July 17, 2011 — According to a report from Johns Hopkins, there are 30 million visits every year to primary care physicians for digestive complaints, and that number increases significantly when you also include visits to specialists and hospital emergency departments.
Unfortunately, doctors are often unable to discover the reason for digestive disorders and instead resort to drugs that only temporarily relieve the symptoms. However, HealthNOW Medical Center’s Destination Clinic has proven successful at diagnosing the actual root cause of common digestive problems and creating treatment programs that restore a patient’s good health without the use of dangerous drugs.
Some of the common symptoms associated with digestive disorders include belching, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, stomach aches, and nausea. Diagnoses can range from acid reflux, gastritis, diverticulitis, colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndome to ulcers and hiatal hernia.
According to Dr. Vikki Petersen, clinical nutritionist and co-founder of HealthNOW Medical Center, getting to the root cause of these digestive problems can be done with unique functional testing and nutritional approach.
“Standard medical tests are generally limited to identifying disease. Functional lab tests, on the other hand, are more sensitive and detect early changes in how an organ is working long before the problem actually becomes a disease. Consequently, patients go to their doctor with digestive complaints and the doctor, who uses standard medical tests, often can’t find anything wrong,” explained Petersen.
“The problem with this is two-fold: When the doctors can’t identify the ‘disease’, their ‘solution’ is to give the patient drugs to try to alleviate the symptoms. This is of course only temporary, comes with dangerous side effects and does nothing to identify what is actually wrong. With functional tests, we’re able to determine what the problem truly is, create a tailor-made program for the patient based primarily on diet and clinical nutrition, and restore normal function and eradicate the problem for good,” said Petersen.
“Giving a drug that only masks symptoms will never result in a cure. Real health care should be about identifying the root cause, treating it naturally, when possible, and restoring function to the body so the problem is corrected,” added Petersen.
Petersen said that “patients can have serious digestive complaints for years — sometimes an entire lifetime — without ever being told the real reason behind their problem. Instead they are only offered more and more medications.”
Peterson says that patients who have had uncomfortable and even debilitating digestive problems for years have been able to resolve their complaints at HealthNOW Medical Center.
It is estimated that approximately half the people suffering from digestive complaints don’t even visit a doctor. When you add those numbers to the millions of patients who do see their family doctor, go to specialists or visit hospital emergency rooms, the number of people with digestive disorders comes to about 100 million — more than one in three people in the U.S.
Digestive disorders also account for more hospitalizations than any other category of illness. This health problem puts a significant drain on the quality of life and pocketbook of everyone affected, as well as costing the American taxpayer one hundred billion dollars every year.
Functional testing and clinical nutrition may be the answer.
Source: HealthNOW Medical Center, www.healthnowmedical.com