Is your gut getting you down?
20 May 2013
Do you suffer from excessive wind and bloating? Perhaps you have a tendency towards constipation, or diarrhea, or maybe you alternate between both? Perhaps you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS? Or perhaps you have had no formal diagnosis but your daily life is hampered by frequent churning in the abdomen, or the pain of trapped wind? Do you feel that what is going on in your gut is affecting your mood, your energy levels and your ability to think clearly and enjoy life? You’re probably fed up with trying to identify which foods are affecting you and you may even have got to the point where it seems that everything you eat makes you feel ill.
If this is you, it might be worth booking in for an appointment with me at the clinic in Greenwich (call 020 8691 5408). In all my years of practice, gastro-intestinal complaints have been the most common to present in clinic and this has enabled me to build up a good track record of helping individuals to get a healthier gut. I have also recently completed The Institute of Functional Medicine's Advanced Practice Module on improving gastro-intestinal function.
Even if you don’t suffer from debilitating flatulence, bloating, pain, diarrhea or constipation, you might be interested to know that many illnesses are affected by what goes on in the gut. There are now scientifically proposed links between gastro-intestinal problems and whole-body diseases like allergies, auto-immune arthritic conditions and cardiovascular disease. Sometimes, these sorts of gastro-intestinal problems may go unnoticed because they do not necessarily produce obvious symptoms. This is why I use specific laboratory tests to identify these more latent problems. It may be, for example, that you have a problem with the health of the gut’s mucus barrier, whose job it is to keep toxins in the gut from getting into the blood stream. Or, you could have an overgrowth of unhelpful bugs in the gut, or a depletion of the friendly bugs that we need to keep us healthy. (Did you know that the bacteria and yeasts that we carry in our gastro-intestinal tract and elsewhere, far outnumber our own human cells?) I can organise stool tests, urine tests and breath tests to identify what is going on.
So, if you are fed up with your gut's poor behaviour, make a resolution to put up with it no longer. Get the expert investigations and advice you need to address the route causes of the problem.
(Note that the service I offer in no way replaces that provided by gastroenterologists or other medical experts. I am not a doctor, but a nutritionist, and the work I do complements, rather than replaces, medical advice. If you suspect you may have signs and symptoms of an underlying disease process, you should see your doctor for medical investigations.)
Functional medicine emphasises a definable and teachable process of integrating multiple knowledge bases within a pragmatic intellectual matrix that focuses on functionality at many levels, rather than a single treatment for a single diagnosis. Functional medicine uses the patient’s story as a key tool for integrating diagnosis, signs and symptoms, and evidence of clinical imbalances into a comprehensive approach to improve both the patient’s environmental inputs and his or her physiological function.
The Institute for Functional Medicine teaches healthcare professionals how to apply these principles in practice in relation to gastrointestinal function through an intensive 2.5 day advanced practice training programme. Lorraine Nicolle attended and completed the inaugural APM-UK GI training in London in