Good health starts in the gut!
Bloating, gas, cramping, mushy bowel movements, watery diarrhoea or constipation are all signs that your digestion isn’t working as nicely as what it should be. This means you won’t be getting the most from your food, nor will you be effectively eliminating toxins. Toxins that don’t get removed from your bowel get reabsorbed, pass into your blood stream and affect the health of all your other organs.
Common conditions that can develop as a result of poor digestive health include:
- Skin conditions like eczema, acne or dermatitis
- Bad breath
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Brain fog
- Poor concentration and forgetfulness
Naturopaths love talking about digestion, and while it can feel a bit weird chatting in detail about things like your bowel movements, to a naturopath, examining digestive patterns provides a wealth of clues!
Find out what your bowel movements could reveal about your health.
What causes digestive disturbances?
In her experience as a naturopath and nutritionist, Rebecca has identified 5 key areas that contribute to a cranky digestive system
Imbalance of ‘bugs’
We need a balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bugs within our digestive tract for it to work well. This balance can be disturbed by things like an unresolved ‘gastro’ bug or a reaction to antibiotics. For many people who suffer with digestive disturbances, their symptoms can be traced back to a gut infection that never really ‘got better’. Places like to Bali, Asia, the Middle East as well as parts of Europe and America have all been identified, however you can pretty much pick these bugs up anywhere!
Specialised testing is available to determine if you still have bugs living in your tummy!
Food intolerance, sensitivities or allergies
Our digestive system is constantly coming into contact with lots of different chemicals from the foods we eat and the liquids we drink. For some of us though, our digestive tract doesn’t like some of these foods as much as we think we do! When we consume these foods, our body can react, making us feel pain, bloating, discomfort or changes our bowel movements.
There is a few very important differences between intolerances, sensitivities and allergies, and they should be managed accordingly. As part of her role as a naturopath, Rebecca will work with you to identify which foods your may be reacting to and then construct a nutritional plan to ensure your body continues thriving!
Stress & Emotions
Ever feel like you have butterflies in your stomach or notice changes in your bowel movements when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or under pressure? There is a reason why most naturopaths refer to your digestive tract as your second brain! Our emotions and stress levels are intricately intertwined with our digestive tract and can significantly affect the outcome of your treatment.
Failure to take into account your stress levels when managing a digestive disturbance is like trying to service a car without actually lifting up the bonnet. There may not be anything for us to worry about, but it’s always good to check first.
Lifestyle & eating patterns
Things like gulping your food, eating on the run or eating absent-mindely (eg: working while you take a lunch break) can all have an impact on your digestive function. The ‘Rest and Digest’ principle tells us that our body and digestive system functions more optimally when we are relaxed, settled and calm. This allows our stomach acid and enzyme systems to work more efficiently, meaning we extract more nutrients from our food, leaving our body more nourished rather than just ‘full’.
Bowel imbalances or physiological changes
Things like inflammation, cellular change/growths (eg: polyps), irregular contractions (‘lazy bowel syndrome’) or immune involvement (eg: auto immune conditions like Crohn’s Disease) all influence how well your digestive system will work. Each of these conditions (amongst others) requires appropriate management, which may or may not cross over with some of the other areas mentioned. As part of naturopathic care, wholistic assessment of your whole digestive system will be done to ensure the most optimal outcomes can be achieved for you.
Learn more about the naturopathic management of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
How a Naturopath can help
Correcting digestive disturbances is not as simple as taking a probiotic (although you’d be forgiven for thinking so!) As a leading Sydney Naturopath specialising in digestion, Rebecca will work with you to identify the drivers behind your digestive discomfort. Herbal medicine, nutritional changes, nutrient supplementation and some key, practical lifestyle changes may be utilised to help calm and rejuvenate your digestive system.
The treatment of digestive conditions usually start with a 6 week treatment program, although this may vary depending on your specific needs, the drivers of your tummy trouble and the length of time you have been experiencing your condition.
Rebecca may partner with your GP or other health professionals to ensure no stone is left unturned in getting to the bottom of your discomfort. Functional gastrointestinal testing, standard blood tests or other scientific testing (like VLA/BIA or Live Blood Screening) may be used to help guide and manage your treatment.
As a naturopath in Sydney specialising in digestive health, particularly IBS, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, Rebecca has been interviewed by several media outlets for her thoughts on the best ways to improve digestion using naturopathy and nutrition.
To learn more about how Rebecca and how her unique approach to naturopathy can assist your digestive function, get in touch today.