Digestive Health

It has recently become recognised by the scientific community the role of digestive health in certain health conditions such obesity, anxiety, depression and auto-immunity however this has always been considered important in naturopathic assessment and treatment. Symptoms such as nausea, reflux, abdominal bloating, pain, indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea which occur frequently are not a normal part of digestive function and can be caused by food sensitivities or intolerances, small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO) or dysbiosis in the large bowel. Disturbances in the digestive tract will impact nutrient absorption leading to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and affect many biological processes. This can be an issue, particularly for individuals with Coeliac Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and IBS.

From a thorough case taking of your presenting complaint/s and health history, Melisa is able to identify appropriate functional and pathology testing which may be required to help identify causative factors contributing to your symptoms.

IgG Food Antibody testing

Food reactions to 94 foods can be identified with IgG food testing from a drop of blood taken during the consultation. This can be a preferred option when dietary elimination of ‘suspect’ foods takes too long.  Food intolerances/sensitivities can be difficult to identify as symptoms can occur hours or days after the offending food was eaten because IgG antibodies remain for a longer time than IgE antibodies which are produced with food allergies. The benefits of IgG food sensitivity testing is that it can help determine if food reactions are contributing to your physical symptoms and if so dietary elimination can reduce stress on the immune system, decrease inflammation and eliminate symptoms.

Treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

The main cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for up to 70 % of individuals is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (or SIBO). The symptoms of SIBO include bloating after meals, cramping, constipation or diarrhoea. In small intestinal overgrowth, bacteria that usually reside in the large intestine migrate to the small intestine inhibiting absorption of nutrients causing fermentation and digestive symptoms. The fermentation of food by these bacteria produce hydrogen and methane (gases that are not a normal part of digestive processes) which damage the small intestine. Individuals with SIBO often notice a worsening of their digestive symptoms after eating certain carbohydrates and fibre. Causes of SIBO are surgery, after a bout of gastroenteritis, stress, hypothyroidism, Crohn’s Disease or Coeliac Disease.  

If you think you may have SIBO, Melisa will be able to identify if this is the underlying cause for your symptoms in your initial consultation and will refer for breath testing to confirm. This is treated naturally through diet and appropriate supplementation to eliminate bacteria from the small intestine.

Microbiota Assessment

Using functional testing, Melisa is able to interpret the results so that you can understand how well you are digesting and assimilating the foods that you are eating. Diet, medications, toxins, alcohol and stress all have profound effects on digestive function. The complete digestive stool analysis (CDSA) provides a comprehensive overview of your digestive function including markers that identify if there is any undigested carbohydrates, fats or protein in the stool, pH, inflammation, if your bacteria are producing short chain fatty acids (which nourish enterocytes) and microbiology of the large bowel. This test is useful for providing an individualised treatment plan to help manage your digestive function and health.

A microbiota assessment is an analysis of the bacterial composition which make up your unique
microbiome using the results from Ubiome Explorer or Microba.   Key information about your
bacterial composition is provided so that you can understand how levels of particular
bacteria may be affecting your health and exactly what foods/prebiotic supplements will help to achieve ideal levels. A comprehensive report is provided including assessment, explanation and specific dietary recommendations to improve help your microbiome.