Digestive Health

Tummy pains? Bloating? Cramping? “Blah” feeling in your gut? Constipation? Diarrhoea?

Digestive problems can impact greatly on your day to day life, as well as compromise your overall health.  Digestive issues include IBS, Crohn’s disease, SIBO, bloating, cramping, Leaky Gut Syndrome, gassiness and nauseousness.  Often we just put up with digestive discomfort because it becomes the “new norm”, but digestive problems can be impacting your health more than you realise!

Healthy digestion is at the heart of good health.  Without good digestion and the right mix of gut bacteria, you may not be absorbing your nutrients from your food effectively.  Without good nutrient absorption, health issues such as fatigue, mood swings, hormonal imbalances and weight issue can arise.  So improving digestion isn’t just about symptomatic relief, it’s about improving your overall health.

Your Path to a Happier Gut

Frances uses a three step approach to determine the cause of your digestive issues and devise a treatment plan for you:

  1. An initial fact finding consultation and assessment of your symptoms, current diet, lifestyle, personal and family medical history.
  1. An assessment and testing session: This may include Functional Pathology tests such as Intestinal Permeability, SIBO breath test, a Comprehensive Stool Analysis, food intolerances and sensitivities.
  1. A discussion with you about your tailored treatment program, specifically based on your test results and tailored for what is “do-able” for you. This may include dietary advice, nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, and specifically chosen probiotics for you.

Frances recommends regular follow-up consultations to continually monitor your improvement and adjust your treatment accordingly.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

A leaky gut means that your intestinal lining has become more permeable than normal.  Just like eczema on the skin, chronic inflammation and irritation in the gut can lead to damage of the gut lining.  This inflammation and irritation may be a result of poor food choices, food sensitivities, and stress.

When the gut lining is more permeable, undigested foods can “leak” or infiltrate into the blood stream before being fully broken down.  The body then reacts as if the undigested foods are invaders or pathogens, and sets up an immune response.  Over time this can contribute to chronic immune and auto-immune conditions, fatigue, food sensitivities, anaemia due to malabsorption, and a myriad of gut symptoms.

Frances will organise your Intestinal Permeability test and will determine a specific treatment plan based on your results, including probiotics, gut healing nutrients and herbal medicines.

IBS

Sometimes constipated? Sometimes have diarrhoea? Bloating? Wind? Tummy Cramps?  You could have some element of IBS or IBS-type symptoms.  IBS is a set of symptoms rather than a disease, and the treatment is specific to one or many of its causes.

IBS-type symptoms can be caused and exacerbated by many different things, including stress, imbalanced gut flora, food intolerances, SIBO and Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut).

Frances will help to uncover the cause specific to you.  This may involve testing for Intestinal Permeability, SIBO, and food sensitivities.  Naturopathy can help to alleviate symptoms and treat the cause using specific strain probiotics, herbal medicine and nutrients specific to gut health.

SIBO

SIBO stands for “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overload”. The small intestine is usually relatively clear of bacteria, whilst in the large intestine bacteria is essential to help digest foods.   However, when bacteria from the large intestine migrate and invade the small intestine, a condition known as SIBO can result.   Bacterial overload in the small intestine can interfere with nutrient absorption, can cause inflammation, and damage the intestinal lining, leading to intestinal permeability and IBS-type symptoms.  The bad bacteria in the small intestine actually consume some of the foods, leading to symptoms including gas, bloating and pain.

Associated symptoms and conditions include bloating, wind and gas, burping, a feeling of fullness shortly after eating, malabsorption of nutrients leading to anaemia, fatigue, and even osteoporosis.

Testing for SIBO includes Hydrogen Breath Testing which can be organised through Frances.  Additional tests such as Intestinal Permeability and Food Sensitivities may also be required.

Food Sensitivities, Intolerances and Allergies

What is the difference between a food sensitivity, food intolerance and a food allergy?  A lot!!  True food allergies involve an immediate immune response, releasing IgE antibodies and histamine, and can lead to an anaphylactic response.

Milder, chronic, and often undiagnosed conditions are food sensitivities and intolerances.  A Food Intolerance refers to any food that your digestive system has trouble digesting due to insufficient enzymes to break down that particular food, The most well known is lactose intolerance.

A food sensitivity is more subtle, but can have broad reaching effects on your health.  Food sensitivities are foods that cause inflammation in your digestive tract, leading to damage of the intestinal lining (Intestinal Permeability), malabsorption of nutrients, and systemic inflammation.

As a result, a food sensitivity can lead to a range of conditions such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • IBS-type symptoms
  • Eczema, rashes and skin conditions
  • Arthritis and general joint aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Digestive discomforts such as bloating, cramping

Frances uses the comprehensive ALCAT food sensitivity and intolerance testing method to determine which foods and environmental substances are specific to your issues, as well as comprehensive Food Allergy testing to determine which foods cause which particular immune response (allergy or sensitivity).

For more information about how Frances can help you
with your Digestive Health, please visit our contact page