17 February 2021

Unhappy gut?

Has your digestion been a problem for you as long as you can remember? Maybe you’ve gone through a slew of testing with your doctor; including anything from stool samples and blood tests, to a barium swallow, or even a colonoscopy but still weren’t given a clear answer as to what was going on. Commonly, in these situations the diagnosis of IBS is thrown out on the table as a catch all when symptoms are present but nothing is coming up on these tests. The treatment for IBS is to increase fibre and water, which may be combined with drug therapy such as laxatives for constipation, loperamide for diarrhea, anticholinergic drugs like hyoscyamine for it’s antispasmodic effects, or antibiotics to ensure there isn’t an infection causing the symptoms.

Often, patients come through my door with symptoms of constipation or loose and frequent bowel movements. Additionally, they often experience some or all of the following symptoms: bloating, gas, frequent belching, acid reflux/heartburn, indigestion, nausea, or urgency with bowel movements. Other symptoms I often see linked to these digestive problems include anxiety, depression, skin issues, brain fog, and fatigue.

You’re next burning question is probably something like “what can a Naturopathic Doctor do to help with these concerns?” or “What will be different about a Naturopathic Doctor’s approach to these concerns?” which is a great question. Let’s talk about what you could expect if you wanted to see me for digestive concerns.

The 15 Minute Complimentary Consult
My 15 minute complimentary consult is a great time for us to chat over the phone or on a video call so that you can get to know me a little more. We will be working together on this health journey to find lifestyle modifications and treatments that can be implemented into your daily life and it is important that we both feel it is a partnership that will work. Additionally, we can briefly discuss your specific experiences with the digestive concerns that brought you here. At this appointment we can book your next 3 appointments that will take place over 6-8 weeks to ensure you are on the schedule. This is my suggested minimum at first and then we can begin to space them out to monthly or bi-monthly.

Over the next 3 appointments we will dive deep into discovering what the root cause is of your digestive symptoms; implementing lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications and movement modifications; and lastly using a combination of nutraceuticals, herbs, hydrotherapy, and asian medicine/acupuncture .

The Initial Appointment
Depending on what you have previously had or not had tested and your symptom picture I will want to rule out a variety of potential contributors. We work within your budget so I will suggest testing based on what will give us the most information relevant to your symptoms. This will happen at your initial appointment after we have completed your history intake. Your intake history is where you fill me in on EVERYTHING going on. Some of the tests I may recommend during your first appointment include:

– Food sensitivity testing either through an elimination diet or blood test
– Candida testing
– Ova and parasite testing
– Stomach acid test done in the comfort of your home
– Comprehensive gastrointestinal map – looks into bacteria pathogens, normal bacterial flora, parasite pathogens, yeast, viral pathogens, immune responses, inflammation, and antibiotic resistant genes. This is a high output test with a lot of information but also very pricey.
– Any other testing that may be important dependent on your symptoms (i.e. shaky, hangry symptoms would prompt me to look into blood sugar levels)

The Second Appointment
After we have run tests and done any other at-home data collection (i.e. stomach acid test or elimination diet etc.) we will review all of the results together so that you can understand what it all means at your second appointment. I also send you a copy of your results for your files. From here, I will create a customized prescription of supplements and/or herbs that will treat the root cause of your symptoms. I like to create a chart outlining what you will take and at what time of day to keep things super clear. On top of this we will start making small changes to your diet and daily movement. You have the option of adding on coaching time with me to help you stay on track with these lifestyle changes.

The Third Appointment
The third appointment is imperative. At this appointment we will review how it has gone over the last couple weeks incorporating the prescription and lifestyle changes. This is the opportunity to modify ACCORDING TO YOUR LIFE. Patients feel bad telling me “I haven’t done any of the things you’ve recommended” or avoid coming in to tell me at all. But this is the pivoting point where we can make some real changes in your daily routine that will set you up for success. By this point you will know what feels like too much and where we need to dial it back or dial it up. This is the appointment where we have the information we need to adapt your treatment plan to take the individuality of Naturopathic Treatment and let it shine. Healing is a long process and needs to be done in small bit size chunks for some and for others it needs to be all or nothing. Whichever camp you fall into we can tailor your treatment plan accordingly. Lastly, during this third appointment we can “power up” and add additional prescriptions that I hadn’t included earlier that will further promote your healing at a rate that won’t overwhelm you or set you up for failure.

Investment:
My fees for the 3 discussed appointments: $360
– $165 for 60 minutes (initial)
– $115 for 45 minutes (first follow up)
– $80 for 30 minutes (all subsequent follow ups)
Lab testing fees: Varies but could range from $0 to $800 (note: while we can run 0 labs and have no cost here, I earnestly suggest you have some part of your budget set aside for labs as these can provide us with some serious insight as to what is going on)
Additional Weekly Coaching: $45
*** Keep in mind that most extended health benefits include Naturopathic Medicine, so don’t forget to check with your provider***

I hope this answered your questions about how Naturopathic Medicine can help and what to expect if you choose to look within, treat the root cause, and make life long healing a priority.

Warmly,
Dr. Iuliana Corman, ND

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