Digestive concerns are one of the most common reasons for visiting the doctor. Digestive disorders are often the foundation to various chronic health problems. Simply addressing the digestive health can improve many chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, autoimmune disorders, body and joint pain, depression, chronic headaches, fatigue, hormone imbalances, sleep problems, and neurological disorders. First step to getting healthier, which is often overlooked regardless of your concern, usually involves making sure that the gut is working optimally. Healthy gut also means strong immune system so you will get sick less frequently and won’t require antibiotics.
Sometimes you are suffering from persisting and debilitation symptoms for weeks, months, or even years, and when you get a thorough assessment by the doctor, it turns out that there is no actual visible or physiological explanation, which can make it more challenging for conventional medicine to treat the cause of these symptoms. There may be medications that act as a “bandaid” solution but these medications may come with a handful of side effects that are worse than the original issue. It may also be the case that after a while the medications may stop helping to the same extent, at which point you have to try to see if other medications help.
How does the naturopathic care differ from the care provided by the gastroenterologist?
Although the presenting concern may be the digestive issues, the naturopathic doctor takes into consideration all the other aspects of the body, mind, and environment that may be affecting your symptoms. For example, certain foods may aggravate symptoms such as bloating and stomach cramps, proper absorption of nutrients is important to feel energetic and for the body to work at its best, immune response may be overstimulated causing fatigue and joint pain, stress at work and/or home may be making symptoms worse, hormonal imbalances contributing to overeating and appetite, bacterial flora in the gut may be overpopulated causing gas, candida overgrowth or a parasite may be another culprit that may be causing your low energy. Extensive testing including food sensitivity testing, preservative and food additives testing, nutritional assessment, stool culture, candida immune test, gastrointestinal pathogen screening, environmental chemical testing, among others is also offered, which is not covered by OHIP and not commonly made available through your medical doctor.