It’s the question you’ve been asking since the moment your gut felt “off:’ How long does it take to fix gut health?

The Short Answer

Here’s the quick and dirty, super short answer to this question:

I have no clue

And that’s not just to cover my back or that I’m not educated on the topic.

I am highly educated on the topic. 

The reason it’s my answer is because that’s the truth. I have never worked with a high-level doctor (traditional or non) who has said to me,

Do this. Take these medications. Add in these supplements. Follow this diet. And in 4 months you’ll be healed.

If you have heard that from a doctor, they are lying to you because gut issues are far more complex than that. Yes, even those that occur due to a simple course of antibiotics.

The only answer that will always work is:

  1. However long it took you to get and stay sick. Expect that for recovery.
  2. However long it took you to get and stay sick. Then double that. Expect that for recovery.

I have heard them both.

Guess what? Everything above was true in my case.

And while that might seem overwhelming right now because your gut problems, too, are overwhelming, let me also make this clear: you can heal, poor gut health can improve, and your overall health can once again see the light of day.

But let’s uncover more on how long does it take to fix gut health plus​ HOW to arrive there sooner.

How Long Does it Take to Fix Gut Health?

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How long does it take to fix gut health

Now, before we dig into the meat and potatoes of it all, let me first share with you the symptoms of an unhealthy gut.

9 Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut

Click HERE to save these symptoms of an unhealthy gut for later.

1. You don’t tolerate food

For the most part, we should be able to digest food.

Sure, most of us lack the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose (cause dairy intolerance) and most junk food is unrecognizable to the body, but on the whole, with a healthy, normal gut, food should be tolerated (yes, even when you eat “junk” on occasion).

“Normal” foods like apples, onions, and garlic most definitely should be tolerated.

If you currently have to restrict multiple foods and/or food categories because they physically make you ill (not hobby restriction, those are two different things), then your gut is likely compromised. 

2. Digestive distress; gas, bloating, and/or both

If your stomach hurts and you have gas, bloating, and/or both, it’s obviously one of the most recognizable signs that your gut is unhealthy.

Everyone passes gas, every single day. But usually it comes without you even knowing it and is not painful. If you want to learn even more about this, check out my post on farts.

Yes, I have one. And you are most welcome.

3. You have silent and foul smelling gas

This is a classic SIBO symptom.

In fact, Methane-dominant SIBO can make you smell like a barn; Hydrogen Sulfide like rotten eggs.

It’s silent, as in, if it wasn’t for the massively foul smell left behind, no one would even know anything happened. 

4. Your breath stinks

No question is a dumb question, and someone once asked via my Instagram Stories if bad breath can signal an unhealthy gut.

The answer is “absolutely,” and its stinkiness is caused by gut dysbiosis resulting in H. Pylori, SIBO, GERD, general IBS, Crohn’s and Celiac Disease, general constipation and infection, and more.

5. You have acne

This one is so legit. In 2013/2014 when I was first diagnosed, my Perioral Dermatitis had reached its peak – the worst it had ever been. You can see pictures of it HERE.

In the winter of 2018 when my SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) relapsed, the acne struggle was real again, this time showing up some on my face, but mostly via back acne.

After that I wrote, “Could Your Acne Be Caused By Gut Problems?” In the post, I shared pictures, too.

Today, all that remains for me is some mild scarring. Acne is a huge sign your gut is unhealthy. (The answer to getting it gone? Healing the gut with food and lifestyle, addressing any hormone imbalances and taking charge with a clean, safe skincare line targeted for stubborn acne.) 

6. Your weight is changing (unintentionally)

Been working real hard to lose weight? Or completely stopped working out and eating all the junk? With both of those scenarios, you are likely to lose and/or gain weight.

I’m not (necessarily) talking about you (though I will say that both of those scenarios might lead you to the road of gut hell).

However, if you haven’t changed anything, but you are gaining or losing weight, it’s a sure sign you might have a gut imbalance.

This has happened to me time-and-time again. I always gain. And it’s real. You can read more on this via ‘The SIBO Weight Gain Connection.”

p.s. Make no mistake; when your gut heals, your weight gets to the place where it should be for you.

7. Your mood is all over the place

If your emotions and mood are all over the place and your mental health has taken a hit plus you never know from one day to the next how you’ll act and react, your gut might need some love.

The Cleveland Clinic even says that some GI patients pair well with a Psychologist because this connection between gut and brain is so real.

8. Craving all the things

It’s that “time of the month,” you are craving all the things. You might be perfectly “normal.” But if craving all the things turns into 25 days of the month, it could be your gut.

You might physically feel constantly starving or your body might just crave sugar, carbs, fat, and/or sugar 24/7.

Read more via “Rotten Gut, Starving and Weight Gain.”

9. Suppressed immunity

And last, but not least, if you’re always sick or struggling to feel well, your gut could be unhealthy. Do you pick up every last flu bug? Come down with a cold monthly? It could be your gut.

You cannot be (generally) healthy without having a strong gut. They are an intertwined pair.

