“Think of your gut as a garden, with the healthy bacteria as the flowers in the garden and unhealthy bacteria as the weeds. When you kill enough of the flowers, you make room for the weeds to grow in their place.”
- Dr. Mazzei D.O., Medical Director of BodyLogicMD of Chicago
Do you have any of the following symptoms?
If yes, you may need to reconsider the health of your gut…
Blood in Stools
Change in appetite
Foul Stool Smell
Why is GI Health important?
Our immune system depends on our GI health. The better we eat, the healthier we can be. When it comes to our overall wellness, maintaining proper GI health is just as important as heart health, dental health, bone health, and over all bodily health.
How can you heal the gut?
The gut can be healed by enhancing multiple aspects of healthy lifestyle functioning to include a balanced diet, regular physical activity, lowering stress levels, proper sleep, and not smoking.
Is It Time For A Detox?
The liver is the major organ helping your body rid itself of toxins. We are exposed to toxins on a daily basis – through the foods we eat, alcohol, medication, cosmetics, pesticides, and environmental toxins. Even natural processes like our hormones are detoxified by the liver. When overloaded, the liver gets sluggish and less able to filter. Often this can be a set-up for illness and chronic health problems.
An old natural medicine practice is to periodically give your liver a break and a chance to rejuvenate so it can work more efficiently. This is called a liver cleanse or metabolic detoxification. This cleanse is generally done for 10-28 days at the change of seasons –i.e. spring or fall cleaning. If you are interested in a detox program be sure to see your healthcare provider before you begin.
The health of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is of utmost importance for overall balance of body and mind; 40 % of your immune health begins in the bowel. What you eat, process, absorb, and excrete gives your provider a sense of GI function. We begin with a history and physical exam focusing on symptoms. Next are diagnostic labs and imaging as appropriate. Our approach is to repair the microbial environment, identify food allergies, and auto-immune conditions. An individual plan is established once a full evaluation is complete.
Gastrointestinal (GI) health means the ability to digest and absorb all nutrients effectively without any trace of discomfort. It also means creation of a healthy microbial environment with benefits including improved detoxification and the synthesis of nutrients for proper mind-body function. The elimination and management of sensitizing foods will also optimize GI health. Probiotic, enzyme, and herbal therapies may be indicated, as well as adequate amounts of fiber, water, and exercise.
The health of the digestive system is a long-term determinant of our health and well being. Early signs of disease are often seen as digestive problems. Gas, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion and bloating are all considered warning signs of future problems. Ayurveda addresses what foods are best for you, how food is eaten, and how it is combined. If the right food is consumed in a proper manner, many digestive problems go away. For those that do not, Ayurveda utilizes herbs to normalize digestive function.
The stomach and GI tract represent the center of emotional health and are the foundations of a strong immune system. Energy therapies work to balance the GI area, clear old emotional residue, and to open the energy flow; allowing clients to “digest” issues freely.
Chinese medicine works to regulate digestion through educating people about proper food choices, moving energetic blocks due to years of poor eating habits and bringing in herbal remedies to balance and soothe. Regular acupuncture can often restore equilibrium to the gut and eliminate the need for the more common digestive prescriptions.
The gastrointestinal system is a priority as the foundation of overall health. Bowen work facilitates the self-healing capacity of the body to balance and rest itself for optimal health.
GI health is controlled by the nervous system. Although many factors influence the gut, chiropractic care focuses on making manual adjustments to the body to help balance the nervous system and ensure gut function.
CranioSacral is a light-touch approach to release restrictions throughout the body that can directly or indirectly affect GI health. It is helpful when restrictions causing GI problems are associated with a history of physical or emotional trauma, scarring from surgeries, and a general state of “unrest” caused by increased stress, anxiety and worry. By relaxing the body and removing restrictions, treatment can have a profound effect on improving GI function.
Gut health is reflected in one’s nutritional status as well as the immune system, brain chemistry, energy level, and overall enjoyment of life. Identifying food choices, food allergies and sensitivities, immune imbalances, and bacterial or parasitic infections are all important. Nutritional counseling, specialty lab testing, herbal treatments, homeopathy, stress management and cleansing programs are useful tools when working to restore digestive health.
Treating patients with medications designed to influence only gut function can be futile. Individuals with severe symptoms often have significant psychological impairment with a lack of emotional well-being due to a frustrating relief seeking journey. The use of cognitive-behavioral therapy is emerging as a major psychotherapeutic tool for treating mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and somatic syndromes related to gut health.
Food allergies/ Intolerances
Many people go years with an undiagnosed food allergy or intolerance. A food allergy is an immune reaction to certain foods mistaken as harmful by the body instead of nurturing. Symptoms can be: a rash, itching, hives, swelling, breathing difficulty or loss of consciousness. Food sensitivity is more common and may have a delayed response (therefore it is difficult to diagnose).
IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a common disorder involving the entire digestive tract. Symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and abdominal pain. IBS is believed to be caused by a glitch in the nervous system’s regulation of normal GI functions. Inflammation of the lower intestine, certain foods, emotions, and other irritants may trigger symptoms. Studies show that a subset of people with IBS have bacterial over growth in the bowel which can be treated with herbs or prescription antibiotics.
This condition results from a back-flow of stomach acid into the esophagus; creating symptoms of burning in the chest, bitter tastes or sourness in the mouth and sometimes a cough or voice changes. Causes include: extra weight, hiatal hernia, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, over eating, eating late at night and fatty, fried, or spicy foods.