Digestive Disorders

There are various forms of irritations or inflammation of the sections of the digestive tract which can be identified as digestive disorders. These include, but are not limited to,: dyspepsia (heartburn), gastritis (stomach), colitis (colon), enteritis (small intestines), hepatitis (liver), pancreatitis (pancreas), and cholecystitis (gallbladder).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1What are digestive disorders?
  • 2What are the symptoms of digestive disorders?
  • 3What are the causes of digestive disorders?
  • 4What are the risk factors for digestive disorders?
  • 5Why are enzymes so important for Health?
  • 6How can one improve one’s digestive enzymes?
  • 7How are digestive disorders managed at Health Renewal?
  • 8What are the risks and complications of this condition and its management?
  • 9What does conventional medicine offer?
  • 10What must you do if you suffer from ulcers ?
  • 11What nutraceuticals will be recommended?
  • 12Why should one not self-medicate?
  • 13How do I get started?
  • 14How do we treat this at Health Renewal?
  • 15What should you bring along to your appointment with your Health Renewal doctor?
  • 16What is the cost of the extended consultation with the Health Renewal doctor?
  • 17How often should I see the integrative Doctor?
  • 18Health Renewal Tip: How does one prevent digestive disorders?
  • 19Health Renewal's 10 Inspiring Quotes For Healthy Living:

There are various forms of irritations or inflammation of the sections of the digestive tract which can be identified as dyspepsia (heartburn), gastritis (stomach), colitis (colon), enteritis (small intestines), hepatitis (liver), pancreatitis (pancreas), and cholecystitis (gallbladder). Vague & overlapping symptoms are often referred to as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

There are various easily recognizable symptoms of gastro-intestinal conditions:

1.Heartburn, or acid reflux. This sensation can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that can mimic a heart problem. This sensation is normally experienced after a person consumes a spicy meal, overindulges in alcohol or a large meal is eaten. Heartburn is also worsened by smoking and stress, and will feel worse when lying down.

2.Nausea and Vomiting. This can vary from an unsettled feeling in the stomach to the violent action of immediate vomiting. If there are sudden bursts of violent episodes it might be a sign of food poisoning or gastro-enteritis. However, prolonged nausea is usually due to a food intolerance or chronic illness.

3.Bloating. This can result from excessive gas in the digestive system, which can result due to food fermentation and swallowing air whilst eating. Bloating happens if the digestive tract can’t sustain youthful peristaltic contractions, or if there is a lack of sufficient quantities of digestive enzymes and bile acids to rapidly break down food.

4.Constipation. This is the decreased frequency or slowing of peristalsis, resulting in harder stools. When the GI tract is slowed down, feces can accumulate and this will compact in the colon, resulting in pain and toxic reactions. As a further complication, a spastic colon can become a problem. A spastic colon results when the colon contracts out of rhythm in painful spasms which blocks movement of the stool. Some patients may experience a combination of symptoms: painful days of constipation which are followed by forceful diarrhea and watery stool, this is often accompanied by abdominal cramps.

5.Diarrhea. This condition results in an increased frequency of bowel movements, which are loose or watery. If a person suffers from prolonged bouts of diarrhea, this can result in nutritional deficiencies as the body can’t properly absorb essential nutrients.

6.Abdominal Pain, or cramping. This occurs because the body experiences muscle spasms in abdominal organs. If a person suffers from severe cramping pains, which is often called colic, it can occur from problems with strong allergic response to food. Abdominal cramping which is situated near the navel-area is typically from the small intestine. If the pain is near the sides, top, and bottom of the lower abdomen, the pain tends to be associated with the colon.

Additional diseases which are associated with central GI tract disorders include depression, migraine, asthma, sinusitis, and fibromyalgia. All of these diseases have been diagnosed with specific patterns of food allergy response. All of these diseases also have links to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Food allergies can be one of the primary causes of GI tract problems. There are various chronic diseases which have their origin in various sorts of food allergies. In a defective GI tract there is often dysfunction, discomfort, and disease which can be the result of local immune responses to specific food selections or a combination of different foods. Each person will select the food they eat on a reference of personal tastes, social fads, ethnic culture, religion, and, to a larger degree, local or seasonal availability of food stuffs.

In modern affluent society, foods are often selected based on a developed taste for a rich diet which tends to be centered on meats and dairy products. These foods are very high in fats, and contain high concentrations of proteins, sugars and fat-soluble toxins.

If a person leads an unhealthy lifestyle and includes behaviour such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and eats an unbalanced diet, they are prone to becoming overweight and all these factors can lead to digestive disorders.

