4 Keys to Digestive Health Your Doctor is Probably Missing
When you sit down to have a meal do you look forward to it as a time to nourish your body and relish what’s on your plate or do you face mealtime with dread because you know unpleasant symptoms are going to be the after-course? Are heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, irritable bowels or other digestive problems part of your day-to-day life? Have you gone to the doctor, had tests done and been told that everything looks fine, but yet you continue to suffer?
We understand how frustrating it can be to struggle with digestive issues and have doctors tell you nothing is wrong or just write a prescription before sending you on your way. You’ve probably thought, “If nothing is wrong, then why do I still feel like this?” Yet, despite what your doctor might have told you, there are reasons you feel this way. The reason your doctor isn’t finding anything wrong with you is likely because he or she isn’t running the right tests to find the root causes of what’s triggering your digestive symptoms.
Whether you suffer from more common digestive ailments such as acid reflux/GERD, constipation and gas, or more serious conditions such as ulcerative colitis or IBS, finding out what’s causing your symptoms is the key to regaining both your digestive and overall health. At our center, we’re dedicated to finding the real reasons behind your digestive issues and not just covering your symptoms up with medications.
What's Damaging Your Digestive System?
The hidden causes…
Most of us associate our GI systems with the digesting of food. While that’s certainly true, the digestive system is responsible for so much more than that. A healthy gut is the foundation for good overall health. You have probably heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” But the truth is you are what nutrients you absorb and assimilate, and if your gut doesn’t work properly or isn’t healthy it will affect your metabolism, immune system, and production of hormones and neurotransmitters including the mood- and energy-regulator serotonin.
If you’re experiencing digestive struggles, then you can bet your whole body is being affected. We see many patients who don’t feel well and aren’t getting better because their doctors aren’t digging deep enough to find the root causes for their digestive struggles.
What are those “hidden” causes doctors so often miss? Here are four we see often at our clinic:
Many people who suffer from digestive issues have food sensitivities and they don’t even know it. Let me be perfectly clear, food sensitivity is not the same as a food allergy. A food allergy occurs almost immediately after eating the food you’re allergic to and is marked by a serious reaction that can include life-threatening symptoms such as throat and mouth swelling, trouble breathing and anaphylactic shock.
Food sensitivity is much different than a food allergy. With food sensitivities, reactions happen much more slowly, even as long as 48 hours after eating the offending food. Instead of having an allergic reaction, your immune system sees the food you’re sensitive to as a foreign “invader” and goes into attack mode. This in turn causes inflammation throughout the body that can result in everything from a host of digestive issues to seemingly unrelated symptoms such as sinus pain, headaches, brain fog, fatigue, rashes and other skin problems. On top of that, the cascade of symptoms caused by food sensitivities can last for up to six months after you’ve eaten the foods you’re sensitive to!
You can see why many doctors miss food sensitivities as a potential source of health problems – in fact, they often don’t even consider or test for them. At our center, we can do advanced testing to see if food sensitivities are an issue for you, then formulate a protocol based on your results.
Gut infections from small bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, yeast, viruses, parasites and worms are quite common. These infections can be caused by a variety of factors including diets high in sugar, medications and even stress. However, these stealth infections are rarely tested for by conventional doctors. When a patient exhibits GI symptoms, doctors typically order ultrasounds, colonoscopies and endoscopies — but these are all visual exams designed to look for things such as perforations or growths.
To find stealth infections, you must use a highly sensitive stool test. Most doctors never order a stool test and, unfortunately, when they do, they usually use microscopic stool exams that are not sensitive enough to be accurate. At our clinics, we use a DNA stool analysis that is 3,000 times more sensitive than microscopic exams to look for hidden infections from viruses, yeast, bacteria, parasites and worms.
The test will also tell us if there’s elevated antibodies in the gut, which can indicate an immune reaction.
Once we know what specific infections are at play, we are able to develop an individualized plan to return the gut to optimal health.
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Is it one of these 4 main causes of digestive issues that’s burdening you? Let’s find out! It’s important to get your personalized results so that you can get the help you need!
Autoimmune disease is where the immune system over reacts and starts to attack the body’s own healthy tissues. The immune system can start attacking any tissue, organ, gland, blood cell, bone, joint and even hormones in the body. Depending on what is being attacked determines the name of the autoimmune disease. If the immune system starts attacking its own thyroid gland, its called Hashimoto’s, if it starts attacking its own pancreas they call that type 1 diabetes, if it attacks the nervous system they call that multiple sclerosis and so on. Autoimmune diseases you’ve probably heard of in the digestive track are celiac, Crohn’s, Irritable bowel disease and ulcerative colitis are often overlooked culprits of digestive distress and should be ruled out if someone has been suffering from chronic digestive problems.
Unfortunately 1/5 Americans have an autoimmune disease and many of those don’t even know it. It’s no wonder why so many people are suffering and can’t figure out why!
Research is pointing to a condition called hyperpermeability of the small intestines or “leaky gut” as a potential cause of autoimmune disease.
Leaky gut happens when small gaps develop on the lining of the digestive system. This poses a threat because now there are particles from your digestive tract that are “leaking” out into the bloodstream. These particles (food, toxins, bacteria) are not meant to be in the bloodstream so they are seen as foreign invaders, causing the body to release an immune response. If the leaking is not corrected the immune system over responds, over reacts. We have seen patients who have reversed their autoimmune conditions and get their life back by making changes with their diet, supplements and lifestyle.
It might seem strange that stress could affect gut health, until you really think about it. When you’re nervous or upset, where do you feel it? Often in your gut. The term “butterflies in the stomach” is used to describe being anxious or nervous. So, what’s the connection between stress and digestive health?
Your gut has its own nervous system called the “enteric nervous system.” It also has more neurons than the brain and is often referred to as the “second brain.” Your gut communicates back and forth with your brain constantly via something known as the “gut-brain axis.” While a bit of stress now and then isn’t a problem, in our modern society many of us are overly stressed all the time.
Chronic stress can negatively affect the gut’s nervous system and microbiome. It can also lower production of stomach acid, which is protective and helps the body fight infections. Not having enough stomach acid can make you more susceptible to infections such as H pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers.
As you can see, addressing how stress might be affecting your digestive health is a necessary step in figuring out why you’re experiencing symptoms. Otherwise you’ll just be spinning around in the hamster wheel without ever really getting anywhere.
Are you ready to get your digestive health back on track? We can help!
If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired and not getting the answers you deserve, our clinic can help. We don’t believe in writing a prescription to cover up symptoms then sending patients on their way. Instead, we use in-depth, customized testing to look for the root causes of your digestive symptoms and create an individualized healing protocol designed just for you.
Our results speak for themselves. In a survey of patients who’d been under our care for an average of five months, 100 percent reported an improvement of significant digestive issues (six or more starting points). These patients also saw an average of 76 percent improvement in their digestive issues including constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, heartburn and gas.
We’ve helped so many patients, and we want to help you! Why not start your new path to wellness today? If you have questions or want to schedule a free consultation, contact us at 734-779-1650 or click HERE to request an appointment.
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Integrative wellness centers makes no claims that it can cure any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials, including ADHD, anxiety, depression, thyroid disease, hormone imbalance, migraines, headaches, sleep disorders, heart disease, autoimmune disease, digestive diseases, cancer and diabetes. If you take prescription medications for any of these conditions, you should consult with your doctor before discontinuing use of such medications.