    Good morning,

    I missed the first report unfortunately and I was wondering when part two will issue?
    The reports are brilliant and thoroughly enjoying them.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.



  • Hi! I just wanted to let you know that PART 2 is now available. GI Restoration: How to Heal Your Gut (Part 2): Thanks! Maria

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