By Andrea Schnowske, DC
According to a new survey, 56 percent of Americans report gastrointestinal symptoms like stomach pain, gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements, and intestinal discomfort in the past week and have not sought treatment or discussed their symptoms with their doctor.
The symptoms mentioned above are your body’s way of pushing you to seek help. When it comes to conventional medicine these symptoms are frequently treated with medications that reduce symptoms but not necessarily correct the issue. Your body has an innate ability to adapt and heal but in many cases may not have what it needs to heal. When utilizing holistic health, your doctor will spend time with you during a one-on-one consultation to find the root cause of your symptoms and will focus on restoring 100 percent function and healing.
Stomach Pain and Heartburn
Your stomach is coated in a mucus lining that is responsible for protecting the stomach tissue and also producing stomach acid to break down your food and kill any bacteria that can cause harm in the lower digestive tract. Common symptoms like stomach pain and heartburn are the result of that protective mucus lining being thinned or injured. When this lining is broken down your body can’t produce the right quality of stomach acid and thus it will not digest your food properly resulting in nutritional deficiencies, frequent burping, ulcers, or reflux. In many cases, patients may have tried OTC medications like Tums or even a prescription like omeprazole or another beta blocker that can reduce acid and thus symptoms. However the problem with relying on these medications is that long term use can cause secondary issues with osteoporosis, gut infections, neuropathy, and nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption.
Bloating and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Other symptoms like bloating, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome can also be very frustrating because in many cases multiple labs and invasive testing procedures can lead to no answers or help to reduce symptoms. Some patients may even resort to severely restricted diets and infrequent meals to reduce symptoms and no symptoms management options. Many of these issues may be the result of gut dysbiosis from antibiotic overuse, poor fiber intake, or long term birth control use. Testing for this problem is not included in standard testing and thus may be undiagnosed.
When it comes to your digestive health it is important to look for the source of your problem rather than using medications to cover or reduce symptoms while the issue may continue to worsen. Holistic health treatment plans may resemble a multi-step program involving lab testing, dietary changes, or even herbal botanical supplements. In addition, frequent check-ins with your doctor may be necessary to gauge progress and improvement as well as modify treatment or discontinue treatment once the system has healed. Faster and longer lasting results can be obtained by improving function of the system overall rather than chasing symptoms and ignoring the root cause.
About the Doctor: Dr. Andrea Schnowske is a chiropractor and holistic health practitioner in Peoria. She is committed to listening to her patients, spending time going over recommendations and lab testing, and getting them actively involved with holistic solutions to get answers and solve health problems with long term results that can be maintained the rest of your life. She also involves other physicians so your whole health team is on the same page with the same goal to get you the results you need to get back to living your life.