Many people suffer from occasional stomach upset when they've eaten too much or picked up a stomach bug.
However if you have regular problems with your digestion (pain, bloating, reflux, constipation), it's likely that you're not getting the full benefit from your food, which over time, can lead to disease.
There are a wide range of digestive issues that can cause someone discomfort, and some people suffer from several different symptoms at once. The conditions I have treated include IBS, SIBO, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea, histamine intolerance and food intolerances.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
If you have been diagnosed with IBS it means that your doctor has ruled out any serious digestive disease. Unfortunately this still leaves many people with unsolved digestive problems and daily symptoms that are uncomfortable or embarrassing.
For some people, choosing what to eat each day becomes a problem because everything seems to upset their stomach.
Going out for dinner with friends is no longer fun because you're scared to eat something that might cause bloating, gas, diarrhoea or pain!
Restricting your food can cause nutritional deficiencies, so it's a good idea to get some advice about the foods that you can and can't eat.
Digestive upset doesn't have to control your life. There are many ways a naturopath can help you to heal your digestive system and get back control of your eating and digestion.
If you have been diagnosed with IBS it will take us a few months to get to the bottom of your particular food intolerances or other issues.
Symptom relief is important but an emphasis is placed on discovering the underlying cause of the problem, so that symptoms can be eliminated once and for all.
Common underlying reasons for IBS are anxiety, food intolerances, gut dysbiosis or histamine intolerance, often in combination with a stressful lifestyle.
If IBS is a problem for you, I recommend you take a look at the Digestive Health Reset.
Small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO)
Approximately 60% of IBS sufferers have a condition called SIBO.
SIBO occurs when the small intestine has an overgrowth of bacteria. The bacteria ferment starches and fibres from food into gases and cause symptoms.
These gases damage the small intestine and prevent absorption of nutrients. Patients can suffer digestive problems including diarrhoea, bloating, gas and constipation for many years before being diagnosed.
About 20% of Australians report that they have reactions to certain foods. Many of these reactions are due to an intolerance, rather than an actual allergic reaction.
Food intolerances can cause symptoms 1 or 2 days after eating, so it is often hard to pinpoint exactly which food(s) has caused the problem.
Food intolerances can cause widespread inflammation and be responsible for causing, or worsening, many other conditions such as diarrhoea, constipation, eczema, sinus, migraine and even PMS.
I can show you how to discover which foods cause your symptoms. Working with a combination of dietary changes and herbal medicine, we can gain relief from bloating, pain, gas, diarrhoea and/or constipation.
Supporting the health of your digestive system and also your immune system, can make a difference to your digestive comfort quite quickly.
The importance of gut bacteria
Our large intestine contains trillions of bacteria. These bacteria have evolved with us and will assist our wellbeing as long as we look after them.
Research into gut bacteria is growing and it's now believed that our gut bacteria are as essential for our health as one of our organs, such as our liver or kidneys.
Our gut bacteria can become out of balance due to limited diets, processed foods, antibiotics, other medications, alcohol, pesticides and herbicides. The term we use for unbalanced gut bacteria is 'dysbiosis'.
Dysbiosis can contribute to many health conditions, ranging from asthma and eczema, problems losing weight, diabetes type II, gut problems such as bloating and diarrhoea, and even changes in mood.
Reflux, or heartburn affects around 25% of the population, where stomach contents regurgitate into the oesophagus to cause burning and discomfort. Reflux can cause further medical problems, so it is important to find the underlying cause and eliminate the reflux.
When I treat people for reflux we pay attention to the foods that they are eating, coffee, medications, the manner in which food is eaten (quickly or under stressful conditions), if the person is overweight and the health of the digestive system.
Herbal medicines, diet changes and mindful eating can all play a part in improving reflux.
Digestive Health Reset
I find it beneficial to see clients 4 times over a period of 8 weeks so that we can sort through all the issues and find the easiest way to support your digestive health.
I have introduced a great value Digestive Health Reset package to help you stay on track with the diet changes and supplements that may be required in the early stages of digestive healing. You also save on the cost of consultations!
After 8 weeks people feel great and are able to understand and manage their food choices.