Digestive complaints like heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating are among the most common reasons people seek medical care.
NaturoMedica patients are often looking for solutions for chronic digestive issues. Many are seeking alternatives to over-the-counter medications such as antacids, laxatives and anti-diarrhea medications. Sometimes, NaturoMedica patients are searching for a more natural approach to treating digestive conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
NaturoMedica physicians are trained to investigate the underlying causes for a poorly functioning digestive system, rather than just treating the symptoms. Initially, NaturoMedica physicians often rule out more serious conditions like celiac disease, bacterial or parasitic infections, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. NaturoMedica offers many specialized tests including food allergy and sensitivity testing, advanced functional stool testing and SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) testing. Once testing is completed, your NaturoMedica doctor will devise an individualized treatment plan/
One test that is particularly helpful for patients with digestive complaints is IgG food allergy and sensitivity testing. A typical IgG blood test looks for sensitivity to around 100 foods. Many people suffering from IBS, dyspepsia, constipation, diarrhea, and chronic abdominal pain are having elevated immune responses to a number of foods. These reactions are often delayed and cumulative, which makes it difficult for a patient to recognize the foods that are triggering reactions without doing the testing. Patients often experience significant improvement in their digestive symptoms when they eliminate the reactive foods from their diets. Lab testing is also available for measuring reactions to food additives and preservatives, which also can cause digestive symptoms.
Comprehensive stool testing is also beneficial for many people with digestive complaints. This test can be especially helpful for the symptoms associated with IBS like chronic abdominal pain, bloating, and alternating constipation and diarrhea. The gastrointestinal tract keeps a delicate balance between good and bad bacteria. When that balance is altered, a patient can experience a variety of symptoms, including those of IBS. Many IBS patients benefit from high dose probiotics (supplements that promote “good” bacteria). Stool testing helps determine what type of probiotics will be helpful or if other types of supplements or medications are needed to change the intestinal landscape.
SIBO testing is a non-invasive breath test that tests for bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can lead to symptoms like bloating, gas, burping, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and abdominal pain. SIBO can lead to poor nutrients absorption and contribute to many health conditions. SIBO treatment generally includes dietary changes, supplements and frequently a course of antibiotics.
Thankfully, there are many different natural remedies that are helpful for digestive problems. Patients also are often helped by changes in lifestyle, which could include instituting an exercise program or stress reduction strategies.