For optimum absorption and utilization of food, the body requires a healthy level of enzymes in the gut. As one ages the capacity to make enzymes in the body decrease, and this should be fought against as far as possible.

If a person has poor eating habits (such as not chewing food fine enough and hastily consuming meals on the go) it may result in inadequate enzyme production. If there is not enough enzymes actively working it may then lead to mal-absorption of food and subsequent nutrients.

The easiest way to get this done is by substituting raw foods for cooked foods whenever possible. When food is in its natural, unprocessed state it is in the best condition to maintain good health. The lack of whole foods in the modern diet is thought to be responsible for various degenerative diseases. When food is cooked for long periods of time the heat destroys the enzymes and as a result one does not take in the required amount of enzymes. . This is one of the contributing factors why, by middle age, our bodies may become metabolically depleted of enzymes. Our glands and major organs suffer most from this deficiency. If a person’s diet only consists of overcooked, and overly refined foods it will be void of enzymes which the body desperately needs, this may even cause the brain to shrink.

Fewer digestive enzymes are required to perform the digestive function when one consumes uncooked, raw food. The body will realise there is plenty externally provided enzymes and as a result produce less in itself. This lack of enzyme production will result in the body keeping the little it has for vital cellular metabolic function. Frying is one of the worst cooking methods as it uses much higher temperatures to cook the food, in comparison to boiling. This extreme heat exposure destroys enzymes and can damage the proteins too.

Unfortunately it is not as simple as "you are what you eat" Digestive enzymes play a vital role to make food consumption possible, which means we have to ensure our bodies have optimal levels of healthy enzymes to be able to do perform this task. One needs to take a comprehensive look at both internal enzymes, as well as those consumed through other foods, and as supplements.

The initial medical consultation at Health Renewal will be approximately 45 minutes. During this time your Doctor Health Renewal will reach a diagnosis through a consultation and physical examination. You may be requested to undergo blood tests for Helicobacter infection and gluten intolerance, as an example. We ask that patients arrive 20minutes prior to their appointment as you will have to complete an in depth questionnaire before the consultation. During the 45 minute consultation your Health Renewal doctor will obtain a full medical history from you to determine your personal risk to such disease. After the blood tests are done and results received, they will be analyzed by your Doctor and this will be discussed with you at your follow up appointment. Your specific results and follow-up discussion will determine whether a definite deficiency exists and you will be advised on your treatment options. These options may range between prescription medications, nutraceuticals and lifestyle modifications.

As a start one can try an elimination diet, which is a good method of determining what foods cause an allergic reaction in the GI tract lining. Planning and following such a diet is a safe starting point for anyone desiring to track their GI tract response to food.

As one ages it is a common to experience problems with digestion. After the age 40 it has been founds the most individuals have had an approximate decrease of 30% in the body's ability to produce enzymes. Enzymes are essential for the proper breakdown of foods in order to more properly digest, absorb, and utilize nutrients that are taken in with a healthy balanced diet.

The greatest risk that can arise due to chronic digestive problems is stomach ulceration.

Generally medical practitioners would prescribe Nexiam or Losec. These drugs are known as gastric acid-pump inhibitors because of the unique way in which they block the final metabolic step in the production of stomach acid. These medicines can be very expensive, but you pay for an effective relief of symptoms. These drugs suppresses disorders associated with excess stomach acid production, more so than with the older class of histamine-2 receptor antagonist drugs. (These are normally sold under the names of Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, and Axid.) Drugs such as Tagamet inhibit stomach acid secretion whereas Prilosec and Prevacid suppress virtually all stomach acid secretion.

Most stomach ulcers are now considered to be caused by the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. To treat this form of bacteria a special antibiotic regimen is the normal choice of treatment. This had led to treat esophageal reflux, with drugs that reduce stomach acids, where stomach acid regurgitates into the esophagus to cause heartburn. If this reflux condition is left untreated, chronic esophageal exposure to stomach acid can cause esophagitis and esophageal cancer.

If the patient has mild esophageal reflux they may be able to use natural therapies to promote youthful peristaltic action. This will assist in pushing food more rapidly out of the stomach, thereby alleviating reflux back into the esophagus.

It has been discovered and supported by the medical community that H. pylori bacteria cause most cases of stomach ulcers. Blood tests can reveal the presence of the H. pylori antibody in the patient after which treatment should commence. Special antibiotic combinations can be used to eliminate H. pylori bacteria from the stomach within a matter of weeks, if the patient takes it as instructed. Those who fail to eradicate H. pylori are at a far greater risk for contracting stomach cancer.

