I am Dr. Tom Rofrano, from the Palm Beach Gardens, Natural Medicine Clinic. I am going to talk to you about three hidden causes of digestive issues today.
It’s one of the most common things that patients have when they come in, digestive problems. It seems like almost everyone that comes in has some abdominal pain, gas, constipation, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea. It’s just so rampant these days, and a lot of people are wondering why they have it.
They go to this doctor and that doctor and tell them all these symptoms are having. People can have them for months, if not years. And they typically will get an endoscopy, colonoscopy and just tell them, you just need to take this medication, and you have IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. This is not really a disease in and of itself. It’s just telling you what you already know, you have an irritable bowel. But there are causes. What we like to do is find out exactly what’s causing these issues so that we can then provide a solution for you to get better.
One: Food Sensitivities and Allergies
Out of the three things, number one, we see are food sensitivities or allergies that can cause digestive issues, gas, bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, all of these and more. There’s a couple of ways to find out what you can do, such as blood testing for allergies and food sensitivities. There are labs we use that can test 100 or 200 different foods.
Then second are certain types of diets, such as elimination diets. I came up with a diet I call The FreeDiet™ because it’s free of all the common allergens, gluten grains, sugar yeast, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, nightshades, and processed foods. So it’s free of those, and it also allows you become free of digestive issues, pain, and inflammation. That’s what we can use as an alternative to testing. Those are the two different ways.
I’m going to give you an example of a story. A patient, a 35-year-old woman, recently came in and had all those symptoms I mentioned including severe abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea indigestion. She was having issues here and there all along, but nothing major. It started after a weekend of celebrating with pizza, cake, wine, beer. After that, she had severe pain and diarrhea, and she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, that’s how bad it was.
But after doing some testing and finding out what was causing it, she was sensitive to dairy, gluten, yeast; those are the three main things. Getting her off those and putting on The FreeDiet and certain supplements helped her to heal, and it completely cleared up. Now she is fine. Food allergies or sensitivities are one huge hidden cause of digestive issues.
Two: Digestive Enzyme Deficiencies
And secondly, are the digestive enzyme deficiencies. So your stomach produces a normal amount of acid and a normal amount of enzymes to break down your foods, hydrochloric acid being the main one. If you have a deficiency of this, you tend to get bloated after you eat. So your stomach will just get large and bloated. Some women tell me they feel like they’re 8 or 9 months pregnant. It’s not that they’re eating a lot, but this is what happens if it’s a lack of enzymes in the stomach. The food just sits there and kind of swells and expands, and then it even causes acid reflux to come up.
What they typically prescribe or recommend is taking acid-blocking drugs either prescription or over-the-counter, and you can feel better temporarily. However it doesn’t take away the problem, it doesn’t fix the problem or correct anything. What we do is find out if that’s a cause then we can recommend some stomach enzymes. We use a product that contains HCL and other enzymes to break down the food in the stomach so that you can then absorb and digest the food and eliminate the bloating. So enzyme deficiencies are a huge cause.
And I recently saw a woman in her sixties who was on prescription acid-blocking drugs for many years. I know if you’ve seen the news lately, all the side effects long-term they’re talking about these including dementia and osteoporosis, bone fractures and on and on from the long-term use of acid-blocking drugs. In her case, we put her on the FreeDiet, some other supplements, some stomach enzymes, Gastriczyme, I was telling about that we have here at the Natural Medicine Clinic.
Within a couple of weeks, her stomach symptoms cleared up, and she didn’t need to take the medication anymore. That’s what we do is look for just root causes to clear up the underlying problems that are being covered up with medications for symptom relief.
And then thirdly are pathogens. Pathogens meaning, for instance, parasites, yeast or bacterial overgrowth. We just had a case recently, a 12-year-old boy who just all of a sudden started getting nausea, loss of appetite and constipation, bloating. He started losing weight, he just didn’t want to eat, and was very fatigued. After he’d been to the pediatrician and other specialists not coming up with anything, we did some more extensive lab testing and stool testing. What it turned out was that he did have a parasite. After putting him on supplements and some different herbal remedies to help clear that up and diet, he got better within a matter of a few short weeks. And he started eating normally again, the symptoms started clearing up, and he began gaining weight.
These are just some of the things that we look for what when someone comes in with digestive issues. Again, these can be sensitivities, enzyme deficiencies, pathogens, yeast, parasites or bacterial overgrowth. In each case, there are different protocols we use to clear these up.
In future entries, I can go over the others more specifically, including different protocols we use.
If you have any questions or want other topics in future talks, make the comments below or email us at email@example.com and I would be happy to help you in any of those areas.
Dr. Tom Rofrano
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