The Confusing Gut Killer That Fogs Your Brain, Strips Your Body Of Nutrients & Strips The Fun Out Of Food: Everything You Need To Know About Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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While recently in Los Angeles at the Ancestral Health Symposium, I had the pleasure of a long, sunshine walk with several of the speakers and presenters. Perhaps you already heard my chat that I recorded with Chris Kelly as part of that trip. 

But I also met a couple of new friends who are real ninjas when it comes to something called “IBD” (inflammatory bowel disease).

On my left side during the walk was Andrew Kornfeld ([email protected]), who holds degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and is an award-winning educator, organizer, and published author. Andrew has Crohn’s disease, and over the course of a decade and a half has developed a tailored and evidence-based protocol that allowed him to achieve robust, lasting clinical remission from his IBD. Andrew founded IBDCoach so others with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis could benefit from the strategic lessons and research he has conducted in his personal pursuit of health.

And on my right side was Amy Loftus ([email protected]), who holds a B.A. in Biological Anthropology and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, and works alongside Andrew to run the operations and educational arm of IBDCoach. Amy combines her decade of K-12 classroom teaching experience, her work as a software engineer at a Silicon Valley health tech startup, and her years as an IBD spouse to empower IBDCoach members and their families with the resources they need to achieve their remission goals.

Founded in 2019, IBDCoach is the brainchild of Andrew and Amy, who are on a mission to change healthcare by tackling inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in a capacity never attempted before. In their program, members work to achieve long-lasting remission through immersive science education, community support, and a unique form of health coaching that emphasizes strategic, patient-driven, and patient-empowered actions. IBDCoach is the first program of its kind to provide comprehensive scientific information in one accessible location as an essential adjunct to standard medical care. Initial results from dozens of clients are highly positive including amelioration in symptoms and disease activity, reduced inflammatory markers, lifelong friendships formed, and lives changed for the better. The founders of IBDCoach, Andrew Kornfeld and Amy Loftus, have both personal and professional experience with inflammatory bowel diseases.

If you or someone you know is struggling with inflammatory bowel disease, you can check out Andrew and Amy’s work at

In this episode, you'll discover:

-Andrew and Amy's experiences with IBD…07:00

  • Rapé contains nicotine
  • Nicotine for someone with Crohn's disease is problematic (Andrew has Crohn's)
  • Opposite is true for ulcerative colitis; nicotine acts as a “protective”
  • Amy does not have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); unique perspective
  • Amy got involved with IBD treatment by way of marriage to Andrew
  • Amy's background in anthropology steered her in the direction of an “ancestral approach” to IBD treatment
  • Andrew nearly died because of his IBD
  • IBD is different from IBS
  • IBD is a highly lifestyle-based condition
  • Andrew discovered a systems-based lifestyle approach that incorporates concepts like neuroplasticity, ancestral health, and first principles into designing a personal protocol that ultimately saved his life

-Predisposing factors that may make someone susceptible to IBD…13:30

-How IBD causes drastic consequences to health and the body…17:40

  • Vitamin IVs to bypass the gut to get proper nutrients are an option
  • Treatments today are very quick to remove parts of the body, like the colon
  • The colon is host to the gut microbiome; someone whose colon has been removed won't have a traditional microbiome
  • In most cases of ulcerative colitis, the entire colon is removed

-The best test to determine if you have or potentially have IBD…20:55

  • Most tests are more interesting than actionable
  • Microbiome isn't the most important thing to test right off the bat
  • Over 200 genes implicated in predisposition of IBD
  • High stress or traumatic life events often are a precursor to IBD
  • Stress response causes or intensifies IBD
  • Cortisol is a resource-driven hormone
  • Don't need to fight off microbes, digest food, reproduce if running away from a UCLA frat boy

-3-step model to treat IBD:

