Solutions For Digestive Disorders
Some of the most common disorders affect the digestive system. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, nearly 11,000 Canadians died from diseases of the digestive system in 2015.
Digestive disorders can affect any point along your gastrointestinal tract, which includes your salivary glands, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and rectum. Because your liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are also involved in digestion, disorders affecting them are sometimes considered digestive disorders as well.
These disorders can range from mild annoyances to life-threatening illnesses if untreated. However, there are naturopathic treatments available which may help.
Common Digestive Disorders
There are a number of different digestive disorders which affect you in different ways. The one thing they all have in common, though, is that they affect your digestive tract. This can, in some cases, impair your ability to eat food or to absorb the nutrients in food.
Some of the most common digestive disorders include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, or acid reflux)
- Celiac disease
Symptoms Of Digestive Disorders
Because of the name, you might expect symptoms of digestive disorders to primarily affect your digestive system. And that’s true in some cases, but not others.
If you’re experiencing any of the following, you may be suffering from a digestive disorder:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chronic fatigue
- Stomach or abdominal cramps
- Rectal bleeding
- Fever or chills
- Unexplained weight fluctuations
- Reduced appetite
- Depression or anxiety
- Inability to cope with stress
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to certain foods (wheat, dairy, and spicy foods among them)
Digestive disorders are also linked with a number of other disorders, including skin conditions an a number of different autoimmune conditions.
Digestive Disorders And Mood Disorders
It may be surprising that depression, anxiety, and stress management are on that list. But recent research is beginning to slow a deeper connection between your brain and your gut.
In fact, your gut is home to a second nervous system, called your enteric nervous system. Some call it your “second brain”.
Your enteric nervous system contains more nerve cells in it than your spinal cord. It’s there to make digestion more efficient, but it also plays a role in your emotional state.
This is why we often feel butterflies in our stomach when we’re nervous or aroused, or a pit in our stomach when we’re afraid, or a sudden twinge when our fight-or-flight instinct kicks in.
Naturopathic treatments, including dietary and lifestyle changes, have proven effective in treating mood disorders related to digestive disorders.
Functional Diagnostic Medicine For Digestive Disorders
When approaching digestive disorders from a functional diagnostic medicine perspective, Dr. Simona follows these steps.
The first step is to identify any factors which may be causing or aggravating your digestive condition. This may include certain foods which your body has trouble digesting, a dysbiosis caused by bacterial overgrowth or infection, stressors, poor lifestyle or diet choices, or any medications which may damage the lining of your gastrointestinal tract (including antibiotics).
By removing these offending factors, you can take the first step toward treating your digestive disorder
From there, it’s time to evaluate your current health state for any issues caused by your digestive disorder. Often this is a reduced ability to digest food and absorb nutrients from it.
Because food is medicine, and proper nutrition is one of the best ways to maintain your health, a reduced ability to absorb nutrients can have significant impacts on many areas of your health.
Fortunately, a reduced ability to absorb nutrients can be treated through supplementation. However, if your ability to absorb nutrients is significantly impacted you may need to opt for intravenous infusion therapy.
Finally, we need to restore your gut to its previously healthy state. This may include supplements to support your gut flora, the beneficial bacteria in your gut that helps you digest food.
While individual treatments and solutions may vary based on genetic, epigenetic, lifestyle, and personal history, this is a common general framework.
Contact Dr. Simona
If you’re experiencing one or more of the above symptoms and believe you may be suffering from a digestive disorder, there are naturopathic treatments available which may help.
Contact Dr. Simona today to book an appointment to find out what’s causing your symptoms and how they can be treated.
You can also book a FREE 15-minute consultation if you’re new to naturopathy. During that session, Dr. Simona will spend time with you answering your questions and help you understand what naturopathic medicine is and how it can help you with your unique health concerns.
Contact Dr. Simona today.