Anyone who has ever visited a WholeHealth Chicago Functional Medicine practitioner knows that lots of questions focus on digestion. The reason for this goes all the way back to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who is alleged to have said “All disease begins in the gut.” This concept is not at all taught in medical […]
Susan wrote this on our WholeHealth Chicago form in the section marked “What’s the main problem?” She went on to tell me she’d been suffering for years, her stomach feeling like some gremlin was inflating a balloon every time she ate. When the bloating was especially severe, she said she looked like she was in […]
Persistent Patient: Linda and the Thyroid-Gut Connection Linda, an accomplished woman in her late 30s, was not a happy camper. She arrived for the first time at WholeHealth Chicago certain, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that she had an underactive thyroid gland. Linda had read all the websites, especially Janie A. Bowthorpe’s Stop the […]
Susan had written “BLOATED!” in the section marked “What’s the main problem?” She told me she’d been suffering for years, her stomach feeling like some gremlin was inflating a balloon every time she ate. When the bloating was especially severe, Susan said she looked like she was in her fifth month of pregnancy. She was […]
Poison control centers often recommend activated charcoal to treat accidental poisonings, making it a useful supplement to keep in the home. Activated charcoal is made from organic materials such as wood pulp and then treated to further enhance its absorptive powers. Once ingested, it binds with certain chemicals in the digestive tract, preventing them from being absorbed into your system and causing harm.
After having heard the details of PMS (otherwise known as premenstrual syndrome) from hundreds of women over the years, I continue to be surprised about how most regard PMS as their lot in life and don’t seek any help for it. I guess most women believe there’s nothing they can do, and consequently they’re often amazed to learn that an integrated approach can really help. I am of the opinion, shared by many of my colleagues at WholeHealth Chicago, that getting PMS out of your life requires a strongly committed proactive “self-care” stance, something you can easily do without much reliance on your conventional physician. Generally the complexity of PMS–and there are numerous symptoms associated with it–takes a lot more time and attention than the standard 7-minute physician office visit can provide.
By far the most common reason patients visit gastroenterologists is for help with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, also known as spastic colon. Although the condition is not dangerous, nor does it lead to anything serious, IBS is a real challenge to treat effectively. In fact, conventional medical textbooks advise doctors to tell their patients that the condition is incurable, and many patients have come to believe that the best they can expect from conventional medicine is only limited relief. All doctors, including myself, hesitate to use the word “cure.” But at WholeHealth Chicago, we’ve found that a more integrated medical “toolbox” has dramatically improved our success rate.
Benjamin Franklin wrote a whole pamphlet on the subject. He suggested that if people added to their diet certain perfumes and flowers, they would soon be breaking wind as delectable as summer breezes. Of course, two hundred years later, our intestinal air is, well, as succulent as ever. Most of us, like it or not, do have our own ‘factory-installed’ Whoopie Cushions. The flowers didn’t work and flatulence prevails. Certainly one of those health issues in the realm of the genuinely annoying rather than medically serious, flatulence can still cause considerable discomfort, noise, and embarrassment. (Unless you’re about eight years old, in which case, expect considerable popularity among your peers.)
It’s best to have a positive mental attitude when struggling with a bout of simple diarrhea. It may be comforting, while you’re sitting there, to realize how none of the Beautiful People has ever been spared the experience. Believe me, the likes of Oprah, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and Tom Cruise have all been there, just like you. Be philosophical and accept your body is doing its job. Your intestines are simply struggling to deal with the water you were told not to drink, the leftovers that tasted a little funny while you were eating them, or the virus which recently arrived in your neighborhood. Of course, any episode lasting more than a week, or accompanied by fever, severe cramps, or bleeding needs medical attention. As do episodes of recurrent diarrhea.
At least once a week, a patient comes in, saying, “You’re the fourth [or seventh or tenth] doctor I’ve seen. I feel simply terrible but am always told that my tests are normal, and there’s nothing wrong with me. Recently I read about yeast overgrowth, and the symptoms seem to fit my case exactly. The doctors, however, all tell me there’s no such illness.”