What’s your Gut Type?

By Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, NTP – January 31, 2019


Most people have one of the six main gut types — similar to being an endomorph, mesomorph or ectomorph or having oily, normal or dry skin. 

The Six Gut Types:

  1. Stressed Gut (anxiety, Type A, driven, overthinking, thyroid/hormone imbalances, adrenal)
  2. Immune Gut (leaky gut, allergies, skin problems, cancer)
  3. Gastric Gut (acid reflux, GERD, stomach bloating)
  4. Dysbiotic Gut (yeast, SIBO, constipation)
  5. Toxic Gut (liver, gallbladder)
  6. Inflammed Gut (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, non-gut related symptoms)

Your gut type isn’t permanent, it can change. It simply is an awareness of your gut’s predisposition when things are out of balance. Your gut type is an indicator when things may not be 100 percent well underneath the hood. 


Type 1: Stressed Gut

Primary Symptoms: Anxiety, Insomnia, Hormone Imbalances, Constipation or Bloating

What It Means: If your stress hormones are constantly pumping, blood flow is diverted away from your gut, which impairs the growth of good bacteria and digestive enzyme production. Those with this gut type often have adrenal fatigue, which causes sleep issues, decreased libido and trouble focusing, among other symptoms.

Ways to Heal: regular exercise; phone/technology detox or limits; supplements: Vitamin B-12, zinc, quality probiotics, adrenal adaptogen

What to Avoid: sugar, alcohol, coffee (more than one cup black drip/day), gluten, refined grains or packaged foods


Type 2: Immune Gut

Primary Symptoms: skin problems, autoimmune conditions, allergies, low immunity

What It Means: Approximately 80 percent of your immune system is produced in your gut and your gut bacteria are responsible for “boosting” your immune function. Leaky gut and/or imbalanced gut bacteria is a common underlying theme at play. 

Ways to Heal: autoimmune paleo or elimination diet to identify sensitivities; bone broth; supplement: quality soil-based probiotics, short chain fatty acids, liposomal curcumin and liposomal glutathione 

What to Avoid: alcohol, sugar, nuts, eggs, certain spices, conventional dairy, grains and gluten


Type 3: Gastric Gut

Primary Symptoms: heartburn/GERD, indigestion, sense of fullness after meals, bloating after meals, gas, hunger  one or two hours after eating

What It Means: Contrary to popular belief, indigestion and GERD or reflux are often signs of low stomach acid, low digestive enzymes and/or carbohydrate malabsorption, often associated with bacterial overgrowth — not high stomach acid. 

Ways to Heal: Apple cider vinegar shots; Supplement with digestive enzymes, soil-based probiotics and short-chain fatty acids; drink chicory tea or ginger tea; chew food really well and eat sitting down; low FODMAP and/or low starch consumption while addressing the underlying root cause.

What to Avoid: processed foods, starch and  grains, high FODMAPS, industrial seed oils and certain spices


Type 4: Dysbiotic Gut

Primary Symptoms: Constipation and/or bloating, loose or hard stools, sense of fullness after meals, noticeable food intolerances/sensitivities, foul or frequent gas, food cravings (sugar or same foods—low variety); cruciferous veggies hard to digest 

What It Means: Imbalance of gut bacteria (either too much pathogenic bacteria or not enough good bacteria) and/or yeast overgrowth.

Ways to Heal: Eat hydrating easy-to-digest foods (soups, stews, shredded meats, cooked veggies); drink plenty of water; chew your food really well; small servings of fermented foods as tolerated; quality probiotics, prebiotics and short-chain fatty acids; consider anti-microbial herbs (like oregano oil) and digestive enzymes to ease symptoms; Ginger or Smooth Move tea

What to Avoid: sugar, high FODMAPS and dried foods


Type 5: Toxic Gut

Primary Symptoms: pain under right rib cage, fatty foods cause distress, fatigue (despite sleeping); skin problems (acne, dry or flaky skin); brittle nails or hair; lower bowel gas several sours after eating

What It Means: Potential Liver and/or Gallbladder inflammation.

Ways to Heal: eat lots of dark leafy greens, lemon and liver-essentialfoods (beets, organ meats, pickled and fermented veggies); digestive enzymes and bile acids (ox bile or Beta TCP), drink dandelion or milk thistle tea; get more sleep; meditate

What to Avoid: greasy, fatty processed foods; extremes (super low fat, standard american diets or super low carb diets); conventional meats and dairy; grains and gluten


Type 6: Inflammed Gut

Primary Symptoms: Often non-gut symptom related (high cholesterol, thyroid imbalances, brain fog, blood sugar imbalances, high blood pressure, difficulty losing weight or building muscle, sweat easily)

What It Means: Inflammation in the gut can extend to body regions beyond just the gut. Since your gut is responsible for fighting the stress response and inflammation, when inflammation is high inside, it suppresses your body’s ability to fight and can also trigger a release of circulating Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from gut bacteria into your bloodstream— endotoxins that “switch” for systemic inflammation. 

Ways to Heal: eat anti-inflammatory foods (dark leafy greens, berries, turmeric, lemon ginger, pickled and fermented veggies, bone broth, celery juice, wild caught salmon); apple cider vinegar shots; supplement with extra virgin cod liver oil, liposomal curcumin and short chain fatty acids;  drink ginger or green tea; get enough sleep; vary your exercise

What to Avoid: gluten, processed foods, industrial seed oils (canola, grapeseed, vegetable) especially out at restaurants and takeout

Digging Deeper

Knowing your gut type can help you better take your health into your own hands — no matter what comes your way. However, if you’re interested in digging deeper, consider booking a consult with a functional medicine practitioner. 



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