Have you already seen your primary care doctor (or even GI specialists) about chronic gut issues, only to be given a prescription to deal with the symptoms?
Perhaps you are dealing with regular bloating, acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), diarrhea, stomach cramps, or even fatigue and brain fog?
Unfortunately, most doctors recommend antacids (like Tums, Pepto-Bismol) or proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) to deal with “overactive” stomach acid or some other medication to deal with the symptoms.
While some OTC medicines may temporarily ease symptoms, they can seriously harm you in the long term because you’ll never explore what caused your symptoms in the first place.
This is emblematic of a conventional medicine approach – going downstream from observed symptoms towards a diagnosis (to be addressed with a symptomatic prescription medicine). In an insurance-based practice, that’s really the only thing that can be accomplished in a typical 7-minute visit!
The problem with this is that there are many reasons why you could experience chronic digestive distress, and unless you understand the true root cause of what’s ultimately leading to the observed digestive symptoms, you don’t know how to fix it for good.
That’s why the conventional approach to chronic digestive disorders is really frustrating for both patients AND doctors:
Patients never get to truly resolve their digestive issues… instead just managing their symptoms, while primary care doctors feel ill-equipped to identify what’s really causing the observed gut issues.
While the symptoms of gut diseases are literally the same (bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain), they may be caused by very different mechanisms that require a specialized approach.
That’s why it’s dangerous to mask the warning symptoms with over-the-counter remedies like antacids, laxatives, or antidiarrheals – without investigating the true root causes.
In the 1990s, we made incredible advances in understanding that our health is deeply linked to our microbiome – a collection of microbes including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses that live on and inside the human body.
The bacteria in our gut microbiome help digest our food, protect our immune system, fight harmful bacteria or viruses, and produce important nutrients like B12, thiamine (B1), and riboflavin.
They also produce important neurotransmitters that allow for proper brain function. This is why people with poor gut health oftentimes report brain fog!
Unfortunately, these new advances in science take around 17 years to find their way into conventional doctors’ practices… so that’s why you may be better served by a functional medicine provider like our team at Horizons of Health.
The functional medicine approach to healing the gut is relying on advanced lab testing, followed by creating a custom-tailored, personalized protocol to restore your body’s innate healing potential so we can bring your body back into balance.
Since the gut impacts our health on so many levels, it’s the first place we focus on when we explore a new patient’s case – determining whether they have leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), or its cousin small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO). One concern that is often overlooked in mainstream medicine is the new “phrase” called “leaky gut” or “intestinal permeability”.
This is essentially when the lining of the gut wall develops “gaps” in it allowing undigested food proteins to leak out into the body. This leaking of food proteins can then cause autoimmunity and inflammation, with one never really knowing the cause of what is occurring. Constipation could be parasitic, inflammatory, hormonal, or food allergy in nature with diarrhea being the same. Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be related to any of the above culprits as well.
The lab tests help us arrive at a precise diagnosis, so we understand how to address the underlying dysfunction for good – whether it’s unresolved stealth infections, environmental toxins, food allergies, or other endocrine or system-wide issues.
Sadly, our conventional GI testing protocol typically only uses scopes for testing which gives us limited data that doesn't pick up on bacterial issues or conditions like Leaky gut. While your doctors want to help, they do not have the training or access to the testing needed to diagnosis these types of conditions and may say "you're fine" if the scope testing comes back fine.
So if you are still struggling with GI issues, don’t just chalk it up to having a “sensitive” stomach or “getting older,” seek out care from a functional medicine-trained provider to avoid compromising your long-term health.
At Horizons of Health, our expert team is trained to investigate the symptoms and causes of your chronic digestive disorder and craft an effective treatment plan that’s supported by the appropriate lab tests. If you have been experiencing chronic symptoms that may be connected with digestive problems and are looking for answers, schedule a free discovery consult today!
Do you have questions about starting your path back to health? Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if our approach is right for you.
Known for her successful approach towards chronic wellness issues, Jennifer Baer, Nurse Practitioner and her team at Horizons of Health combine an integrative, functional medicine approach.
Our unique approach to diagnosing and resolving chronic health issues recognizes that lasting health depends on resolving the root causes of your symptoms. Click here to learn more »
After you have reviewed the information on our website and in our downloadable guides, we’d love to hear from you – to answer more specific questions about our approach and track record.