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Indigestion & Abdominal Pain – Tips From Naturopaths

Abdominal Pain

Indigestion and other abdominal pain can lead to many common health issues.

In addition, they can be quite crippling on their own.

Indigestion symptoms such as:

  • Stomach cramps,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Gastroenteritis,
  • Irritable bowel, and
  • Bloating

…are indications that something is out of line with your digestive system.

And that can impact so many aspects of your health. It can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.

But indigestion relief is something we can get fairly quickly. You just need to figure out the root cause of the problem.

Here’s what a few of our Toronto naturopathic doctors have to say…

Dr. Hayhlee Clarence, Naturopathic Doctor, on Indigestion

Digestive health is one of those fundamental things that continues to play a role in every condition we see.

It can all be its own set of symptoms, or its own condition if you will. A big part of helping to regulate and support healthy digestion comes from general diet and lifestyle support.

From more targeted lab testing, if you are suspecting an inflammatory or infectious process, we really make sure we test for these things. We do that before we treat, so that we can be a lot more targeted and intentional with how we address digestive concerns.

For most people it takes 6 months to 1 year to really see everything move in the right direction. That’s because you don’t want to do dramatic changes, which can often be hard on the body and can be hard to maintain.

People might see quick results with dramatic changes, but they may find that they develop other can issues. That’s because we’ve moved too far in one direction, too quickly.

We certainly use supplements when we need to, but trying to move away from them long term. I think the more people can do with their diet and lifestyle long-term, change becomes sustainable. And expectations are more reasonable.

Dr. Kate Whimster, Naturopathic Doctor

SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

It’s considered one of the most underlying causes of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which is typically the diagnosis people will end up with when they see their doctor.

And they’re saying, “something wrongs with my digestion”, and after doing dome basic testing, the doctor will say “there’s nothing wrong with you”, but things aren’t quite working correctly.

It’s not a disease, it’s a dysfunction. SIBO is an underlying cause of IBS that can be cured, and addressing SIBO does often lead to a curing of IBS.

The first thing would be is that we would discuss symptoms, any testing done to date, anything tried in terms of  digestion to improve their symptoms, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked.

We test for SIBO; there are different types of SIBO, and depending on the type of SIBO, there are different herbs you might use.

There’s 3 phases to the treatment of SIBO

There’s the prep phase, when we get the body ready to eradicate that overgrowth of bacteria, which is in the wrong place, there is an overgrowth of bacteria into the small intestine, which disrupts normal disruption.

There is preparation for that, which is usually a couple of weeks in typical cases, and then we may spend anywhere from 2 week to 6 weeks in a typical case doing what’s called eradication. We use herbs to get rid of that bacterial overgrowth.

The last phase is called recovery phase. During this phase, not that we have eradicated the bacterial overgrowth, we actually address thee root cause of SIBO.

The root cause of SIBO is a dysfunction in the normal movement of food through the digestive system.

We re-establish normal function of digestion, which then prevents the recurrence of SIBO, and then people can often go back to eating a more varied diet without having symptoms.

Dr. As’ad Hamid, Naturopathic Doctor

Typically we find that patients are suffering from inflammation in the body.

It’s often a straight forward process of understanding what’s causing the inflammation.

Sometimes it can be dietary factors that are playing a role, sometimes it can be environmental factors that are playing a role. For example, what living environment a person has, what water they are drinking, what air they are breathing; mostly, we are looking at diet however.

The diet is an incredibly powerful way to find and address sources of inflammation that the patient is exposed to on a regular basis.

Dr. Anthony Gucciardi, Naturopathic Doctor

Food is an incredible medicine, I’ve seen incredible outcomes from changing someones diet.

Not always wanting to remove things from someones diet, but I think adding in the right things is a nicer approach.

It’s a bit more supportive, and doesn’t make the patient feel as though they don’t have options, our that they don’t have anything to eat.

I love food, I love the kitchen, I love cooking with cultural perspective, and keeping different regions of the world in mind. It’s fun, and it’s something that can be a creative outlet for people.

When you get into a conversation around food and a patient leaves feeling educated, feeling like they have a different perspective and they can approach their food differently, these are effects that will last throughout the persons life.

I don’t think there is any stronger medicine than that.

If you’re looking for treatment and relief of your indigestion or abdominal pain, contact us at 416-792-4400 or by using the form below and we’ll book you for a FREE 15-minute phone or in-person session with one of our naturopathic doctors.