Many people come to me with very unhappy bellies. Seriously. Their bellies cause them a terrible amount of pain and severely disrupt their quality of life. Because of their bellies they are missing work, missing sleep, depressed or at just at their wits end. I see people with inflammatory bowel disease like crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and other functional bowel conditions like gastroesophageal reflux or constipation. The approach to assessment and treatment of each person is unique. It has to be! Everyone is different! After a full health history and various lab tests there are general treatment objectives and questions I ask myself:
Are there foods that are causing dysfunction, are there bad belly bugs that are infecting the gut or altering its ability to detoxify environmental inputs?
Are there nutrients or factors missing required for proper digestion?
What happy belly bugs need to be reintroduced to help digest food, crowd out the bad belly bugs and make nutrients essential for health?
Is the gut lining damaged, are there food particles getting through into the blood and exposed to the immune system?
What other factors are influencing digestive and overall health? Are there restorative health practices must be included in someone’s life to foster healing?
The 5 Rs are a multi-dimensional approach that is used by functional medicine providers to get to the root cause of any unhappy belly. Have you considered how to recover from your unhappy belly?