I’m pretty passionate about the immune system and gut connection.

In fact, check THIS out; 12 science-backed ways to boost your immune system.

So, Now What?

Well, now you know for sure it’s time to heal.

Your gut health issues don’t just get better by willing them to get better.

The only way various health conditions improve is when we take action.

This is my favorite thing to say:

Action creates consistency.

Consistency creates growth.

Growth creates results.

​And by using this simple idea, I can break down the concept of healing your gut.

Take action quote by A Gutsy Girl

Action Create Consistency

The number one factor (I believe) in helping you understand how long it will take your gut to heal depends on the amount of time you spend Googling symptoms and self-diagnosing vs. finding your true diagnosis.

This is a part of the gut-healing fast track method.

I spent years self-diagnosing, and then even after receiving the colitis diagnosis but still not feeling better with changes I had made, continued to self-diagnose.

This kept me from healing much longer than necessary.

Most of my underlying issue was years of untreated SIBO. 

Once I was diagnosed with that, took the antibiotic to wipe it out and then made lifestyle changes, I got a new lease on life.

This is such a critical step in the healing process that most people forget about, but once we take this first step, oftentimes our lives begin to actually change and Dr. Google becomes a thing of the past.

Googling your symptoms and not taking action will keep you miserable and have chronic inflammation present.

I could tell you every single last thing about gut healing and how to heal your gut, but without taking action you’ll never arrive at good gut health.

Here are 3 Action Steps to Take TODAY:

1. 3-day gut reset


It takes up to three full days (or 72 hours) for food to travel through your body.

For this reason, it’s super important that you focus heavily on the first three days to see a quick win.

During the first three days you can already start to see significant gains from a digestive system standpoint.

I have an ELEVATED version of this in Gut Healing: ELEVATED or you can start with the basics with my free 3-Day Gut Reset HERE. In other words, there are no excuses.

4 benefits of a 3-day detox

2. Keep a Meticulous Journal

Some will fight this one tooth and nail.

You’ll give every single excuse in the book for why you can’t. 

But you can, and I’m adamant that if you have no idea where to start or what to do, this is the EASIEST and best way to start and START SEEING PATTERNS in and with your digestive symptoms.

And no, I’m not talking about tracking fat, calories and carbohydrates (secret: THIS way – counting fat, calories, carbs, macros) of journaling is not conducive for gut healing).

I’m talking about tracking TRUE gut-healing things like food, supplements, meds, good sleep, BM’s, workouts, stress levels, plenty of water, etc.

3. Get Your Mindset Right

You can’t fix your gut health without having the right mindset.

And THIS is the one I personally fought tooth and nail on.

But once I changed it, everything changed.


  • positive self view
  • loving attitude towards oneself + body
  • encouraging ideas about healing 
  • belief that you have the tools and knowledge to get to where you want to go


  • negative self view
  • dislike or hatred of your body
  • not truly believing you can heal 
  • going through the motions without commitment 
  • not trusting yourself or those who work with you
Mindset for gut healing

Consistency Creates Growth

Alright, those are the simplest ways to start, but starting is just the first step.

You’ll have to stay consistent in order to grow on your gut healing and then into the gut health journey.

Here are some of the best examples for things to stay consistent on in order to heal:

  1. Start, then keep going. All of the above. Keep going. Don’t just take action for a week and find it’s either “working” or “not working,” and stop. Doing so will have you starting over, again-and-again-and-again……(and remember, the longer we stay sick, the greater the long-term effects become)
  2. Supplements (and medications) don’t work overnight always. 
    1. Probiotic supplements. HERE’S what to do if your probiotic supplement is “not working.”
    2. Tummy Soothe is one of our top supplements for the gut-immune connection, and it helps with all of THESE conditions. BUT, on the podcast episode we recorded, Brian Kaufman said that the benefits usually become noticeable after about a month. In other words, when you give up too soon, you don’t even see the fruits of your labor. 
    3. So you’re taking Increase Now to increase your stomach acid in order to help rid SIBO, but after a few weeks the SIBO is still there? Well, stomach acid does not increase overnight. For a long time I stayed at needing take no less than 5 HCl with high-protein meals. Even today, now that I’ve healed my gut, I take 1-2 per high-protein meal so that the SIBO doesn’t come back. YEARS in the making. But absolutely worth it to have zero bloat!
    4. … want a supplement example? I could go on for days with just this section alone!
  3. Lifestyle factors
    1. You can’t just eat healthy food for your ‘New Year’s Resolution’ for a few weeks and call it good. Healthy foods create a healthy gut microbiome. So while I’m diet agnostic, I’m NOT agnostic to choosing the best, most diverse diet (one that’s right for you) in order to create a healthy microbiome. This doesn’t mean you can never eat a non-whole foods based food again. It simply means you’re consistent with optimal (and proven) foods like: bone broth, probiotic foods, leafy greens, healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber (and yes, you can choose fiber conducive for your own healing: see THIS), prebiotic foodshigh-quality organic meats and fish, etc.
    2. Regular exercise. You need regular exercise, but you don’t need excessive exercise. And there’s a HUGE difference if you truly want to heal your gut.
    3. Getting enough sleep. You can sleep when you’re dead, but choosing this train of thought will leave you miserable. Sleep is absolutely critical for healing.
    4. Reducing stress. Chronic stress will ensure you do not heal. I’m the QUEEN of stress, and I know this one as fact. Your body will not prioritize digestion and healing if it’s forced to prioritize stress. Furthermore, chronic stress is directly correlated with intestinal permeability (aka a leaky gut), and THIS is one common reason why people find themselves stuck in a sick-cycle for years

Growth Creates Results

Do the above and growth will create results.


