Optimal Digestive Health With Functional Medicine in Bloomington, IN

Functional Medicine For Digestive Health in Bloomington, IN

Digestive issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease / GERD, acid reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome / IBS, and more, affect millions of people around the world and can be incredibly debilitating. Chiropractic care can be a natural, non-invasive solution for digestive issues. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the musculoskeletal and nervous systems which can contribute to digestive issues. If you are located in Bloomington, IN, our chiropractors near you specialize in treating digestive issues in addition to specializing in Restorative / Functional Medicine.

Functional medicine is an approach that focuses on the underlying causes of a condition rather than just treating the symptoms. By taking a whole-body approach, our chiropractors can identify and address any imbalances or dysfunctions in the body that may be contributing to digestive issues. In Bloomington, IN, our chiropractors who specialize in functional medicine can help you manage your digestive issues in a natural and holistic way.

If you are struggling with digestive issues in Bloomington, IN such as irritable bowel syndrome / IBS, gastroesophageal reflux disease / GERD, acid reflux, or more, it’s important to seek the help of a chiropractor. With their expertise in restorative / functional medicine, they can help you identify the underlying causes of your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan to address it. Fortunately, our chiropractors are located nearby in Bloomington, IN, so you can easily find a provider who can help you manage your digestive issues, promote healing, and improve your overall quality of life.

Understanding Digestive Disorders in Bloomington, IN

Digestive disorders encompass a wide range of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Common digestive disorders include:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS: Characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation, IBS is a functional disorder of the digestive system with no identifiable structural or biochemical abnormalities.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD includes conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which involve chronic inflammation of the GI tract, leading to symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): GERD is a chronic condition characterized by acid reflux and heartburn, resulting from the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus.
  • Food Sensitivities and Intolerances: Food sensitivities, such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, can trigger digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or abdominal pain in susceptible individuals.

The Functional Medicine Approach to Digestive Health in Bloomington, IN

Functional medicine takes a holistic and individualized approach to managing digestive disorders, focusing on identifying and addressing the underlying imbalances that contribute to GI dysfunction. Rather than simply masking symptoms with medications, functional medicine seeks to restore balance to the gut microbiome, optimize digestive function, and promote overall gastrointestinal health. Key principles of the functional medicine approach to digestive health include:

  1. Comprehensive Assessment:
    Functional medicine practitioners conduct thorough evaluations to assess digestive function, identify potential root causes of GI dysfunction, and evaluate overall health status. This may involve:

    • Reviewing the patient's medical history and symptoms
    • Performing specialized laboratory tests to assess digestive function, gut microbiome composition, food sensitivities, inflammation markers, and nutrient status
    • Assessing lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, sleep, and physical activity
  2. Identifying Root Causes:
    Functional medicine seeks to identify and address the underlying factors contributing to digestive disorders, which may include:

    • Dysbiosis: Imbalances in the gut microbiome, characterized by overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, or parasites, and depletion of beneficial bacteria.
    • Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut): Increased permeability of the intestinal lining, allowing toxins, undigested food particles, and bacteria to enter the bloodstream, triggering inflammation and immune reactions.
    • Food Sensitivities: Immune-mediated reactions to specific foods or food components, leading to digestive symptoms and systemic inflammation.
    • Nutrient Deficiencies: Inadequate intake or absorption of essential nutrients necessary for digestive health, such as fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, and micronutrients.
    • Chronic Inflammation: Systemic inflammation and immune dysregulation can contribute to the development and progression of digestive disorders.
  3. Individualized Treatment Plans:
    Based on the findings of the assessment, functional medicine practitioners develop personalized treatment plans tailored to the unique needs of each patient. Treatment strategies may include:

    • Dietary and Lifestyle Modifications: Implementing dietary changes, such as eliminating trigger foods, reducing inflammation, and supporting gut healing with nutrient-dense foods, fiber, and hydration. Lifestyle modifications such as stress management techniques, adequate sleep, regular physical activity, and mindfulness practices may also be recommended.
    • Nutritional Supplementation: Targeted supplementation with probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and botanicals to support digestive function, gut healing, and microbial balance.
    • Gut Microbiome Restoration: Utilizing interventions such as probiotics, fermented foods, and microbiome modulation therapies to restore balance to the gut microbiome and promote microbial diversity and resilience.
    • Gut Healing Protocols: Implementing protocols to support intestinal barrier integrity, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue repair, including nutrients such as glutamine, zinc, vitamin A, and N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG).
    • Stress Reduction Techniques: Incorporating stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, and biofeedback to reduce stress, support adrenal health, and promote gut-brain axis balance.
    • Detoxification Support: Supporting liver detoxification pathways and eliminating environmental toxins that may contribute to GI dysfunction through dietary interventions, targeted supplementation, hydration, and sweating therapies.

