Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut”. Two thousand years on, this statement continues to ring true, and today, gut-related health problems seem to be escalating.
The gut includes our entire digestive tract, and digestion is where everything starts – and where everything can start to go wrong too.
In my clinic I see many people with digestive disorders, including:
- nausea, gastritis, stomach ulcers
- inflammatory bowel diseases: Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- various forms of indigestion (bloating, pain, flatulence, reflux), constipation, diarrhoea,
- food intolerances / celiac disease
- viral gastroenteritis
- reduced liver and gallbladder function
Why do gut disorders appear?
The food we eat has a major influence on our gut health, but there are other factors involved as well. Stress is one of them. Today, we all lead extremely busy lives and many people feel some level of stress at some point, but how we deal with stress, or are affected by it, is different for everyone. When we are chronically affected by stress, our health deteriorates. On top of that, as a society our nutrition has worsened – we are eating more processed and fewer whole, natural foods, and over time this has affected the optimal functioning of our gut. When you add it all up, it’s no wonder we struggle with so many health issues.
I see many patients who have been diagnosed with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can include a range of gut-related symptoms. As with most digestive symptoms, treating IBS involves balancing different aspects of gut health simultaneously.
How to cure gut disorders?
Imbalance of microflora – I prescribe a probiotic to restore bacterial diversity in the gut. I also use anti-microbial herbs to treat bacterial, as well as fungal imbalances (commonly known as ‘candida’).
Inflammation and intestinal permeability – these disorders can be treated with zinc supplementation, anti-inflammatory herbs and the elimination of foods that may be contributing to inflammation. Individual food intolerances vary among people affected by IBS and can be tested.
Restoring digestive function – herbs can help to support and activate production of hydrochloric acid, which helps digest food in the stomach. Digestive enzymes can be taken in a herbal formula or as a supplement.
Hypersensitivity, cramps and pain – I recommend magnesium and herbal support to help reduce these issues. Management of stress and mood is also very important.
Please note, it is recommended that you talk with a trained herbalist before using herbal supplements.
For individual treatment options, and to make an appointment with me, visit www.autumn-falk-naturopath.co.nz
Autumn Falk trained in Germany and is a qualified naturopath, medical herbalist and Shiatsu practitioner. She has lived and practised in Tauranga since 2011. In her naturopathy consultations, Autumn focuses primarily on herbal medicine, which to her means use of the whole plant rather than only a specific constituent. She may also prescribe additional nutritional supplementation, as well as recommending dietary and lifestyle changes.