Most Common Causes of Poor Digestive Health

Few things can undermine the flow and joy of your life more than digestive problems. The interesting thing is, these issues may not always stem from the sources you think they do.

Since the Gain Wellness Center team strives not only to treat your symptoms, but to find their root cause. If that can be achieved, your chances of finding long-term relief are beyond excellent. Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia and Dr. Jeremy La Motte are believers in the extraordinary power of functional medicine — an approach that customizes your care like no other — and our family of patients is the living proof that substantiates it. 

What constitutes poor digestion?

When you suffer with a digestive problem, both the symptoms and causes are diverse. 

A wide range of problematic digestive symptoms may affect you, including:

Symptoms vary depending on your diagnosis, as do treatment plans. The most important early step we take is to perform an exhaustive assessment of your current health and lifestyle habits. Only this work allows us to diagnose and treat your digestive problem. 

Armed with this data, we can help you detoxify, make lifestyle shifts that support your digestive and overall health, and examine whether your hormones are balanced or in disequilibrium. 

Because we acknowledge that your emotional and physical health are completely intertwined, we discuss effective stress management techniques, your work environment, and relationships as contributors to — or detractors from — your good health. 

The most common digestive problems we see

Our team finds that most digestive problems are caused by a handful of conditions. 

These include gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which your stomach acid backs up instead of staying in your stomach. This is the result of a weakened esophageal muscle, and the more it happens, the more inflamed your esophageal lining becomes and the worse your heartburn becomes.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another condition that wreaks havoc with your digestive system, causing gas, constipation, diarrhea, and cramping. IBS has been linked to intestinal muscle contraction problems, infection, gut microbe imbalances, and even high childhood stress levels. 

SIBO stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth, and this problem is caused by a surplus of bad bacteria growth in your small intestine. It manifests through appetite loss and stomach pains. 

Another intestinally rooted condition, leaky gut syndrome, occurs when your intestinal lining becomes more penetrable and admits toxins and bacteria into your system. Typically, you suffer with inflammation, bowel problems, and even non-digestive symptoms like skin issues and headache. 

Finally, food sensitivities like lactose intolerance provoke your digestive system, causing everything from bloating to nausea and diarrhea. 

What are the causes most frequently linked to bad digestive health?

We’ve found that patients’ digestive health problems are often caused by: 

  1. Anatomical issues, like when your esophageal muscle’s function diminishes due to GERD, or muscle issues similar to those typical of leaky gut syndrome occur.
  2. An out-of-whack endocrine system and imbalanced hormones cause many health problems, and some are digestive. We assess your hormones and prescribe everything from dietary changes to cellular detoxification treatment and hormone replacement therapy to correct this condition.
  3. Chronic health conditions you may assume are unrelated to digestive problems can actually contribute to them. Diabetes, for example, causes gastroparesis, a problem where your vagus nerve, which regulates how long food stays in your body, becomes damaged. Digestive symptoms result from food remaining in your body for too long. 
  4. Bacterial imbalances, such as those that cause IBS, illustrate how vital it is to have plenty of good bacteria in your gut and avoid a surplus of bad bacteria.
  5. Lifestyle factors, like your diet, whether you use tobacco, and your level of stress are linked to chronic digestive problems.  
  6. Abdominal surgery can also wreak havoc on your digestive system. Most people develop abdominal adhesions after surgery, which are composed of scar-like tissue bands. These can cause your organs to become affixed to your abdominal wall, put pressure on your intestines, and even lead to an obstruction. 
  7. Intolerance to certain foods is linked to food sensitivities, and diet changes are often the route to feeling better, as well as other lifestyle tweaks.

We treat your digestive problems by finding their root cause, and we find answers by assessing all aspects of your health, including diet, physical exercise, stress management, hormonal balance levels, and your home and work environments. 

Trust us, this is much more than your average physical exam! By pinpointing the origins of your digestive issues, we can help you sculpt a lifestyle that strengthens your body and mind and live healthfully! 

Call the Gain Wellness Center office today to schedule a free consultation, or request one online

Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP, is the founder of Gain Wellness Center in Poway, California. At the integrated medical practice, one of Dr. Walia's, greatest goals, as a health care provider, is to provide her practice members with alternative, but healthy and safe choices that will enhance their health and well-being. She likes to motivate and educate her practice members to take charge of their health by providing them with evidence-based information so that they can make informed decisions regarding their own personal health and take control of their health. Dr. Walia was born in India and raised in Canada before moving to San Diego. She attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada for her Master of Science degree with specialties in Biology and Physiology. She had various publications in research articles during her time at McMaster University funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. She has three kids and enjoys cooking, hiking and going to the beach with her family.

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