3 Common Digestive Problems Naturopaths Can Treat

Digestive disorder is common in North America. Over the years, different types of treatments have been introduced along with Naturopathy. There are many issues that may cause digestive disorders, however three most common issues have been discussed below.

Reflux

Symptoms of reflux, such as heartburn, are among the most common digestive ills. In a Swedish study, 6 percent of people reported experiencing reflux symptoms daily and 14 percent had them at least weekly. Such frequent symptoms may indicate a person has GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Aside from being painful, GERD can harm the esophagus over time or even lead to esophageal cancer.

Heartburn typically involves a “hot or burning feeling rising up from the center of the abdomen area and into the chest under the breastbone or sternum,” says Dr. Holmberg Naturopath Toronto. “It may be accompanied by a sour taste in the mouth, or hypersalivation, or even finding food or fluid in your mouth,” particularly at night. Pregnancy, some medications, and consuming alcohol or certain foods can cause heartburn. Kids under age 12 and some adults may have GERD without heartburn, instead experiencing asthma-like symptoms, trouble swallowing, or a dry cough.

Peptic Ulcers

If you have unexplained stomach pain, consider this before reaching for a painkiller: “The worst thing to do if ulcers are suspected is to take aspirin or other NSAID [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug] pain reducers,” says Toronto naturopath. “They worsen it and don’t help.”

By disrupting a protective layer of mucus, that bacterium causes ulcers, which are sores in the lining of the stomach or first stretch of the small intestine. Other causes include smoking, which can elevate stomach acidity, and excessive NSAID use. Alcohol use may also be a factor, but it’s unclear whether that alone can cause ulcers.

Left untreated, ulcers can cause internal bleeding and may eat a hole in the small intestine or stomach wall, which can lead to serious infection. Ulcer scar tissue can also block the digestive tract. And long-term H. pylori infection has been linked to an increased risk of gastric cancer.

Gallstones

Gallstones can get blamed for symptoms caused by other, more elusive culprits, such as irritable bowel syndrome. An ultrasound test might pick them up while missing the real problem. If you’re told you need to have gallstones out but they’re not bothering you, get a second opinion.

The pain of a gallstone lodged in a duct usually comes on quickly—in the right upper abdomen, between the shoulder blades, or under the right shoulder—and means a trip to the ER is needed, as may fever, vomiting, nausea, or pain lasting more than five hours.

Obesity is a risk factor for gallstones, and it’s theorized that they develop because of a shortage of fiber and an excess of fat in the western diet. Losing weight—then regaining it—also seems to set the stage for gallstones.

What to do?

If you don’t want to take normal medications or avoid surgery, you can consult Toronto naturopathic digestion doctor for treatment. Dr. Holmberg applies a combination of naturopathic therapies to ensure gut rehabilitation.

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Laura Walker

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