-Step 1: Reduce inflammation…26:11

    • Science is not in harmony with clinical practice
    • Most common mechanism to treat IBD is to block cytokines; TNF-A
    • IBD has microbiome imbalances, barrier issues, and inflammation
    • Three-step model to treat IBD
      1. Stop inflammation
      2. Look at the microbiome
      3. Repair the barrier
    • Peptides as potential treatments
    • Turmeric with Bioperine (active component of black pepper); black pepper extract increases absorption of turmeric
    • Ginger is very helpful
    • Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
    • Supplements will be of little help if you're not eating and living right

-Step 2: Nourish the microbiome…33:10

    • IBD and IBS are two different conditions
    • Diet is a crucial factor
    • Andrew looks at probiotics as a pandora's box
    • Probiotics (use code BEN15 to save 15%) work better on ulcerative colitis rather than on Crohn's
    • Visbiome (new name for VSL 3)
    • E. coli nissle (hard to get)
    • Bacillus Coagulans
    • Best to get probiotics from fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, etc. until the issue is really understood

-Step 3: Repair the barrier…39:24

-How neuroplasticity affects causes and treatments for IBD…45:10

-How the IBD coach program works…48:36

  • Three-part program:
    1. Educational experience—re-learning biology
    2. Workshops hosted by IBD experts, microbiome, diet, and nutrition
    3. Building a community of people with IBD
  • Giving people with IBD access to expertise to enable people to achieve what they cannot achieve on their own

-Biggest mistakes people make when diagnosing or treating IBD…50:00

  • A tenuous relationship with food
  • Thinking there's a silver bullet or quick fix to the condition

-The best diet when you have IBD…52:07

-Using HRV tracking to consume food wisely…59:36

-The epidemic in America that misses the front page news…1:03:15

  • The prolific rise of chronic disease conditions

-And much more!…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– Andrew Kornfeld and Amy Loftus:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Upcoming Events:

Episode sponsors:

Ra Optics: Purchase a pair of Ra Optics Day and Night Lenses to optimize sleep quality, energy, levels, and health in the modern, electrically-lit world. Receive 10% off your order when you order through my link.

Paleo Valley Beef Sticks: 100% grass-fed AND grass-finished. Keto friendly and higher levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Receive a 15% discount on your order when you go to

Kion Oregano: One of the best oregano oils I've ever been able to hunt down. When you use my link, you’ll also get 10% off your first purchase.

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Got a question for me or Andrew and Amy about this episode? Leave a comment below, and one of us will reply!

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5 thoughts on “The Confusing Gut Killer That Fogs Your Brain, Strips Your Body Of Nutrients & Strips The Fun Out Of Food: Everything You Need To Know About Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

  1. Kristina says:

    So glad you had a podcast specifically about Crohn’s and Colitis as I have colitis and had a severe flare this year and was a big mid life wake up call to take my health seriously. I was diagnosed in my 20s and it was fairly easily managed, but this time was so different. I didn’t appreciate how seriously life threatening it could get and they wanted to take out my colon. My GI doctor was great at saving me at my worst with steroids and TNF-a blockers, but doesn’t seem to have any training/awareness on how to help beyond that. I agree that a different model is needed for treating chronic conditions and hope your model can be replicated across other conditions. Your ability to quantify how much you are saving insurance companies (approx 1M so far I heard) seems like a critical data point along with showing data on outcomes in widespread adoption of the model. Can you clarify how you estimate this? Keep up the important work!

  2. Deepak says:

    Where to find info about IBS?


    1. This article might help:… I also recommend the book "New IBS Solution: Bacteria-The Missing Link in Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome"…

  3. Joe says:

    Hey Ben

    Good show as usual. Thanks. I have a question: what’s the latest wisdom on lectins? Some in the longevity arena suggest they should be avoided completely as they cause leaky gut among other things. It seems lots of foods promoted for their health benefits contain lectins for example chia seeds.



    1. Check out The Truth About Lectins And The Plant Paradox By Dr. Steven Gundry:…

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