Gastrointestinal Dysfunction and Chronic Disease Management in Wittman, MD
Your gastrointestinal system is responsible for processing and utilizing food as nutrition and energy. There are many well-known medical problems that can arise in the gastrointestinal (GI) system including inflammatory diseases like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis , or celiac disease , but there may be much more to the gut's story and its role in treating long-term illness.
Understanding the role of the gut in your health is significant. Proper treatment of gastrointestinal dysfunction with functional medicine can prevent or reverse a variety of other health problems.
To learn more about functional medicine and the connection between gastrointestinal dysfunction and treatment of chronic disease, call (410) 266-3613 or contact Annapolis Integrative Medicine online.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is an approach that treats a variety of health problems by looking not at the symptoms, but instead the root cause of the illness.
Many traditional medical practices treat only symptoms (like giving medication to stop diarrhea but never looking for the cause of the diarrhea) and don't look closer to biologic triggers for illness or disease.
Functional medicine is a different way of identifying and managing health problems such as gastrointestinal dysfunction, so you can live a healthier life.
What Chronic Diseases are linked to Gastrointestinal Dysfunction?
Bacterial overgrowth and infections inside your intestines can be common triggers for chronic disease. Common GI dysfunctions can lead to:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Irritable bowel disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Thyroid disease
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
- Mental dysfunction
- Autoimmune disease
It can be easy to overlook the role of the gut and its relationship to chronic disease because the process happens deep inside your body where traditional medical practitioners may never look. With functional medicine, “treating the gut” is a first line approach.
To trigger chronic disease, inflammation and infection of the intestine cause increased cell permeability—very tiny holes that allow allergens to leak out of the intestines and into the bloodstream. You may have heard this called “leaky gut syndrome .”
In response, your body sees these allergens as invaders and triggers an immune response to get rid of them. Chemicals produced by the immune system can irritate your nervous system and other systems of the body causing many different symptoms.
Gastrointestinal Dysfunction Treatment
Today's treatments will vary, but you can expect your functional medicine provider to recommend some supplementation—this may be vitamins or other nutrients and a diet to eliminate food allergiens that are irritating your intestines.
Functional treatments such as acupuncture, hormone replacement , nutritional counseling and behavioral therapy may also be used to help calm the body and mind, reduce inflammation in the body and encourage movement of the gut to remove any harmful bacteria.
Is gastrointestinal dysfunction at the heart of your chronic disease? Find out more: call (410) 266-3613 or contact Annapolis Integrative Medicine online.
Annapolis Integrative Medicine
Address1819 Bay Ridge Ave
Annapolis, MD 21403