Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastrointestinal Disorders

    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS, is one of the more common symptom complexes seen by us. IBS is often not seen as a serious medical condition, but clients with the disorder experience a poorer quality of life. Functional changes in bowel patterns have been the hallmark of IBS, a triad of abdominal discomfort, irregular bowel movements and various degrees of bloating and rectal urgency.

    The pathogenesis of IBS is multifactorial, with contributions from visceral hypersensitivity, enteric infection, altered GI flora, food sensitivities and allergies, neuroendocrine dysfunction or psychosocial factors.

    New research on treatments for IBS highlights diet and nutrition and the immune system.

    • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, GERD, also more commonly known as heartburn, is asymptomatic state resulting from the abnormal passage of acidic stomach content, or reflux, into the esophagus. GERD is a common phenomenon; it is estimated that 15% of people in the US suffer from those symptoms. GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle at the end of the esophagus doesn’t close properly. This causes stomach acid used for digestion to back up, or reflux into the lower esophagus. When stomach acid comes in contact with the lining of the esophagus, it can cause heartburn, among other symptoms. More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn or GERD symptoms at least once a month. To help treat and prevent GERD, take action by following these simple steps.

    If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you probably have GERD. Classic symptoms include sour taste in the mouth; burning in the throat; stomach acid rising; chest pain; and burping. Other more “silent” symptoms of acid reflux/GERD include trouble swallowing, dry cough, hoarseness and the sensation of a lump in your throat. Many people with these symptoms of silent reflux never experience classic symptoms.

    Diet plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of GERD. Foods that can trigger GERD: Fatty or fried foods, coffee, tea, alcohol, spicy foods, oranges and other citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, carbonated beverages, chocolate, and mint.

    Foods that help prevent GERD: Leafy greens, melons, bananas, oatmeal, tofu, fennel, parsley, and rice.

    Both alcohol and caffeinated beverages can increase acid production in the stomach. Limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee or tea a day, and if you do drink alcohol, drink in moderation – that’s 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women. If you suffer from chronic GERD, you may want to cut out these beverages altogether.

    Drink plenty of water – at least 6-8 cups a day – to help neutralize and rinse out stomach acid that has refluxed into the esophagus.

    If you experience symptoms of GERD during sleeping hours, try elevating the head of your bed by at least 6 inches. This can be done by placing wood or cement blocks under the feet of the bed, or by inserting a wedge between the mattress and the box spring. Just adding more pillows will not work, because you need to raise your head higher than your stomach. It may be awkward sleeping this way at first, but it will help keep stomach acid from rising.

    Research shows that the more excess weight you carry, the more likely you are to suffer from GERD. Belly fat puts pressure on the stomach, causing fluids to rise up. If you are overweight, losing even 5-10 pounds can reduce your chance of developing GERD.

    Please make an appointment to be evaluated to find out the underlying reason for any gastrointestinal disorder you may suffer from. We can help naturally…