Key to Good Health
Over 70% of our immune system is in our gut. Therefore if our digestion is off then we may feel ‘off’ in other ways. For example improper digestion can lead to fatigue, headaches, aches and pain, depression, skin issues or anxiety to name a few. (And on the flip side some of those aforementioned symptoms can lead to improper digestion!)
Digestive symptoms that I successfully treat using Chinese Medicine and nutritional therapy are:
- Irritable Bowel Symptoms (IBS) – Constipation (IBS-C) & Diarrhea (IBS-D)
- “SIBO” – Bloating, gas and indigestion
- Acid Reflux
- Peptic and Duodenal Ulcers
- Gallbladder issues
These are not ‘modern’ diseases, although they are occurring in a significantly greater percentage of people because of our modern world. The above symptoms are described in many texts and case reports over the last 1800 years.
For example, SIBO symptoms are described in century and millennia old texts and case studies. But it has become the diagnosis ‘du jour’ in the last decade. SIBO is often a symptom of a physiological imbalance not the root cause. If you have SIBO then your body’s physiology needs to be corrected to properly process the outside world which Chinese Medicine and diet therapy addresses quite effectively. SIBO can be successfully treated without antibiotics and a restrictive FODMAP diet by utilizing the 2000 year rich history of Chinese Medicine.
Another common diagnosis I see is gastroparesis where the pharmaceutical options that are offered can have significant side effects. I find gastroparesis responds extremely well to acupuncture and customized Chinese herbal medicine in addition to minor diet changes. There is no ‘gastroparesis’ treatment, as 10 people can have gastroparesis yet they all get different treatments.
Another area where our modern world is presenting significantly more GI issues is with autoimmune diseases. If someone has not had years of immune suppressors or biologics then I find that Crohn’s and Colitis can be managed very well with Chinese Medicine and diet therapy . But many times these medicines are necessary to control the dysregulated immune system symptoms. However we can work together to reduce the dosage needed and prevent a need for further medications.
All through the ages medicine has focused on digestion as a pillar to health:
- In Ayurvedic Medicine the presence of ama, the toxic byproduct of impaired digestion, is the cause of most treatable diseases. – ~2000 BC
- Hippocrates is attributed to the saying – “All disease begins in the gut” – ~400 BC
- Li Dongyuan the great Chinese Master Physician taught that the digestive functions must be harmonized to prolong life – ~1200 AD
- Functional Nutrition is centered around repairing the intestinal mucosa and correcting imbalances to aid in detoxification leading to health improvements – 2000 AD
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