Dr. Erika La Vella, Bariatric Surgeon & Gut Health Expert

Erika La Vella, DO, FASMBS is a board-certified general and bariatric surgeon as well as a gut health expert. She studied nutrition and psychology at the University of Idaho and attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She has long appreciated the direct relationship that food quality, digestion, lifestyle choices, and stress physiology have on wellness. She views food as medicine and promotes the neurodevelopment of the whole human and gut microbiome concepts in conjunction with her surgical practice. During medical school, a functional medicine practitioner diagnosed her with a gastrointestinal parasite. She had co-existing anxiety, depression, and IBS symptoms, which are now distant memories. Her recovery from this disease process has shaped her holistic view of caring for her patients with gut and nervous system health today.

Dr. La Vella will teach you how your gut and nervous system are connected and how to heal the connection between the gut and the brain so that actual healing capacity is achieved. She is a co-founder of the Art of Bariatrics. An online nutritional support company that aids in mastery of the bariatric surgery process.

Most Popular Topics:

Gut-Brain Axis
A foundational anatomy and physiology discussion of how “it’s not in your head.”
Gut Microbiome
The incredible multiverse of creatures that live inside your body, working opportunistically for or against your health.
Polyvagal Theory
A reflection and celebration of Dr. Stephen Porges’s work that highlights how the human organism is wired for success and failure of endocrine function, inflammation, and synergy in the body.
Gut Microbiome and Obesity
The mechanisms contributing to weight gain going beyond calories.
Microbiome Development and Maintenance
Take a journey from before birth to the present on crucial events in a human’s life where the microbiome takes shape. These events have implications for obesity and disease.
Nutritional Optimization
Eating correctly for microbiome abundance.
Partial List of Previous Speaking Engagements:
  • Oregon Osteopathic Physicians
  • Samaritan Cancer Center
  • Oregon Pain Summit
  • Oregon Public Health Association
Click Below to Listen to Previous Interviews:
In Total Alignment with Michelle Pfile
Asked & Answered by Soul with Jennifer Urezzio
Rave Reviews:
“Speaking with Erika for my YouTube channel will undoubtedly provide my followers with key nuggets for their healing and health journey that will last a lifetime (and maybe even their children’s lifetimes!). Our conversation shed light on the good that many medical doctors do and how it is possible to have what some might call “white coat” medicine blend with holistic practices that have been around since the beginning of humankind. Another bonus: she can spark humor when appropriate, which is sorely needed right now! I cannot recommend her expertise and delivery style enough.”
~ Irene Lyon, Become Your Own Medicine
“We had a whole department of clinicians who were diehard fans of Erika. The next step was to invite her to speak at the first Oregon Pain Summit in 2019 on Diet and Pain. By far that year Dr. LaVella stole the show, she was the most eloquent, dynamic, inspiring, and enjoyed speaker of that conference. She surely was ahead of the times in the field of gut biome, trauma-informed care, etc. Personally, her knowledge and passion put me on the right track to taking care of my gut. I am a huge fan of hers and will always be. In our community, her contributions have been priceless.”
~ Sharna Prasad, PT,DPT
“Erika brings light-hearted and meaningful conversation to topics around health and wellness. Specifically, her in-depth knowledge of the gut microbiome combined with her approach to teaching all levels of learners offers education that is approachable, applicable, and impactful.”
~ Stasi Kasianchuk, Podcast Host, Gennev: Let’s talk about menopause

YouTube Channel:  Art of Bariatrics