Healing Your Gut: How Long Does It Really Take?

This post is co-authored by Jillian Cleland, a former intern of Holistic Health and Wellness

Most of the clients I work with have been suffering with unresolved gut problems for years, so one of the most common questions I hear is, “How long does it take to heal your gut?” 

The good news is once you begin to work with a gut-focused practitioner, your symptoms can resolve in weeks or months with targeted strategies. 

Because the healing journey is highly individualized and will vary person to person, there are a few things to consider before providing a timeline. 

Read on to get an idea of what your personal gut healing timeline could look like.

Identify YOUR Root Cause

The biggest factor that will determine how quickly your gut will heal is: what’s causing your symptoms to begin with, or “the root cause”. Gut problems can stem from a variety of issues including:

Getting to the root cause of what is causing your gut issues is best done with the help of a gut health specialist. 

They can help you pinpoint what is going on by assessing your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle, and doing targeted tests such as a stool test or a Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) breath test. 

Once you have some answers about what’s causing your gut issues, you can develop a plan to tackle it. 

2 Tiers of Gut Healing

The good news is that symptom relief may come more quickly than you think even though complete gut healing may take months. 

I think about gut healing as a 2 tier process. 

Tier 1 will build a foundation for a healthy gut and start to provide symptom relief. For some people, this stage is enough to heal their gut in a matter of months!

If needed, you can then move on to Tier 2, which is for more complex cases of gut healing and provides more targeted support.

Tier 1: Foundational Lifestyle Strategies

Tier 1 gut healing strategies are essential no matter what your root cause is, and you may be surprised at how quickly you start feeling better! 

Most of my clients start to feel better within a few weeks of making these adjustments and continue to feel even better as time goes on.

Tier 1 strategies include:

  • Eating mindfully
  • Optimizing your nutrition with healing foods and minimizing those that are doing harm
  • Hydrating adequately
  • Reducing exposure to toxins
  • Minimizing mental stress
  • Getting the right types and amounts of physical activity
  • Ensuring you’re getting enough good quality sleep

For some people, making these changes are enough to experience symptom relief and gut healing within 2-3 months! The key is to make these lifestyle changes sustainable so that your gut continues to thrive.

Tier 2: Targeted Support

Some people, especially those with more complex issues, will need to move on to the second tier of gut healing, which is more targeted support. This is useful for people who have SIBO, Crohn’s disease, and other complex gut problems.

Working with a gut health practitioner to get guidance and support based on your specific needs is key for Tier 2 and may include strategies such as:

  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Targeted supplements and herbs
  • Antimicrobials
  • Medication

Because everyone is different, the amount of time your gut takes to heal will be unique, but the 5-7 month range seems to be a sweet spot for many people I work with who have these more complex issues. 

The Road To Gut Healing

Remember: Even though gut healing may take months to achieve, you can expect to start feeling better during the whole process, starting within a matter of weeks of beginning the Tier 1 lifestyle strategies!

For more information on how long it might take to heal your gut uniquely, schedule a discovery call with functional medicine dietitian and gut health specialist Kaytee Hadley MS, RDN, IFMCP.

The Consensus: How Long to Expect to Heal Your Gut

How long does it take to heal your gut? It depends!

Two tiers of gut healing strategies exist: Tier 1 focuses on diet & lifestyle changes while Tier 2 is more targeted support.

Symptom relief can start happening in as little as a few weeks with Tier 1 strategies and may even provide gut healing within 2-3 months.

Complex gut issues will likely require more time to experience full symptom resolution and long-term healing using Tier 2 strategies. I often see 5-7 months as the sweet spot for many of my cilents, but everyone is unique.

The best way to address your gut problems is with the support of a gut health expert, so you can spend less time identifying the root cause and more time finding relief!

For more information on healing your gut, reach out to Kaytee Hadley MSc, RDN, IFMCP, CPT for a free 15-minute discovery call.

Bio: Jillian Cleland is a current dietetic intern and candidate in the University of Southern California’s Master’s program in Nutrition, Healthspan, & Longevity. As a future dietitian, she’s highly passionate about inspiring others to harness the power of nutrition for prevention of chronic diseases and exploring the intricacies of food and gut health.

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