Your prescribed nutraceuticals will depend greatly on which part of the digestive tract is involved in your symptoms and may include Digestive enzymes (including the following), which should be taken with meals:

  • Black radish extract
  • Deoxycholic acid
  • Artichoke extract
  • Peppermint oil
  • Zinc (as zinc L-carnosine)
  • Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice extract (DGL)
  • Cranberry extract
  • Artichoke extract blend

For all health conditions, the nutraceuticals are individually tailored by the Health Renewal Doctor. The doctor will decide- based on your history, physical examination and blood tests what would be the best for you and your specific needs and/or deficiencies. It cannot be overemphasized that one must not self-medicate. Self-Medicating is done when a person takes prescription medication or nutraceuticals on their own without a doctor's supervision and/or consent. By not having a physical examination and blood testing done by a qualified and practising integrative medical practitioner, you could be not treating vital deficiencies or conditions such as elevated blood pressure, high sugar level, high stress levels (that can lead to adrenal burnout ) and high blood clotting factors that could lead to heart attacks and stroke. In addition, aggressive program of dietary supplementation should not be launched without the supervision of a qualified physician. Several of the nutrients suggested in this protocol may have adverse effects. There is no single supplement prescribed to clients as there is no magic bullet that can support all the essential nutrients that one's body needs. Today's food is not functional and we need to supplement in order to maintain optimal bodily functions and nutrition.

Make an appointment to consult with your Health Renewal Doctor who is an integrative doctor and he / she will assist you in determining your risk factors and how best to prevent any problems or conditions that you may be susceptible to. The importance of early management of any condition cannot be overstated. Once certain conditions set in and damage to organs occurs, complete recovery may be difficult to attain. Best results for prevention and longevity is early detection of a possible problem combined with conventional treatments , nutritional supplements and a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The initial medical consultation at Health Renewal will be approximately 45 minutes. As this is a prolonged medical consultation, the initial consultation fee will be R 975 on arrival (for non loyalty programme members) you will have to complete an in depth questionnaire before the consultation so please arrive 20 minutes before the time. During the 45 minute consultation your Health Renewal doctor will obtain a FULL medical history from you to determine your personal risk. A physical examination will be done after which the Doctor will decide which blood tests need to be requested from your local pathology laboratory. If you have a medical aid, these should be able to be claimed as well.

Once your blood results are received, they will then be analyzed by your Health Renewal doctor who will begin working on a unique prescription plan for you with the compounding pharmacy. At your pre-scheduled second appointment 2 weeks later, the results and examination findings will be discussed with you. This will determine what abnormalities or deficiencies exist and you will be advised on your treatment options. These options may range from prescription medications, nutraceuticals, bio-identical hormonal creams / tablets or alternatively to having bio-identical implants / pellets inserted.

In office treatments such as carboxytherapy may also be recommended for certain conditions such as hair loss, erectile dysfunction ED, menopause or PMS. If you need to lose weight our Body Renewal Medical Weight loss program may be recommended. All these recommendations will be summarized on a sheet / print out which you can take home with you. The nutraceuticals offered at Health Renewal are of superior quality (Solgar) and are not rancid nor contain Hg( mercury ) or PCB'S (which is very imporatna for Omega 3 Essential fatty acids EFA's). They are also free of gluten, preservatives, wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, sugar, artificial flavor, sweetener and colour. We have a great professional team made up of doctors, trained and registered nurses and therapists to support you at any time.

1. You are kindly requested to bring any supplements that you are currently taking, along to your consultation. The doctor can check the ingredients in take this into account when prescribing a treatment plan for you.

2. Also, if you have had any blood work done in the past 6 months, please bring the results along to the consultation. Should you not be in possession of the hard copies, please request these results from the lab you visited. Usually your ID number is sufficient.

Depending on the exact prescription given, you may be required to return to the doctor within 1-4 months’ time, in order to ensure optimum hormone levels are achieved. This will be determined by a repeat blood test and may be requested by your Health Renewal doctor.

You should ensure that you are current with your gynaecological visits/breast exams/mammograms (for female patients) and prostate exams (for male patients) as recommended by your GP/gynaecologist.


  • The fee for the initial consultation and evaluation of 45 minutes is R975. A deposit of R400 is required up front in order to secure your consultation with the doctor. This advance payment goes towards your consultation fee. Proof of payment needs to be received one week in advance of appointment email. Please see banking and contact details below. This consultation fee may be claimed back from your medical aid depending on which kind of medical over you have.
  • A second follow up consultation is essential in order for the doctor to assess your blood work and prescribe a personalised treatment plan for you. Another deposit of R400 will be required to secure the second consultation.
  • All subsequent follow up consultations with the doctor will be charged at R650 for 30 minute consultations. This may be amended from time to time at the practice’s discretion.
  • You may pay for your consultation by cash, credit card or EFT.
  • BIHRT prescriptions must be paid for prior to ordering, as each patient’s prescription is unique to his/her own needs, and you will receive an invoice advising you of the cost.
  • The patient is responsible for paying all consultation and prescription fees to Skin, Body and Health Renewal – regrettably we do not accept medical aid.
  • An added bonus is that not only improving your health and well being , any nutraceuticals purchased will go towards loyalty points at any Skin, Body and Health Renewal branches

Depending on which form of supplementation you and your Health Renewal Doctor have decided on, one could expect to follow up with your physician from anything between every 3 months to once every 6 months.

