Gastrointestinal disorders are some of the most common problems in healthcare. While few of these conditions are considered critical, dysfunction of this system has devastating effects on long term health. Our body depends on the digestion and absorption of nutrients to maintain health. Symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, cramps, Crohn's disease, colitis, reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and similar problems plague patients daily. The standard medical approach to all of these conditions is medication. These medications do not resolve the condition, but only manage the symptoms. It is essential to have excellent gastrointestinal health if one is to live a long, healthy life. When normal gastrointestinal function is interrupted, a variety of symptoms and conditions can arise such as: bone density loss, weakened immunological response, increased incidence of cancer, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, mood disorders, fatigue, skin disorders, mineral imbalances, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, diabetes, etc. Many health experts consider the gastrointestinal system to be the most important system in the body.
History and Exam
All patient care begins with a detailed history and exam. Our doctors spend the time necessary to understand the history and extent of the patient's problem. It is these details that help determine the required tests and help our doctors to outline a patient-specific treatment.
Blood Chemistry Studies with Orthomolecular Evaluation
Since many organs and systems affect intestinal function, it is essential to start with complete blood chemistry tests. Our standard chemistries allow our doctors to evaluate the body’s major systems. By using an advanced form of interpretation called Orthomolecular Medicine, our doctors can discover hidden nutritional deficiencies, early organic dysfunction, and the cause of many disorders. Once the tests are evaluated, a treatment plan will be established.
Food Allergy Testing
Many gastrointestinal problems are due to delayed immunological reactions. Allergic symptoms in immediate reactions occur within two hours of eating. Allergic symptoms in delayed reactions do not appear for at least two hours. It is not uncommon for delayed reactions to show up 24 to 48 hours later. There are even reports of delayed symptoms appearing 3 to 7 days after eating. This makes them very difficult to identify through dietary observation. Because a small amount of a single food is involved, and the allergic symptoms appear immediately, immediate food allergy is usually self-diagnosed. You eat the food; it causes symptoms quickly; you see the connection and therefore stop eating that food. Due to a combination of delayed symptoms, multiple foods eaten, and food cravings, Type 2 & 3 delayed-onset food allergies are rarely self-diagnosed. Blood testing is required to correctly identify Type 2 & 3 reactions. Once the offending foods are identified, a specific elimination and rotation diet must be followed for a designated period of time to allow healing of the intestinal lining. After completion of this program, patients are able to introduce many of the original foods that they were sensitive to back into their diet.
Systemic Yeast Testing
Many factors can cause a systemic buildup of yeast in the gastrointestinal system. Systemic yeast has been documented as a cause for many disorders, including: altered gastrointestinal function, joint pain, muscle pain, mood disorders, and fatigue. Our office offers systemic yeast testing as a part of our food allergy testing and also offers organic acid testing. Organic acids are the byproducts of yeast metabolism. Through measurement of organic acids, our doctors can identify the presence of yeast population, determine the particular strains, and identify the products that will be most helpful in correcting the situation. Our office also offers nutritional counseling and yeast elimination diet protocols.
Gluten, Whey, Casein, Preservatives and Additives Sensitivities
As food allergies are becoming more prevalent in society, an increasing number of patients also present with sensitivities to various chemicals, additives, and proteins. Our food allergy testing includes identification of these sub-categories. Our office can also customize food allergy panels to each patient’s needs.
Intestinal Permeability Testing
This test determines underlying problems linked to GI function. Since many factors can contribute to gastrointestinal function, treatment often first requires a measurement of function in the intestinal lining. Our intestinal permeability test allows our doctors to assess how well or how poorly nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal wall and how much inflammation is present. This information helps determine the course of action. This test directly measures how well non-metabolized sugars permeate the intestinal mucosa.
Endocrine System Evaluation
It is common that alteration in thyroid hormone levels and/or imbalances in estrogen levels can impair intestinal function. If required to resolve gastrointestinal problems, our office offers detailed hormone testing and can provide natural resolution to these problems.
The relationship between the nervous system and the intestinal lining has been well documented over the years. Frequently in cases of severe low back injuries involving the discs, the nervous system is compromised to the point that bowel function ceases. Less severe low back problems can create traction on the nervous system, resulting in altered bowel function. Our office offers advanced structural assessment and correction of spine imbalance to resolve any strain on the nervous system.