Dr. Michael Ruscio: Gut Health: Healing Autoimmune Disease - Ep 163 OPEN SKY FITNESS PODCAST

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Gut Health: Healing Autoimmune Disease – Ep 163


The Inside Scoop on Gut Health

Gut health is a hot topic in the health and wellness industry right now so who better to turn to then Dr. Michael Ruscio himself?! This is Dr. Ruscio’s second time on the Open Sky Fitness Podcast and he had so much great information to share with us and answered a ton of questions from our Open Sky Fitness Podcast group  on Facebook.

Dr. Ruscio is a Functional Medicine Practitioner and the Lead Researcher in current IBS study. He’s also the host of his own podcast, Dr. Ruscio Radio and will be publishing a book on gut health later this year!

Before we get into our interview, Devon and I took some time to talk about which foods and drinks can cause us to feel drowsy and crash soon after consuming them. Some you might expect, but otherwise could surprise you! We’ll list the foods and drinks at the end of this blog post.


Building a Healthy Gut


“The gut is so important because it’s really the interface between the outside world and your body. When we swallow food, it’s really the outside world passing through. We have to keep out bacteria, fungi, parasites, and more. What we consume can lead to problems in our immune system and cause inflammation.” – Dr. Michael Ruscio


According to Dr. Ruscio, if you’re already healthy and following a healthy lifestyle, digging deep and doing an investigation on your gut health is logical, good place to start to get to the next level of wellness. How so? Because so many problems are caused by poor gut health. So, by focusing on the gut, you can get to the root of so many different problems.

If you have an unhealthy gut, you may be experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • High cholesterol
  • Low thyroid
  • Female hormone imbalances


“Are you still experiencing all these symptoms even though you’ve improved you diet and your lifestyle? If yes, then do a gut check.” – Dr. Michael Ruscio


Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

A Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) as similar symptoms to other digestive problems such as:

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loose stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid reclux

However, there are also several non-digestive symptoms that are associated with SIBO such as:

  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Rosacea
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypothyroidism
  • High blood sugar

People who are overweight, depressed, have insomnia, or have Celiac disease can be possible candidates for SIBO. 


SIBO – Can You Recover?


What Triggers an Autoimmune Disease?


“The small intestine harbors the largest density of immune cells in the entire body. This is why there is such a profound impact between someone’s gut health and their immune system as well as autoimmunity.” – Dr. Michael Ruscio


An autoimmune disease is defined as a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells.

Autoimmune diseases range from Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism to rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac, and Crohn’s Disease. If not treated, an autoimmune disease can lead to skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as well as depression or damage the brain’s health.


An autoimmune disease can be triggered by several factors.

Many autoimmune diseases develop because of early life factors such as genetics or a person’s environment. Was someone born via a C-section or vaginal birth? Were they breastfed or given formula as a baby? Did they grow up in a hygienic city or at a farm or in a large city with lots of pollution?


As Dr. Ruscio stated in the interview, sometimes there are some things that are just out of our control and we have to do the best we can. Fortunately, there are things that we can do to stop or decrease the development of autoimmune disease:

  • Follow a healthy diet like Paleo
  • Take Vitamins; especially Vitamin D
  • Reduce stress
  • Heal infections


Where to Find the Best Help


Before seeking out professional help, you may be able to do some experimentation with diet lifestyle factors on your own. If you’re not seeing any signs of improvement, then go visit someone who can help you.

To change your lifestyle, you can focus on trying the following:

  • Paleo diet
  • Low FODMAP diet
  • Specific carbohydrate diet
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Fish oil


Alternative Providers vs General Practitioner

Alternative providers are good at prevention and getting to the root cause, but not necessarily when it comes to screening major health concerns and providing patients with the medicine that they need to heal. We shouldn’t ignore conventional medicine when we need it for early detection and management of disease.

See both as well as a functional medicine provider. Look for a general practitioner who has an open, objective mind to alternative medicine and won’t just regard it as something bogus.

The price of each will depend on the tests and your insurance. However, according to Dr. Ruscio, getting the following done is a great start:

  • Gut screening
  • Breath test
  • Stool test
  • Blood panel


Finding a Functional Medicine Provider

Dr. Ruscio further discuses it in his podcast episode, How to Find a Good Functional Medicine Doctor, but you can check out the following websites and always do a complete check to see which program they’ve done. It’s very important to have a complete idea of what they’ve studied and what their background is to make sure they’re a good match for you:


Sneaky Foods That Make Us Crash


“Processed foods like high carbs don’t give the body a lot of nutrients. Therefore, the body has to use all this energy to break down and digest processed foods, but then that process isn’t giving the body any nutrients to create more energy. When you eat processed foods, you start to deplete your body and you don’t have the nutrients to recover it.” – Devon and Rob Dionne

Bad, Fatty Foods

We can expect to experience a huge energy crash when we eat:

