Digestive Disorders


 

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)

IBS is an extremely common disorder affecting around 55 million Americans—with a high percentage being women.  Although IBS is not life-threatening, it can be disabling and lead to 3 times increased likelihood of missing work or school. IBS can make a person more susceptible to other GI conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer.

IBS is associated with a hypersensitive colon where a person develops abdominal pain and irregular bowel habits which often switch between diarrhea and constipation. Heartburn, excess gas, urinary or sexual issues may also occur. IBS is triggered by certain foods, medications, stress, and/or hormonal imbalances. 

We effectively treat IBS by first understanding the root cause of gut sensitivity through an extensive history, thorough physical exam, and diagnostic lab tests. A personalized treatment plan is then defined which often drives quick and effective positive results.

CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac disease is an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract where the immune system believes gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, is the enemy.  The intense inflammatory reaction caused by ingesting gluten harms the gut lining leading to poor absorption of essential nutrients (a.k.a., malabsorption). Since the body’s cells are deprived of vital nourishment, the inflammation eventually spreads outside of the gut and affects many other organ systems. Celiac disease can be fairly debilitating for a person.

The most effective way to manage celiac disease is to be on a strict gluten-free nutrient-dense diet so the immune system can start healing. We work with patients with celiac disease to find easy and effective ways to heal the gut and ideally place the disease into remission.   

GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (GERD)

GERD (also called dyspepsia) occurs when poorly digested food leaks backwards from the stomach and into the esophagus.  It occurs with overeating, when consuming poorly digested foods and beverages, or when there’s an insufficient amount of stomach acid available to properly digest food.

Poorly digested food mixed with stomach content (i.e., acid, bile) leaked back into the esophagus causes any of the following symptoms: belching, trouble swallowing, chest pain, hoarseness, sore or itchy throat, dry cough, nasal congestion, bad breath and taste.  Long-term dyspepsia damages the esophagus and upper respiratory tract leading to major complications like bleeding ulcer, esophageal cancer, nasal polyps, asthma, or allergies.

The most effective way to treat GERD is to make the right dietary changes which align with what the person’s body needs. We create personalized treatments which address the underlying cause of GERD and help resolve the problem permanently.

 DISORDERED EATING

Disordered eating is a medical and mental illness that is extremely harmful to one's physical and psychological health. They are commonly associated with eating disorders such as restrictive eating, compulsive eating, binge eating, and purging. The most common form of disordered eating include patterns not characteristic of a specific eating disorder and hence, are often overlooked. They include:

  • Yo-yo dieting
  • An unnatural preoccupation with food, weight, body image, or “clean eating"
  • Labeling food as “good” or “bad”
  • Ignoring the body’s physical signs of hunger and fullness
  • Eating to self-soothe or avoid/cope with difficult emotions (e.g. emotional or stress eating)
  • Irregular eating patterns or night eating
  • Use of diet pills or an over-reliance on health foods and supplements to feel safe or in control

Common Factors that Contribute to Disordered Eating Behavior

Disordered eating affects people of every age, gender, sex, race, and ethnicity. It’s influenced by a range of psychological, sociocultural and biological factors such as:

  • Perfectionism, body image dissatisfaction, black-and-white thinking, and anxiety disorders
  • Exposure to diet culture, the thin ideal, and social media
  • History of discrimination, bullying, or trauma
  • History of dieting, physical illness, or intense athletic training
  • Having a close relative with a history of disordered eating or mental illness
  • Genetic predisposition

Understanding the root cause of digestive problems and eating disorders is the most effective way to treat them. If you feel stuck in a cycle of not feeling better with your chronic digestive issues or have unhealthy eating behavior or body dissatisfaction, Advanced Health can help. Our integrative medical team will tailor a plan to help you understand the problem and devise a treatment plan personalized just for you.

Our integrative functional medicine physician, Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. specializes in disorder of the digestive tract especially focusing on the microbiome, nutrient deficiencies, and toxin overload. 

Our integrative nutrition health coach, Katie Schmidt MPH, will tailor a plan to help you heal your relationship with food, adopt a healthy body image, and acquire new tools for managing stress and how to nourish your body from a non-diet perspective.

Our nutritionist, Nicole Bianchi N.C. will define a personalized diet plan which support your lifestyle and what is ideal for optimizing your health. Nicole specializes in those with digestive issues and issues with sugar addiction. 

Call our office today and get back on track to feeling good!

Location
Advanced Health
2201 Webster Street
Pacific Heights

San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415-483-7080
Fax: 415-872-1140
Office Hours

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415-483-7080