Gut Health

Bloating and gas and heartburn, oh my!

Poor gut health is like a tornado tearing through your body. An unhealthy gut can uproot your physical and mental well-being, and suddenly you’re not in Kansas anymore… you’re lost in Oz without ruby slippers to protect you or a yellow brick road to guide you to better health.

That’s where the Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness comes in. Our experienced doctors and our health and wellness coach are here to help you pinpoint exactly what’s causing the disruption in your digestive system, so you can find your way over the rainbow and back to optimal gut health.

What Is the Gut Microbiome?

Your gut microbiome is the complex community of microorganisms that inhabit your digestive tract. These bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms play critical roles in maintaining your health, including aiding digestion, supporting a positive mood and promoting a healthy immune system. There’s even evidence that the gut microbiome may influence athletic performance and longevity.

This system is incredibly diverse and dynamic. The types and proportions of microorganisms in the gut microbiome vary from person to person, and even within the same individual over time. There is no single picture of gut health that applies to everyone.

However, there is an optimal state for you, and it’s important to identify and maintain it to enjoy peak health.

How Does Gut Health Affect My Overall Health?

Studies have found that imbalances or disruptions in your gut microbiome (known as dysbiosis) may be associated with a range of health issues, including:

  • Gastrointestinal issues — such as nausea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, gas, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Autoimmune diseases — such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease
  • Hormone-related diseases — such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism
  • Cardiovascular disease — such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, heart failure
  • Some cancers — such as liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer
  • Mental health and cognition — such as depression, anxiety, stress, decision-making, dementia

The complexity of the gut and its influence on our overall health is a topic of increasing study. More links will likely be discovered in the future as research continues.

What Common Digestive Issues Can You Help With?

At the Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness, we are equipped to address many common digestive issues, including:

  • Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Celiac disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Food sensitivities
  • Candida overgrowth
“For years, I had been battling IBS with no success. I tried every diet you can think of, but nothing seemed to relieve the discomfort and unpredictability.The YNC team here didn’t just see a problem to fix — they saw me, a whole person in need of a solution. They really dug in to figure out what was up, and it turns out I had IBD, not just IBS. Within just a couple months on their treatment protocol, I feel normal again.

I also had issues with acne and lactose intolerance. As my gut health improved, so did my skin and even my anxiety levels. And my internal inflammation? Gone.

If you’re in the same boat I was, seriously, give YNC a call. They’re not just about making you feel better — they’re about making sure you stay better.” — Andre

What Are Signs I Have a Gut Health Problem?

Some of the most common symptoms of poor gut health include digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, abdominal pain and nausea. These are often the most obvious indicators of an underlying issue, since they can be quite disruptive to your day!

Other signs of an unhealthy gut may be more mysterious. Unintentional weight changes, fatigue and poor sleep, bad breath, food intolerances and skin irritation can also indicate that something is imbalanced in your digestive system.

This is why it is so important to “know thyself” when it comes to your health. If you have a clear picture of what “normal” looks and feels like for your body, you will be better equipped to recognize symptoms and seek help if they become chronic or interfere with your quality of life.

How Might My Lifestyle Affect My Gut Microbiome?

Our busy modern lives put a lot of strain on our internal systems, and the gut microbiome is no exception.

A healthy diet is the foundation of a healthy digestive system. Unfortunately, Western diets are often high in fat, refined sugar and processed foods, while lacking key nutrients derived from consuming a diverse range of fruits and vegetables. This is linked to an overgrowth of bad gut bacteria.

To promote the growth of good bacteria, eat a diet rich in fiber, fruits, veggies, and prebiotic and probiotic foods (like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, garlic and onions). You can also support your gut health by cultivating healthy sleep habits, exercising regularly and learning how to manage your stress levels.

Can Medical Treatment Affect My Gut Microbiome?

The conventional medicine approach emphasizes disease treatment rather than prevention and symptom management rather than addressing the root cause. Often, this is done through pharmaceutical intervention. There are times when this is a helpful approach, but it has limitations, and it may come with side effects.

Certain medications and medical treatments can have a significant impact on gut health. For example, antibiotics can wipe out both bad and good bacteria, leading to an imbalance in your gut microbiome. Medications that decrease stomach acid production can also affect the balance of bacteria in your gut, and chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause gastrointestinal side effects.

Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate these effects. A functional medicine doctor can help you explore natural remedies and lifestyle modifications that can help your gut stay happy and healthy while you receive the treatment you need.

How Can Naturopathic Medicine Help With Gut Health?

If your gut is telling you something is off, come see us! Your first consultation will include an in-depth discussion of your current health status. We’ll talk about the symptoms you’re experiencing, as well as other relevant topics like your typical diet, sleep habits, stress levels, and medical and family history.

Depending on what we uncover during this intake process, we may recommend testing to gather further insights. A simple in-office breath test may provide critical clues about what is happening under the surface. We also have a number of lab tests at our disposal to help us “see” what’s going on inside your gut, including tests for food sensitivities, yeast infection, exposure to toxins and heavy metals, celiac disease and full GI-MAP testing.

Once we have the results of your labs, we will identify potential conditions causing your stomach/digestion issues and create a natural treatment plan to help you get you back to feeling your best.

“I struggled with stomach, digestion, and gut issues for years, causing discomfort, pain, headaches, and fatigue. After a friend recommended Renee Young, N.D., I was desperate for help. The lab results were life-changing, revealing a simple problem: food intolerance. Changing my diet brought back my energy and resolved all my digestion issues. It was truly that simple, and I can’t express my appreciation enough. When I asked my traditional doctors why they couldn’t do what Dr. Young did, they said it was outside their standard of care. I highly recommend the Young Wellness Center for their individualized and comprehensive approach to health. Dr. Young gave me my health back!”- Elena, 67 year old female patient

How Can I Improve My Gut Health?

As functional medicine practitioners, we work closely with each patient, diving deep into the underlying (and often-overlooked) aspects of our bodies and lifestyles to uncover the root causes of health issues. Our treatment plans are highly personalized from start to finish.

Depending on your needs, your journey to better gut health may include one or more of the following measures:

Personalized Diet

Changing your diet can restore digestive health from within. Our team can help you understand which foods support your gut’s natural biome, which foods you’re sensitive or intolerant to, and how to incorporate more GI-healthy foods into your diet.

Supplementation

The right combination of supplements can enhance your diet and ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to support your gut microbiome. Our team can customize a regimen of the top supplements for gut health based on your needs.

Holistic Healthcare for a Happier Gut

Having a thriving gut microbiome is not just important for digestive health — it’s a critical piece of your overall health puzzle.

Whether you’re dealing with a known GI issue or seeking answers to unexplained symptoms, the Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness can help. Our team draws on experience treating hundreds of patients to assess your condition and find the right combination of natural therapies for you.

Give our office a call at 408-761-6781 or schedule a complimentary consultation to get started today.