When 35 year old Tina came to see me she was exhausted. She was pale and sleeping more than 10 hours at night, but still waking up tired the next morning. Tina was struggling with her concentration at work and her afternoon energy levels were so low that she often needed to nap.
Tina was starting to struggle in her home life as well. Trying to find the energy to run around after her 2 young boys was causing her a lot of anxiety.
When I saw Tina last year, she had already been diagnosed with low thyroid function and had many of the symptoms suffered by people with low thyroid function: depression, fatigue, dry skin, weight gain, menstrual problems, constipation and bloating.
Tina confessed that the abdominal bloating and constipation had been a problem for about 15 years, while the other symptoms were much more recent. In our western society, digestive problems are so common that we think of them as 'normal'. Naturopaths will often treat poor digestion as a priority when starting a treatment regime with a new client.
Allowing digestive symptoms to go untreated for years can lead to exhaustion and many other health problems, because the nutrients you need for energy, and for the body to function properly, are not being absorbed from your food. For example, healthy thyroid function requires the absorption of B vitamins, zinc, iron, selenium and iodine from our food.
Poor digestion leading to other health problems:
Over time, poor digestion can lead to chronic fatigue, difficulty with concentration, headaches, thyroid problems, depression, anxiety, eczema, other skin problems, allergies, weight gain and autoimmune conditions.
Some ongoing digestive symptoms to watch out for are: reflux, pain, bloating, gas, burping, constipation, diarrhoea or problems associated with certain foods such as garlic, onions, bread or fatty foods. If your digestive system is healthy, you won't experience these symptoms.
Increase your energy
Unfortunately, if you have a problem with your digestive system, simply eating healthier foods won't always mean that the nutrients from these foods will be available to your cells. Supplements can be of limited value if absorption is a problem. Improving your digestion is the key to ongoing health.
I treated Tina with herbal medicine to support her digestion and thyroid function. After working with Tina for a few months, she was able to feel much better. Her energy levels returned to normal, her iron levels were normal, thyroid hormone levels were normal and the constipation was gone.
Tina still gets bloated from time to time, but she knows which foods are causing it and she doesn't eat them on a regular basis. We are still working on this together, and in time Tina's digestive system should be able to tolerate those problem foods.
Working with a naturopath
If you regularly experience digestive problems, or if you feel that you lack the energy you need to enjoy your life, I recommend that you consult with a qualified naturopath. I treat many types of digestive problems, including histamine intolerance, in my Gladesville clinic.
If you would like to work with me, please contact me and read about my Digestive Health Reset, consisting of 4 consultations over 8 weeks with an individualised health plan.
I am a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and certified wellness coach.
I welcome clients to my clinic in Gladesville, Sydney.
This blog contains information from my Bachelor of Health Science degree, continuing research, and from experience gained from working with women in my clinic.
The blog is not intended as individual health advice. Please seek assistance for any medical conditions.