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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2013
I've had a digestive disease for the last 23 years. I've struggled with diet-related issues because of that more or less dramatically for that whole time. _Gutbliss_ is the first book I've ever read that is making a difference in that cause.

Using a conversational style, Dr. Chutkan explains the likely causes behind every common - and not a few uncommon - issues with the GI tract in a way accessible to someone like me without a medical degree. In every chapter, there's a story of someone she's treated successfully. She provides solutions that are reasonable and actionable.

I'm cautiously satisfied with my results of following her suggestions after only 8 days. That's pretty amazing considering I'm combating 23 years of disease.

I'm recommending this to every female friend I know who is interested in this subject and will continue to do so. I'll have a hard time sharing this book when I'm done!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2013
First saw this book and its author featured on Dr. Oz. I don't typically buy things because they are recommended on a television show but what she spoke about made sense. There is a ton of great information in this book from a doctor that takes into account the whole person; a common sense meets science approach. The book is divided into three parts; Digestion 101, What's Gone Wrong In Your Gut? and On The Path To Gutbliss. She includes a list of foods to avoid (SAD GAS) Soy, Artificial Sweeteners, Dairy, Gluten, Alcohol and Sugar, foods to limit, and foods to include. A worthwhile investment.
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225 of 267 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2013
As a Family Medicine physician and public health professional, I was intrigued by this book. I read an interview with the author and the premise seemed interesting. I wanted to check it out not only for potential information for my patients, but also for myself, since I have had various digestive issues over the years.

First, the good: the book, while very basic info for me, will probably be a good resource for the average layperson. I like how she describes the function and importance of the GI tract, and the matter-of-fact way she talks about the health issues associated with the gut. I think it is a good resource for the average person. While her "program" is basically a brief food-avoidance regimen, I think probably some people who haven't read about such regimens before will get some interesting new information. For my part, I already avoid the majority of the items she mentions (alcohol, caffeine, soy, processed food, sugar, etc) but the book did inspire me to increase my veggie intake and perhaps try a trial of no dairy for a couple of weeks.

Now, the bad: The chapter on hormones is very minimal and is so inaccurate and full of holes that I am amazed it was written by a medical professional. Here are some quotes:
"Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy are also forms of xenoestrogens and a major cause of bloating." This is a gross oversimplification; there are tens of different formulations of oral contraceptives (OCPs) and how each woman responds to them is extremely individual. If your OCP is causing so much bloating that you are uncomfortable and noticing it, for heaven's sake talk to your OB/Gyn or other health professional to change it!

Here's another quote: "Weight loss on a high-estrogen BCP may be extremely challenging due to fluid and salt retention and weight gain." This is either completely misleading or totally incorrect. First of all, it is unclear what she considers a high estrogen OCP. The old formulations (from the 60s and 70s) were indeed high-estrogen, but nobody is taking those anymore! Today's OCPs are half or less of the doses of those older pills. Furthermore, there have been many studies done with tens of thousands of women and NONE of them have shown any weight gain in OCP users that was not also present in non-OCP users in the same age bracket. The only hormonal birth control that has been shown to cause weight gain is DepoProvera, which is a progesterone-only form of birth control (contains no estrogen). There is absolutely no link between estrogen-containing OCPs and weight gain.

She also seems to emphasize that estrogen is the culprit behind GI problems, but then goes on to recommend only non-hormonal birth control without making ANY mention of the four available forms of birth control available to women containing only progesterone (Depo-Provera, the progesterone-only pill, the implantable progesterone rod, and the progesterone-coated IUD), all of which are great options for women who do not like the side effects of estrogen.

She likewise makes NO mention of endometriosis, which is a diagnosis that needs to be explored in EVERY woman who has GI symptoms which worsen during her menses. The primary treatment for endometriosis is--guess what?--combination birth control pills.

She also recommends instead (because all hormones are BAD!) the copper IUD and condoms as your alternatives. Not only does this recommendation set women's birth control options back about 100 years, it is also based on a completely illogical premise. She recommends the copper IUD as better, but seemingly does not understand how it works: by creating inflammation inside the uterus (along with just mechanically blocking implantation). Thus, many women on the copper IUD experience heavy painful periods (and more bloating and GI symptoms with them). For my patients who have bloating, heavy periods, and the like, I recommend the progesterone-coated IUD as it frequently treats these symptoms very well and makes their periods lighter or nonexistent.

Finally, she makes no mention of one of the huge advantages of combination OCPs: a very significant reduction in ovarian cancer risk; in some studies as high as 80% less ovarian cancers in OCP users over 10 years compared to never-users. Other studies put the numbers at about 40-60% depending on the length of use.

I'm not going to get into the specifics of her comments on HRT because this review would get even more ridiculously long, but suffice it to say they are likewise not terribly accurate and certainly don't provide sufficient information to make an informed decision.

Bottom line ladies: if you have GI symptoms which you think are related to your menstrual cycle or your hormones, go to a good Ob/Gyn or Nurse Practitioner specializing in Women's Health. This book does not provide you with nearly the depth or accuracy of information, nor educate you about your options.

I give it 3 stars due to the above inaccuracies and false information; otherwise I would give it 4-5. Because it is only one chapter out of the book, I think 3 stars is fair, as the rest of the information seems pretty accurate (although fairly basic).
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2014
I read a nutrition book every 1-2 weeks. Although I always get something out of them, Gutbliss has so much great info, that it is one of only a few that will have a place on my permanent shelf.

