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If you struggle with digestive concerns, we can help. Our experts can assess your gut health and recommend a range of integrative therapies for restoring digestive balance. Whether you suffer from diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome or something more serious, we can help you identify underlying causes or triggers and find relief from your symptoms.
Diverticulitis is a condition of the digestive tract that occurs when small bulges (diverticula) on the colon wall become irritated and infected. The presence of diverticula is relatively common and most people do not have any symptoms, but inflammation can trigger pain, fever, nausea, abdominal cramping and constipation. Experts aren’t exactly sure what causes diverticulitis, but one theory is that bacteria from stool can lead to infection.
Nutrition is often the primary consideration in preventing and managing diverticulitis. Micronutrient testing can help establish a baseline and identify any deficiencies or excesses that may contribute to flare-ups. This ensures that our experts can recommend the appropriate nutritional, dietary and lifestyle changes for improving your digestive health.
The GI-map test is also an important tool to check for any harmful bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in the digestive tract. This can help your health care provider decide on the best course of action for achieving symptom relief. Some hormones can raise levels of inflammation throughout the body and are associated with a higher risk of diverticulitis, so we may also recommend a DUTCH test as part of your treatment plan.
Finally, acupuncture can help alleviate the abdominal pain associated with diverticulitis and other digestive disorders while promoting better gastrointestinal health. Our experts can determine how acupuncture and other integrative therapies can improve your overall wellness and develop the right approach depending on your unique needs.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a digestive disorder that affects the stomach and intestines. In people with IBS, the GI tract is exceptionally sensitive to certain foods, triggers or stimuli, which can change how the bowel muscles contract. This leads to symptoms that can range from mild to severe and may include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. The causes of IBS are complex and largely unknown, but experts believe that factors such as low-grade inflammation, bacteria, and hormone dysfunction that disrupts brain/gut communication may play a role.
IBS is diagnosed based on symptoms and an evaluation of the GI tract. If you’re experiencing changes in your bowel movements, our experts can run a GI-map test to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and assess the overall health of your gut. The results allow us to develop a strategic treatment plan for bringing the body back into balance.
Micronutrient testing can measure your vitamin and mineral levels. IBS can lead to poor digestive function and reduced nutrient absorption, so this can help identify if any key deficiencies are causing additional symptoms such as fatigue, overeating or blood sugar swings. It can also guide dietary or lifestyle changes that could improve your gut health.
Low-dose naltrexone has powerful immune-modulating abilities and has been shown to help patients struggling with IBS and other digestive disorders. Studies have found that it can have a positive impact on pain, diarrhea and constipation with no adverse side effects. Acupuncture shows similar promise as an IBS treatment that can also reduce abdominal bloating.
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
It’s easy to get IBD and IBS confused. IBS describes a group of symptoms that affect bowel function, while IBD is long-term inflammation of the tissues in the GI tract. IBD encompasses two chronic disorders — ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis involves inflammation and the formation of sores along the lining of the large intestine. Crohn’s disease is inflammation that tends to affect the small intestine, but can spread to deeper tissues. Both can cause deadly complications and increase your risk of colon cancer.
The goal of IBD treatment is to control inflammation and the triggers that cause it. This might entail the use of medications or surgery, but integrative therapies can be used alongside conventional treatments for a better quality of life. For example, studies have shown that acupuncture and moxibustion can provide therapeutic relief and improve GI symptoms such as pain, swelling, gas, diarrhea and constipation without harmful side effects.
The GI-map test can also offer a comprehensive look at your gut health, analyzing factors such as bacterial growth, digestion, nutrient absorption, inflammation and immune function. Depending on the results, steps can be taken to restore balance with dietary changes, herbal supplements, probiotics and more. Micronutrient testing can further guide these decisions and identify if any nutritional deficiencies need to be addressed for your overall health.
Finally, low-dose naltrexone has been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and improve the wound-healing process. In one study, nearly 75% of IBD patients receiving low-dose naltrexone showed clinical improvement in their symptoms, while more than 25% achieved long-term remission. Due to its safety profile, low-dose naltrexone is appropriate for most people and can easily fit into your existing treatment plan.
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
A lot of your digestive health depends on the balance of microorganisms in the gut. SIBO occurs when there’s an abnormal increase in the bacterial population of the small intestine, overwhelming the good bacteria normally found there. It’s often the result of complications from surgery, disease or structural problems that slow the breakdown of food and waste products, creating a “breeding ground” for bacteria. Symptoms may include pain, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, weight loss and malnutrition.
Some studies estimate that up to 78% of people with IBS also have SIBO. Those with IBD are also at an increased risk. Treatment often involves addressing the underlying problem and restoring digestive balance. In some cases, antibiotics are used, but this targets both good and bad bacteria and can cause a rebound of symptoms once discontinued. Integrative therapies can provide whole-body wellness and support to improve your gut health.
Nutritional support is one of the most holistic ways to manage your symptoms and get bacterial overgrowth under control. Certain foods “feed” the bad bacteria in your gut, so avoiding these is key. Maintaining proper nutrition is also important, because SIBO tends to cause malabsorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Micronutrient testing can identify where you’re deficient and help our experts reinforce your diet.
GI-map testing can aid in the diagnosis of SIBO by analyzing the composition of your gut microbiome and assessing your overall digestive and immune function. This provides insights into your symptoms and helps guide the development of a personalized treatment plan.
If you experience pain or bloating with SIBO, acupuncture can provide relief from these symptoms to improve your quality of life. Further studies are underway to determine how acupuncture and other integrative therapies can help reduce bacterial overgrowth.
Take Control of Your Digestive Health
The GI tract is an essential component of our overall health. When something goes wrong, it can decrease our quality of life and put us at greater risk of becoming ill. If you’re experiencing digestive issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, bowel movement changes and more, we can help. Our integrative therapies can help pinpoint the underlying cause of your symptoms and bring the body back into balance. To get started, call our office in San Diego, California, at 866-343-0195 to schedule a consultation with one of our experts. You can also click here to book your appointment at Aspire Regenerative.