Many people suffer from some form of digestive complaint. It could be as serious as Ulcerative Colitis or Chron’s or it could be more mild symptoms such as heartburn, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. Many functional medicine doctors feel that disease begins in the gut and for the most part I would agree with them. Our ability to breakdown, absorb, and eliminate our daily food is key to all aspects of health.
What Causes Digestive Complaints
Treating the digestive system is very similar to treating the immune system. Which makes sense because it is estimated that 70% of our immune system lies in our gut. To resolve an issue with your gut requires three main objectives
- Identification of dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is an imbalance between ourselves and our microbiome. An imbalance means that there is possible viral, fungal, parasitic, or bacterial overgrowth. To correct a dysbiosis most patients need some anti-microbial support and a low-carbohydrate diet. Undigested carbohydrates create a food source for microbes.
- Identification of food sensitivities. Many food sensitivities are actually secondary to a dysbiosis, however, for many people to heal their gut they need to remove possible foods that may ignite an inflammatory process. The good news is that many food sensitivities can be temporary and that once the dysbiosis has cleared and the immune system has calmed down, many people can return to eating foods they we once sensitive to. In a more extreme case, your food sensitivities will never go away so it is important to evaluate what you are eating and the reactions you are experiencing.
- Identification of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Once the inflammation in the gut has begun it can be difficult to calm it down. Treating a dysbiosis and avoiding food sensitivities is the first step but often patients with long standing digestive complaints are very anti-oxidant depleted (especially in the fat soluble vitamins A & D). There is a frequent need for Vitamin A and D for patients who have digestive complaints.
There could be other reasons for digestive symptoms but many patients will have an issue with at least one or all three of these indicators. By healing the gut many other symptoms will improve such as aches and pains, energy, and brain function.
How Can I Help You
My treatment can be a great tool for identifying the various causes of gut issues with minimal lifestyle changes. Many people with gut issues may see relief from an elimination diet, where typical food allergens are avoided (Dairy, Gluten, Soy, Corn, Coffee, Nightshades.) However, it is very difficult to sustain this type of diet over the long term. The more extreme a diet is, the more difficult it is to maintain. My treatment can help to identify specific food sensitivities and other gut stressors that result in positive outcomes in a short period of time.