Gastro-intestinal health is maintained through following correct eating habits and following an active lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyles, fast food, processed food and excess sugars can all lead to disruptions in the body's healthy digestive process. Digestive disorders are more frequent when one becomes overweight, smokes, drinks excessive alcohol or follows an unhealthy diet.

1.Lose weight.

Shedding even 3 kilograms can significantly slash your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Even extremely overweight people were 70% less likely to develop diabetes when they lost just 5% of their weight, even if they didn’t exercise. The Body Renewal Medical Weight loss program is offered at Body Renewal and yields phenomenal results. If the program is strictly adhered to patients can lose between 8 and 15 kilograms in a 6 week cycle, generally find it quite easy, and feel good with high energy levels. In fact, depressed patients have mood elevation as the Leptin levels "Kick in" 10 days into the program. Many of our patients have tried numerous other well-known diets but find this to be the magic one that actually works.

2.Eat healthily for 80 % of the time and eat what you want 20 % of the time (basically on the weekends).

This can be done with intermittent fasting: Try to eat only 100% organic food which does not overtax your hypothalamus again. Obesity and weight gain is caused by the man-made ingredients, chemicals, hormones and food processing techniques in the growing, producing and manufacturing of every day food.

3.Consume healthy fats.

These include food products such as butter, eggs, avocados and nuts (especially macadamia nuts which are higher in fat and lower in protein). Unheated oils such as 1T coconut oil, palm oil and olive oil are beneficial to the body.

4. Eat plenty of raw food.

Avoid all genetically engineered foods and processed foods, and try to eat organically produced foods whenever possible, Avoid any products containing aspartame, which is derived from a GE organism.

5. Eat foods that have their enzymes intact and supplement cooked foods with enzyme capsules.

This includes: raw milk, bananas, avocados, seeds, nuts, grapes, and other natural foods that are rich in food enzymes. This may help stop abnormal and pathological aging processes.

6.Take an enzyme supplement be taken with all cooked food.

This should be done under medical supervision, as prescribed by your Health Renewal Doctor.

7.Stop eating fast foods.

As a treat one can afford to consume the occasional fast food items, but if one becomes a regular "fast feeder" your risk of diabetes will skyrocket. In addition to the jumbo portions, many fast food meals are loaded with unhealthy trans-fats and refined carbohydrates, which may raise diabetes risk even if your weight remains stable.

8.Optimize your gut flora with fermented foods or Vitamin K2 supplement.

Fermented vegetables (which contain Vitamin K2) can easily, and inexpensively, be made at home. Alternatively take 1 x Vitamin K2 supplement with meals, available from Health Renewal. Vitamin K2 is an important fat-soluble vitamin that plays critical roles in protecting your heart and brain, and building strong bones. It also plays an important role in cancer protection. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues. Vitamin K2 is really critical for keeping your bones strong and your arteries clear. Its other main role is to activate proteins that control cell growth.

9.Exercise regularly.

Make sure to incorporate high intensity interval training at least once or twice a week and walk as much as you can every day (as a simple example, use the stairs instead of the lift when moving within the office). Even if increased exercise does not make you lose weight, you will still be healthier. Why is walking so wonderful? Studies show that exercise helps your body utilize the hormone insulin more efficiently by increasing the number of insulin receptors on your cells. Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it needs to go to provide energy and nutrition. If the blood sugar is not moved around in your bloodstream, it will only gum up blood vessel walls and eventually causing serious health problems.

Here are ten quotes from great thinkers to challenge, motivate and inspire us to exercise, eat right and live healthier lives:

  • "Health and intellect are the two blessings of life." - Menander (ca. 342–291 BC) – Greek dramatist.
  • “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ― Hippocrates
  • “A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement” ― Jess C. Scott
  • “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” ― Winston Churchill
  • “A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement” ― Jess C. Scott
  • “You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won't discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself." ― Geneen Roth, Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
  • “I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
  • “Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.” ― Dorothy Parker
  • “I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run…to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.” ― Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
  • “When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” ― Herophilus
  • “If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.” ― Deepak Chopra


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