Dr. Chutkan, while having an impressive resume in traditional medicine, seems to recognize its weaknesses and deficits--mainly the tendency to treat symptoms rather than causes. She makes an overwhelmingly convincing argument for the GI system's health (or lack of it) being the basis for our overall physical (and sometimes emotional) health. She thoroughly, and humorously at times, discusses just about every symptom or question you might have concerning some "delicate" issues. Chutkan offers simple, non-pharmaceutical solutions to most of them. But in responsible fashion, she doesn't hesitate to recommend traditional/pharmaceutical/surgical solutions when necessary. In short, she represents the best of what a doctor should be, believing in the body being enabled to heal itself through natural processes, and relying on modern medicine as a last resort instead of the first assault.

Gutless discusses just about any digestive subject you can imagine (and many you may never have heard of), from IBS to gas. The information and citations regarding the gallbladder gave me the information I needed to convince my doctor to work with me to avoid surgery for gallstones. Using what I've learned from Chutkan, I'm taking control and helping my body heal the cause of my gallstones rather than simply yanking out a crucial part of my digestive system. So, in a very real sense, this book may have saved me thousands!

Be advised, the 10 day plan is a tiny part of the book. Yes, it's easy to follow, and it's all there, but it is not the most important aspect of the book. The power of the book is knowledge that convinces you that you must change your diet to change your health. Then, if you follow Dr. Chutkan's overall recommendations for lifestyle and diet change, scattered throughout the book, guess what? You will lose weight, feel great, and improve your health.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2014
This book has totally changed my stomach. My stomach shrunk down about 2 sizes within about 20 days. The doc has you do the plan for 10 days. You will notice a considerable difference within 10 days but if you can do will be most impressed and it will trigger a shift in both your mind and body. She is a genius. I literally have no more bloating and I am quite regular! I have continued to eat the way she recommends in the book about 80% of the time and I have been able to remain bloat free. I actually really enjoy eating according to her recommended plan. It's pretty tough at first because you'll wonder if there is anything you can eat but if you follow her plan you will be singing her praises. I also view food very differently now and what I prefer has started to change as well. If you are having problems with bloating and your gut expanding, this is the book for you, especially if you are a woman. Another benefit is that my skin started having a nice glow and the minor acne I was having went away...crazy I know but true. Get this won't be sorry but you do have to stick with it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2015
WOW! Tons of information and advice for Bowels in Distress.........I finally got my bowels back in order after reading all the things to do, things to eat, and what not to do. The only thing I stress.....which was not emphansized in the that using Dr Chutkan's methods requires patience and consistency. It does not work overnight irritated bowels took a good 2 to 4 weeks before finally showing improvement. There is definitely a gradual process required in order for your body to accept the changes and start to turn around.

You need to drink a TON of water (for me 48-50ozs daily), eat a ton of fiber rich foods, take probiotics (for me once a week dose was enough), and get enough exercise before expecting to see any results. Also cutting out caffine entirely helped. Also GET OFF laxatives! Taking laxatives does not help just creates more bloating and a vicious cycle of dependency.

For those who are gluten may take months of trail and error to eliminate "Trigger Foods" that may cause stress on the GI. I keep a journal of any foods I eat that may cause discomfort. Trigger foods may come on at any time and may not necessarily be the traditional gluten type or diary type foods commonly just depends on your own sensitivities.....for me it was kale!

Dr Chutkan's 10 day plan is the best detox plan I have ever works just need to have patience. Your body will respond if you take care of it......all bodies are eventually self-healing!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2014
This book is very clearly written and offers a convincing rationale for a set of fairly dramatic lifestyle changes. I found myself especially inclined to try the authors recommendations because she avoided making extreme claims or promises.

Instead, her suggestions for improving digestive function are based on a combination of a thorough understanding of research and her extensive experience as a gastroenterologist working with patients.

If you did everything she suggests, the result would be a very restrictive diet, but she advocates a gradual, realistic approach. Make some changes and stop when you feel better.

And for my part, I feel so much better that I've been willing to embrace a greater portion of the changes to diet than I would have predicted. I've cut way back on (but not totally eliminated) sugar, white flour, white rice, dairy, and meat. I've also added a lot more greens, seeds, nuts, and beans. In the process, my digestive health, skin, and energy level have improved. I've also lost ten pounds without restricting myself on quantity. Without the option to eat junk food, I no longer feel inclined to eat beyond fullness.

I'm not going to lie: I do occasionally miss the foods I've cut out, but feeling better is worth it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2014
So informative, covers alot of material and educated me on gut issues I was never aware of. Helped me to analyze my own gut health and determine a plan to wellness. I felt it was easy to understand and actually a "fun" read for an education/scientific health book.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
This book is easy to read and well organized. The advice is straight forward and sensible and comes from not just a highly qualified physician, but someone who has struggled herself.
The smoothie with almond milk has been a hit in our house!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2014
I don't agree with previous reviewers statement that this book is loaded with inaccuracies. The information is consistent with the science I have been reading and the lifestyle choices I have seen work for people. This book gives the reader information that helps the individual tune in to their own body and explore what helps and what does not with insight about why. There is not one right way for all people but there are principles we can use to guide us toward more comfortable healthy lives.
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