Gastrointestinal issues, gas, bloating, constipation, indigestion and diarrhea are some of the most common issues we deal with in helping people get well and stay well here at Vital Health and Body in Saratoga, CA. We do this by first searching for the cause, as the “why” is often more important than the what.
Gastrointestinal Issues in Saratoga CA
Patients that have GI issues are often stuck in a cycle of medications that are used to blunt the symptoms. Antacids are the most popular medication in the US for a reason, but these medications do nothing to address the cause of your discomfort, and that cause is can usually be broken down into two categories:
By now we’re pretty familiar with food allergies. At their worst they can lead to severe illness and even death. Something as seemingly inert as a peanut can send someone who’s allergic to peanuts into anaphylactic shock, which is an immune response that your body triggers in response to something you are allergic to. That same immune response, although with a much lesser intensity can occur if you have a sensitivity to a particular food. And most people don’t even know what foods they are allergic to. The GI issues many of us experience on a regular basis are symptoms of that sensitivity. And while you can take a pill or eat more fiber to deal with those symptoms, it’s important to understand that if you are having a reaction it is an immune response, meaning your immune system is actively defending your body against something it sees as a threat. This immune response causes damage every time it happens, and can affect every part of your body. One of the most interesting and maybe scary aspects of food allergies/sensitivities is that often the people most sensitive to a certain food will show no GI symptoms at all! As more research is done we are learning more about the interaction between our gut health and the health of every other part of our body, and food sensitivities can result in symptoms to every part of our bodies!
A pathogen is anything that can produce disease; typically the term is used to describe an infectious agent such as a virus, bacteria, or fungus (yeast). As you start to eat better and avoid the foods that make you sicker instead of healthier its important to determine if you’re carrying around any of the above that may be undermining your efforts. We routinely assess patients for the presence of bacteria, fungi or viruses as they relate to GI symptoms, and are continually amazed at how prevalent they are in the US. These bugs are thought to contribute to an ever expanding list of disease, but are already implicated in certain types of cancers, mood issues, autoimmune diseases and arthritic conditions. If you are having health issues, but especially if you are having gastrointestinal issues then it is critical you have yourself tested.
An effective treatment for GI issues is dependent on first figuring out what the cause is. Taking Gas-Ex for bloating or gas, taking an antacid for indigestion or eating more fiber for constipation or diarrhea does nothing to deal with the cause. It’s not normal to have any of these issues, and if you do, its critical you find out why! Treating these symptoms with medications that are meant to provide temporary relief is ok for short term problems but you must understand that the symptom are a sign of a bigger issue, and that issues is causing damage to your body much worse than the discomfort or embarrassment you feel. We search for the cause through lab testing, lifestyle analysis and dietary changes. We can test for allergies, pathogens or sensitivities, the goal of the testing is to find the cause so we can fix it. Treatments range from basic dietary changes for simple cases up to antibiotics for more complicated or more dangerous pathogens. And once we’ve figured out what foods you’re allergic or sensitive to and killed any pathogens you’re harboring we go to work restoring the damage already done, help you avoid the foods that are making you sick and live a life not plagued by stomach pain! Our goal is always to find out why, and then help you become a better you!
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