An increasing number of people are looking to complementary treatments for their health issues. While conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals treat the symptoms of a health problem, they rarely address the underlying cause. Functional Medicine and Chiropractic practices are seeing more patients who seek relief from their conditions that may not always be provided by conventional methods. Gastrointestinal (GI) conditions are complex, but Functional Medicine approach along with Chiropractic Care can supplement your primary treatment plan.
GI conditions can range from relatively minor to very serious. Common disorders include the following:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Perianal abscesses and infections
- Gastrointestinal Dysbiosis
- And many more
The effectiveness of Functional Medicine and Chiropractic Treatment will depend on several factors. At Atlant Health, we adopt a complex and in-depth approach to your condition, and we will tailor treatment to suit your individual needs and circumstances.
There are a variety of causes that may lead to gastrointestinal problems. Medications, food allergies, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and obesity all contribute to gastrointestinal issues.
Intermittent constipation can be an annoyance, but chronic constipation interferes with your quality of life. For many, it is not only uncomfortable, but it is also painful. Symptoms include irregular bowel movements, difficulty in passing stools, bloated belly, and hard or small stools.
Several factors can cause constipation, ranging from too many dairy products, a lack of fiber, stress, and side effects of some medications. More serious causes include an underactive thyroid or neurological conditions. If you are experiencing chronic constipation, we urge you to seek a full diagnosis.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a very common condition affecting the large intestine. Symptoms of IBS include pain and cramps in the abdominal area, diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, and mucus in your stools.
IBS can be cyclical, and people with the condition may experience periods where symptoms are non-existent and times when the condition worsens considerably.
If you experience more severe symptoms such as rectal bleeding, constant abdominal pain, or severe weight loss, then see your doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms may be indicative of a more serious underlying condition.
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in the anus and rectum, similar to varicose veins. Hemorrhoids are usually caused by pregnancy, obesity, or heavy lifting. Although hemorrhoids are hardly dangerous, they can be recurrent and are often uncomfortable. Hemorrhoids are typically easy to manage.
If your diet is low in fiber, you may want to consider increasing your intake. Avoid white sugar and white flour. It’s also important to drink plenty of water. The body responds to the correction of nerve pressure in the lower back or pelvis due to chiropractic work, and the blood vessels will regulate themselves and allow for relief of hemorrhoids.
Perianal Abscesses and Infections
If you are dealing with Crohn’s disease or IBS, you may have experienced a perianal abscess or infection. An abscess is a build-up of fluids in a location. For most instances of perianal abscesses, the fluid must be drained. Other causes of these abscesses include blocked glands and sexually transmitted infections.
Colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-term inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Colitis can be debilitating and life-threatening. Treatment can greatly reduce symptoms and sometimes enable long-term remission.
Dysbiosis is a condition in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the small intestine, where conditions such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO) may develop due to microbial imbalance or maladaptation.
Depending on the diagnosis and symptoms of a gastrointestinal problem, there are a variety of treatment options to help relieve or eliminate symptoms or target the underlying cause. Traditional treatments can include:
- Increase of fiber and water intake
- Supplements to relieve inflammation
- Natural and pharmaceutical antibacterial remedies
- Change of diet to remove food allergens and sugars
- Surgical interventions,
- Chiropractic alignment
- Addressing the brain-gut connection
Due to large variety and complexity of gastrointestinal disorders, approach to identify a root cause of a particular condition might require multiple functional and conventional medicine testing. Some might include scoping of the colon, stomach and small intestine; stool analysis and blood analysis from functional medicine perspective.
As one example, there are several ways to test for Chron’s flare-ups and IBS, there is some experimenting with different foods to see which ones trigger a reaction. This, along with blood testing to look for increased antibodies and inflammation.
When all data is collected and analyzed, a proper approach can be applied toward healing of identified disorder. These include personalized nutritional and dietary intervention.
In addition to the steps listed above, at Atlant Health we offer Bioenergetic testing with Asyra that can help identify underlying energetic imbalances that are not showing up in traditional lab tests. With these results, we can provide additional support toward healing.