  • Pizza
  • French fries
  • Buffalo wings (fast food, not homemade)
  • Fried fish
  • Any type of fried food


Popular Breakfast Foods

Processed foods that everyone eats for breakfast and they don’t think they’re negatively affecting their bodies:

  • Pancakes
  • Bagels
  • Toast
  • Muffins
  • Pastries
  • Cereal
  • Smoothies
  • Sugar bomb coffee drinks like:
    • Lattes
    • Macchiatos
    • Frappuccinos



Sugar Bombs

Like highly addictive drugs, sugars give you a spike of energy and then you crash afterwards. While we’re consuming it, we feel amazing, but then we just end up crashing and feeling worse than before grabbing that piece of candy or smoothie from Jamba Juice.

Sugary drinks that we think are healthy or okay to consume but truly aren’t include:

  • Fruit smoothies
  • Vegetable smoothies with 3-4 different fruit juices
  • Juices with tons of fruit

Why are fruit smoothies juices so bad for us? Because we’re just getting the sugars and not the actual fiber. If you do a vegetable juice, make sure it’s celery or cucumber based juice. If it tastes super sweet, it’s probably not good for you. You can add lemon juice or ginger to give vegetable juices a tasty flavor.


Caffeine and Energy drinks

Of all coffee and caffeinated drinks, energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster are the worst. They have different chemicals that are used to trigger caffeinated response that pump your adrenals until you feel like you have no energy left.

If you’re going to drink coffee, then try to add coconut oil or drink Bulletproof coffee so that you don’t have a huge spike of energy, it’s easier to digest, and experience a natural energy lift for a longer period of time.

Adding dairy or drinking coffee with a meal can also slow down the side effects of coffee.


Surprising Foods That Zap Energy

  • Fat-free yogurts have 35g of sugar and cooked down fruits lose their nutrients.
  • The more processed the oatmeal is like instant oatmeal, the worse it is for your body.
  • Bananas can make us feel sluggish because of the magnesium and then hungry again with it’s high sugar value.
  • Cherries with the pits have tons of melatonin so they’re great for a bedtime snack!




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What You’ll Hear on This Episode

00:00 Open Sky Fitness Introduction

1:15  Opening comments with Rob and Devon

1:30  Check out last week’s episode – OSF 162 – Barefoot vs Arch Support Shoes: Which One is Better?

2:20  About today’s episode about foods that make you crash and gut health with Dr. Michael Ruscio

2:50  Learn more about our Open Sky Fitness Facebook Group

4:20  Fill out an application for One-On-One Coaching Sessions with either Rob or Devon

5:30  Why do certain foods make us tired?

9:20  Breakfast foods that send you back to bed

12:00  Sugars negative affect on us

14:00  Why we should avoid fat-free yogurts

15:00  Which oatmeal is good for you and what to avoid

16:00  Bananas can be a sleep aid

18:00  Bad fat foods: High fat, processed foods

19:20  Cherries with pits are great before bed

21:05  Caffeine and energy drinks

24:00  Introduction to Dr. Michael Ruscio

27:45  Why should we focus on gut health?

31:00  Description of autoimmune disease and some common ones

35:00  Signs of developing Crohn’s Disease and whether we can avoid them or not.

37:45  Autoimmune disease symptoms – what to look out for

39:30  Can we diagnose ourselves? How do we heal?

42:00  Should the first step for people be to go see a general physician? What should they do when they start noticing symptoms?

49:30  Where to find a functional medicine doctor in your area

52:00  Dr. Ruscio’s first steps to helping a new patient and what it costs to get help

55:20  How many of Dr. Ruscio’s clients see fixed results from changing their diet and lifestyle

56:40  What happens during a SIBO breath test for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth?

58:40 Symptoms of SIBO

1:00:20  If you suspect yourself of having SIBO, but you’ve changed your lifestyle, is there anything else you can do by yourself or with a practitioner?

1:04:35 Can gut health affect your mood?

1:08:00  How important are probiotics? Can I take probiotic capsules everyday or is it a waste of money? Should healthy people be taking these supplements?

1:12:00  Supplement brands that Dr. Ruscio recommends

1:13:45  What’s a prebiotic?

1:14:35  What happens to gut health and an autoimmune condition if you’ve had your thyroid taken out?

1:15:55  If you have a funny tummy or an unpredictable stomach, what are some things you can do to neutralize stomach acids?

1:17:20  Digestive enzymes are really big in the Keto world, but are they necessary?

1:18:10  If you already eat a balanced diet, do you need to supplement gut health with anything? Are gut detox health packages worth it?

1:22:30  Closing comments with Rob and Devon

1:23:55 Open Sky Fitness Closing




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Thanks for listening/reading Episode 163 with Dr. Michael Ruscio: Gut Health: Healing Autoimmune Disease! We hope you have gained more knowledge on how to be a healthier you.

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