Supporting You In Addressing Digestive Dysfunction
Digestive health is critical. It can be considered the root of your health, as imbalances in the body often start with a challenged digestive process. The digestive system is involved in various important bodily processes, not only the digestion and absorption of the food we eat. Most importantly, it also houses our gut microbiome, a complex ‘superorganism’ that supports the optimal function of metabolism, immunity system and mental health.
Gut dysbiosis occurs when the delicate balance in the gut is lost and the ‘bad’ bacteria are more dominant. This can occur for many reasons including undigested proteins, stress, high sugar, refined carbohydrate diet, food intolerances (e.g. gluten) and use of medications, particularly antibiotics. Many diseases have a gastrointestinal dysbiosis connection.
Supporting optimal digestive function is important for addressing symptoms like bloating, flatulence and heartburn but also to manage a range of other chronic conditions that can be linked to gut imbalances, such as autoimmune disease, allergies, skin rashes and eczema, chronic fatigue and dementia.
Common Digestive Conditions & Symptoms
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
- Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- Acid Reflux / GERD
- Bloating, Excessive Gas & Heartburn
- Constipation or Diarrhoea
- Food Intolerances and Sensitivities
- Stomach Ulcers
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is one the most common digestive health conditions that affects the muscle and nerve movement in our small and large intestine (colon) leading to food sensitivities.
Common Symptoms of IBS:
- Stomach pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen
- Bloating, gas, and heartburn
- Excessive fullness after eating
- Constipation, diarrhoea or alternating between the two
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD refers to chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, and symptoms include severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss and in more severe cases blood in the stool. Two main types of IBD:
- Crohn’s Disease: Inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract
- Ulcerative Colitis: Chronic inflammation and sores in the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum
Multifactorial influences can contribute to IBS and IBD, including stress, diet and bacterial imbalances in the gut.
It’s been said that an immune system dysfunction can potentially lead to chronic inflammation of the digest tract. This could occur when our immune system tries to remove a virus, and an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract.
Opportunities to address digestive dysfunction
By addressing lifestyle and dietary factors we can optimise the function of your digestive system and repair any underlying imbalances. The focus of our nutrition team includes:
- Review your health history and current symptoms
- Recommend a personalised diet plan to match your lifestyle and address any food sensitivities
- Recommend appropriate nutritional supplements as necessary
- Check for any nutritional deficiencies where appropriate
- Lifestyle and dietary advice for stress management
Improving your nutrition to suit your body’s needs can help improve your microbiome health and gastrointestinal health, and reduce symptoms of digestive dysfunction.
Functional Testing options
If you are experiencing digestive dysfunction symptoms, it is important that you also seek help from your GP to rule out any medical causes of your presenting symptoms.
Our Functional Medicine approach aims to look for the root cause of your digestive condition and address the underlying imbalances that may be contributing to your symptoms.
We work with several private laboratories who offer a range of comprehensive stool profiles. The focus is not only looking for outright pathogens, but also to consider the make-up of your microbiome health, in terms of both beneficial and potentially dysbiotic bacteria. The profiles also provide information on the presence of yeast, parasites, worms and viruses. Additional intestinal health markers looking at digestive capacity, gut immunity and inflammation provide valuable insight into gut health and digestive dysfunction.
When necessary, we can work with a specialised medical team to provide targeted medical support alongside your dietary and lifestyle interventions.