Every year, tens of millions of people suffer from gastrointestinal disorders that lead to, in some degree, a loss of quality of life. There is a wide range of potential symptoms and each person is incredibly unique, necessitating highly-individualized care. Potential gastrointestinal disorders an individual might be dealing with include food allergies and sensitivities, diabetes, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, gallbladder disease, intestinal parasites, ulcers, GERD (reflux), and chronic diarrhea or constipation. Many of these conditions or diseases are highly manageable when treated holistically which is why working with a naturopath to manage and treat these conditions is optimal.
The gut has a delicate microbiome that has a significant influence on many areas of health. When the gut is not healthy an individual is likely to face a myriad of symptoms or conditions. Additionally, external factors including lifestyle, diet, and more can heavily influence a person’s experience with gastrointestinal disorders. In naturopathy, there is a multitude of ways to address gastrointestinal disorders including diet, lifestyle, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, and much more. Naturopathic physicians treat the person, not simply the disease. It is important to keep detailed track of symptoms, not because we aim to mask symptoms but because we aim to find the root cause of the symptoms so that we can mitigate or eliminate them holistically.
When your naturopathic physician is working with you to treat gastrointestinal disorders, they will likely want to gather a comprehensive physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social history. Most everyone that suffers from a gastrointestinal disorder can benefit from some dietary changes. Your naturopathic physician will make individual recommendations based on your personal health history, specific symptoms, targeted labs, and other means of gathering information. This will often include an elimination diet of some sort and the addition of other helpful bacteria such as probiotics or specific foods because to address almost any gastrointestinal disorder, gut health must be improved. A healthy gut is so important because it is where digestion occurs. Aside from influencing gastrointestinal disorders, there is also a strong gut/brain connection. Needless to say, when the gut is not healthy, it impacts many different areas of our health. A targeted diet may be prescribed such as the FODMAP diet, which reduces intake of short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, anti-inflammatory diet, elimination diet to identify dietary triggers that may be causing reactions, and more. Further, homeopathic remedies may be recommended, such as Carcinosin, Lycopodium, Nux vomica, Silica, Arsenicum album, Sulphur, Pulsatilla, and more. If you are suffering from gastrointestinal disorders or symptoms that are disrupting your quality of life, consult a naturopathic physician to have your individual health and symptoms evaluated so that you can begin to implement strategies to manage or eliminate your gastrointestinal disorder.