Woman With Digestive Disorder Symptoms

Functional Medicine Interventions for Digestive Health

Functional medicine employs a variety of evidence-based interventions to support digestive health and promote optimal gastrointestinal function. Some key strategies include:

  • Dietary Modifications: Functional medicine emphasizes the importance of a nutrient-dense diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. Specific dietary recommendations may vary based on individual needs and may include:
    • Increasing consumption of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds to support digestive motility, regulate bowel movements, and promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
    • Incorporating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha to introduce beneficial probiotics and promote microbial diversity in the gut.
    • Eliminating trigger foods such as gluten, dairy, soy, processed foods, artificial additives, and allergens that may exacerbate digestive symptoms and contribute to inflammation.
  • Nutritional Supplementation: Functional medicine may recommend targeted supplementation to address specific nutrient deficiencies or support digestive health. Some commonly recommended supplements for digestive health may include:
    • Probiotics: Beneficial bacteria strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Saccharomyces boulardii to restore microbial balance, support immune function, and improve digestion.
    • Prebiotics: Non-digestible fibers such as inulin, oligofructose, and resistant starches that serve as fuel for beneficial gut bacteria and promote microbial diversity.
    • Digestive Enzymes: Enzyme supplements such as amylase, protease, lipase, cellulase, and lactase to support digestion and nutrient absorption, especially in individuals with enzyme deficiencies or pancreatic insufficiency.
    • Fiber Supplements: Soluble and insoluble fiber supplements such as psyllium husk, flaxseed, glucomannan, and acacia fiber to support digestive motility, regulate bowel movements, and promote gut health.
  • Herbal Therapies: Functional medicine may utilize botanical remedies with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and gut-healing properties to support digestive health. Some commonly used herbs for digestive health may include:
    • Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis) & Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra): Soothing herbs that coat and protect the digestive tract, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue repair.
    • Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) & Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): Anti-inflammatory herbs that support digestive function, reduce spasms, and promote relaxation.
    • Peppermint (Mentha piperita) & Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Digestive herbs with carminative and anti-nausea properties that support digestion, relieve gas and bloating, and alleviate symptoms of indigestion.
  • Gut Microbiome Restoration: Functional medicine may employ interventions to restore balance to the gut microbiome and promote microbial diversity and resilience. These interventions may include:
    • Probiotic Supplements: Oral supplementation with specific strains of beneficial bacteria to restore microbial balance, support immune function, and improve digestion.
    • Fermented Foods: Incorporating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha into the diet to introduce beneficial probiotics and promote microbial diversity in the gut.
    • Microbiome Modulation Therapies: Utilizing interventions such as fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), bacteriophage therapy, and microbiome-targeted antibiotics to restore balance to the gut microbiome and treat dysbiosis.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Functional medicine emphasizes the importance of stress management techniques in promoting digestive health. Some effective stress management techniques may include:
    • Mindfulness meditation
    • Deep breathing exercises
    • Yoga
    • Tai chi
    • Progressive muscle relaxation
    • Biofeedback
    • Guided imagery
    • Journaling
    • Spending time in nature
  • Digestive Supportive Therapies: Functional medicine may utilize additional therapies to support digestive health and promote optimal gastrointestinal function. These therapies may include:
    • Hydrotherapy: Water-based therapies such as hydrotherapy, colon hydrotherapy, or enemas to support bowel function, promote detoxification, and relieve constipation.
    • Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese medicine technique involving the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote balance and alleviate digestive symptoms.
    • Manual Therapy: Hands-on therapies such as visceral manipulation, abdominal massage, or myofascial release to improve digestion, relieve tension, and promote relaxation in the digestive organs.
  • Detoxification Protocols: Functional medicine utilizes detoxification protocols to support the body's natural detoxification pathways and eliminate toxins that may contribute to digestive dysfunction. These protocols may involve:
    • Dietary interventions: Implementing dietary changes such as eliminating processed foods, refined sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and allergens, and emphasizing whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and hydration to support detoxification.
    • Targeted supplementation: Utilizing supplements such as glutathione, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), milk thistle, dandelion root, and antioxidants to support liver detoxification pathways and enhance toxin elimination.
    • Hydration: Ensuring adequate hydration with water, herbal teas, and electrolyte-rich beverages to support kidney function and promote toxin excretion through urine.
    • Sweating Therapies: Incorporating sweating therapies such as sauna therapy, steam baths, hot yoga, or exercise to promote toxin elimination through the skin.
  • Mind-Body Therapies: Functional medicine may incorporate mind-body therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or hypnotherapy to help individuals manage symptoms of digestive disorders, develop coping skills, and promote relaxation.

Monitoring and Follow-Up

Functional medicine practitioners monitor individuals closely throughout the treatment process, assessing digestive function, tracking progress, and adjusting interventions as needed. Follow-up evaluations may include repeat testing of digestive function, gut microbiome composition, inflammation markers, and nutrient status to ensure optimal outcomes. Additionally, ongoing support, education, and empowerment are provided to help individuals develop self-care strategies, maintain lifestyle changes, and sustain improvements in digestive health.

Functional medicine offers a comprehensive and personalized approach to promoting digestive health, addressing the underlying imbalances that contribute to digestive disorders, and restoring gut function and vitality. By integrating dietary modifications, nutritional supplementation, stress management techniques, gut microbiome restoration, detoxification protocols, and mind-body therapies, functional medicine empowers individuals to reclaim control over their digestive health and enhance their overall well-being. Whether managing mild digestive symptoms or chronic gastrointestinal conditions, functional medicine provides a roadmap for optimizing digestive function and promoting long-term digestive wellness.

If you're struggling with digestive issues and seeking a holistic and personalized approach to treatment, consider visiting our functional medicine clinic. Our team of experienced practitioners is dedicated to identifying and addressing the root causes of digestive disorders, restoring gut health, and promoting overall well-being. Contact us today at Paragon Wellness Center to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward improving your digestive health and quality of life.


9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:30pm
3:30pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

Saturday & Sunday

Paragon Wellness Center

1332 W Arch Haven Ave Ste C
Bloomington, IN 47403

(812) 333-7447