You see, I have been diagnosed at one point or another with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (specifically SIBO), and a low-functioning thyroid. 

But it was only by following everything from above that I was able to grow in my gut healing journey.

And by grow, of course I mean RESULTS through eradicating harmful bacteria, eliminating food intolerances and food sensitivities and saying ADIOS to all bloating, fatigue, and absolute misery.

No excuses for healing your gut with Gut Healing ELEVATED

​If you’re looking for the end RESULTS, and want a plan to get you: action -> consistency -> growth, I have it for you. 

I’ll share:

  • Further research
  • The important role everything in this article (and then some) plays in your healing efforts
  • How to create your own best foods
  • Dietary changes for you
  • Achieving weight loss not by restriction, but through gut health and good bacteria

How long do you have?

The last question I want to leave you with is:

How long do you have to wait and not take action?

What might be a simple fix can and oftentimes will become a mammoth problem.

And this is NOT meant to scare you, but I know this first-hand. I lost my dad to Colon Cancer in 2019. He was told for YEARS, “It’s just IBS.” And that was BS. By the time he was so sick and went in for an emergency visit, he was at a Stage 4 Colon Cancer diagnosis.

By that time, no healthy diet would save him. Those are facts.

For you, maybe it will never be Colon Cancer. 

But, without a doubt, it will be things like:

  1. Leading a less than optimal life: Have you ever not taken that trip because you didn’t know if a bathroom would always be nearby? Or how about those dinners with girlfriends you’ve missed because you were afraid of the questions and comments about what you’re eating (or not eating)? Listen, yes, you can just not care about any of it – go on the trip and dine out with the ladies – but I know your reality is not that. Instead, if you want to live your life again, heal your gut. Life is too short for avoiding connection and experiences.
  2. Dealing with all the “extra issues:” You might not be constantly running to the bathroom, but maybe the acne you experience is uncontrollable? Or maybe you’re constantly anxious? How about holding on to weight, even when you’re “doing all the right things?” Perhaps you’re fatigued and desire sleeping all day? Or maybe it’s that you can’t sleep and struggle with insomnia? Yes, the challenges you might be facing extend far beyond the bathroom.
  3. The inability to fully be present with friends and family because you’ll be too drained.
  4. Constant illness. Did you know that somewhere between 70-90% of the immune system lies within your gut? If your’e experiences frequent colds, flu, and more, your gut microbes might be telling the story.

Heal your gut. Heal your life.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. Gastrointestinal Tract
  2. Gut Bacteria Die Off Symptoms
  3. 15 Supplements for Gut Lining Support


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  1. This post nails it. Dr.Google is often wrong and causes more frustration. Recently I had a food allergy/sensitivity testing done and seeing the results for the first time was like connecting the dots to my life long IBS symptoms. For the first time, it all makes sense. The test was a non traditional allergy test and was able to pinpoint specific foods.
    I was also diagnosed with an overgrowth of Candida in the gut. Do you have any experience/advice for curing it naturally? Thanks for all you do Sarah, folks like myself really appreciate it. XO

    1. Hi Jacqueline…yes, I have many thoughts on Candida, but far too many for here. Maybe I’ll write a blog post on it at some point. Alternatively, you can join the January group program to dig further into it!

  2. I have the bloating, pain, and pretty much all food hurts. I actually wish I could have the runs because it would sure beat constipation. I can drink Senna tea and get cleaned out in the morning and still have stools hard as rocks by lunch time. I have tried to get off grains to heal, but then I get even worse constipation. No doctor has any clue how to help me. Any experience with women like me?

  3. Hi Sarah, my bff cousin has ulcerative colitis also. Can you recommend where in US has the best wholistic treatment for it? She has no gall bladder and experiencing flare up for almost a month already. She is under the treatment of gastro doc in our country, not in US. Thanks. Yes we are also Bible-Christ believing people. Thanks

  4. Hi Sarah
    I’ve suffered from bloating diarreha for 2yrs to point it now stops me going out I’ve been to see a gastroenterologist 1 said possible crohns the other said severe ibs-d…
    no matter what I do now I have diarreha. I have limited my dairy and excluded wheat but still nothing. it’s distorting my life. 1 gastro has referred me to a dietician but still no appointment in the meantime I’m suppose to just put up with it. any advice please xx

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