One in every 12 visits to the doctor is because of a digestive complaint – with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for half of these. In fact, 20-25% of people in the western world are believed to suffer from IBS; an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms that are often contradictory.
In Functional Medicine, the health of the gut is the foundation for all health. Containing over 70% of the immune system and a direct connection to the brain, its balance is crucial for the health of body and mind.
As the system becomes damaged, it starts to leak toxic substances into the blood stream; and looses the ability to absorb the vital nutrients that sustain life. This leads to numerous gut complaints as well as widespread chronic disease and autoimmune conditions.
By understanding the root cause of the problem, we have treated many people in London to become free from IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders.
More widespread chronic complaints include Allergies, Neurological and hormonal dysfunction, autoimmune conditions, skin complaints, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
Stress plays an important role as it causes digestion to shut down, leaving partially digested particles of food to irritate the gut. A lack of digestive enzymes and stomach acid further adds to this; which can be caused by low thyroid function.
Yeast, fungal, parasitic and viral infections are often overlooked. H Pylori is an opportunistic bacteria that can infect and spread rapidly; and is a leading cause of stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. Whilst excessive yeast (such as candida) produces toxic substances that can pass through the blood brain barrier and affect mental performance.
Alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs (like antibiotics, steroids or the contraceptive pill) and heavy metal toxicity all damage the gut lining and delicate balance of gut flora.
Food intolerances and gluten sensitivity can also affect gut lining -the most commonly offending foods are wheat, dairy, coffee, tea and citrus fruits – although intolerance can present to the most innocuous of foods, which are often unsuspected.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is a condition in which the bacteria normally found in the large intestine start to proliferate in the small intestine. As they feed off carbohydrates from food, they start creating fermentation gases such as methane and hydrogen. These gases damage the gut lining and create pain and diarrhoea.
The gut lining is only a few cells thick and is easily damaged; creating erosion that increases permeability. Partially digested food particles are then able to pass through the barrier into the blood stream and are recognised by the immune system as foreign invaders. This process is known as leaky gut and is often the root cause of chronic inflammation, autoimmune processes and increased toxic load throughout the body.
There is no single cause for IBS but most of the time we can find the cause for each person and work with him or her individually in response to their biochemical uniqueness. For instance, some people with IBS improve when they eliminate wheat from their diets, while others won’t notice any benefit.
The factors contributing to IBS and gut complaints are determined using case history and highly sensitive testing. Once determined, diet, nutrients, enzymes, herbs, essential fatty acids and lifestyle are used to repair and maintain the gut lining. These are just some of the options we use for IBS treatment in our London
"My symptoms have improved greatly and have pretty much disappeared. I know where to turn if I have any issues in the future regarding my health."
"After my first visit to Oliver within two weeks all my symptoms had been alleviated.This is the best I have felt in many years"
"I was very nauseous all the time and any food I ate seemed to cause me gut problems... within two weeks all my symptoms had been alleviated"
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