Your Health Depends on the Bacteria in Your Gut


On this week’s episode of the Body Wisdom Podcast, Michele speaks with Dr. Norm Robillard about how your health depends on the bacteria in your gut.

Dr. Norm, Founder of the Digestive Health Institute is a leading gut health expert. He turned his own suffering from chronic acid reflux into a mission to create the drug and antibiotic free Fast Tract Diet for functional gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and other related health conditions.

The Fast Tract Diet was presented at the Digestive Disease Week in 2013 to provide an alternative treatment option to gastroenterologists for SIBO related conditions which affect over 100 million people in the US alone.

The diet has been endorsed by the New York Times Best Seller Co-author, Dr. Michael Eades, GI Surgeon, Dr. Alan Hu, many certified nutritionists and healthcare providers.

Dr. Norm’s Fast Tract Digestion book series, Fast Tract Diet mobile app as well as his individual consultation program have been helping people around the globe get off drugs and find relief through diet and behavior modification.


Main Questions Asked:

  1. Could you tell us about your story?
  • Robillard started out in Microbiology. He was suffering from Chronic Acid Reflux, the industry didn’t seem very interested in the root cause of the issue, just treating the symptoms.
  • Norm’s son suggested they go on a low carb diet. Not only did he lose weight, his acid reflux disappeared.
  • Norm ended up doing some research into how carbs, fats, and proteins are digested and this lead him to gut bacteria and its role on our health.
  • The problem bacteria essentially thrived on carbohydrates and produced a lot of different gases as a result, which can result in acid reflux and SIBO.
  • The Fast Track Diet is the result of this research.
  1. Could you tell us more about SIBO, what it is and what causes it?
  • We always have bacteria in our gut, most of the bacteria is useful and helps us survive. They break down complex carbohydrates and fibres while producing vitamins and other things that nourish us.
  • The first part of the small intestine has almost no bacteria. SIBO is when you have too many bacteria is the small intestine and can damage the enzymes on the tips of your microvilli, which can lead to a vicious cycle of your digestion getting worse and the bacteria continuing to grow.
  • SIBO can lead to bone fractures, autoimmune disease, and other issues.
  • Most doctors are willing to try the dietary approach, many just don’t know how effective it can be when dealing with the condition.
  • How food moves through the digestion system can be a big factor, too much or too little stomach acid, a compromised immune system, a variety of drugs, and gastrointestinal infections can cause SIBO. The critical role of carbohydrates is one of the most overlooked causes of SIBO which can only really be addressed through diet.
  • Chewing well and slowly can help with digestion.
  1. What kinds of foods are the most problematic for SIBO?
  • Lactose, fructose, resistant starch fibres, and sugar alcohols are the major culprits.
  • If you’re of European descent, chances are good that you are lactose intolerant.
  • Well over half the world is intolerant to fructose.
  • There is a study that shows eliminating fibre from the diet of a person with IBS can be as effective as antibiotics.
  • Carbs with a high glycemic index will leave less starch to fuel bacterial overgrowth.
  • Eating more fats and proteins is a good way to replace the complex carbohydrates in your diet and reduce SIBO symptoms.
  • As you begin the healing process, you will build up a tolerance to carbs again.
  1. Let’s talk about some of the “healthy” foods that cause problems.
  • Many traditionally healthy foods can cause issues for someone with SIBO.
  • It’s really hard to judge foods when you’re in the throes of SIBO, pinpointing the specific food can be difficult because of the timelines of digestion and generally feeling terrible.
  • Dairy can be especially difficult.
  • Smaller serving sizes of problematic foods can help with symptoms.
  1. For someone with SIBO, what are the treatments?
  • Nearly all medications on the market treat the symptoms without addressing the cause and can lead to a variety of side effects.
  • SIBO can sometimes be viewed as an infection which isn’t quite accurate but antibiotics are sometimes used but can also lead to a variety of issues, including diarrhea, super infections, and creating antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • Diet is a durable response that treats the root cause and should be the first line of defense.
  • Antibiotics should be a last resort in most situations.


Links/Contact Info:


Fast Tract Diet Mobile App:

Google Play (

iTunes (

Email address:

Phone number: 844-495-1151

6 Responses to “Your Health Depends on the Bacteria in Your Gut”

  1. Allan

    Have been suffering for almost a yr. want I’m antibiotic Riflaxin 3 times. Still hv it. Lost 20 lbs which is a good thing. Be n on lowfod map for 3 months feeling better but not like a used to. Getting use to cramping but not painful now. Was tested breath test it’s positive . I’m at my wits end

    • Michele Colon

      Allan, I know how you feel! I felt the same way for a long time. Have you tried the Elemental Diet yet? I’m going to publish a blog post about it for those who are wondering what it is.

  2. Justin Smith

    I have suffered for 30 years from stomach pain that had no diagnosis. It was a serious problem limiting my abilities and causing mental effects.
    I have had a life of Tagamet, Pepsid, Zantac, omprezole, acidophilus, rolaids, all kinds of dietary sidetracks. The Dr. Robillard diet has given me something to work with that has brought immense success and relief!
    No more pain in the back, jabbing pain in the chest, choking episodes, certain kinds of headaches, lethargy and mental fog—just tiny versions of the problem with certain foods or stress.
    I have had 3 GI scans when the doctors would say- gee, we don’t see anything at all but there was the syndrome, year round with different intensity starting in the fall.


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