Our gut health is essential to our overall health and wellness. From digestion and nutrient absorption to immunity and mood, our gut plays a crucial role in our physical,mental, and emotional health. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure our gut is functioning optimally.

While traditional gastroenterologists treat gastrointestinal diseases with medication and surgery, holistic gastroenterologists take a different approach. They focus on treating the root cause of digestive issues by utilizing holistic approaches such as integrative medicine and functional medicine. This article will discuss what a holistic gastroenterologist is and what holistic gastroenterologists do.

What is A Holistic Gastroenterologist?

A holistic gastroenterologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system utilizing a whole-person approach. Unlike traditional gastroenterologists who may focus on managing the symptoms of a digestive disorder with medications or surgical interventions, holistic gastroenterologists may use a combination of conventional medical treatments, such as prescription medications or endoscopy in conjunction with natural therapies like botanical medicine, nutrition counseling, and stress reduction techniques to support the body's natural healing process and optimize digestive health. Holistic gastroenterologists consider lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, sleep, and exercise in addition to patients’ medical history and lab results.

How do Holistic Gastroenterologists Utilize Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a patient-centered, personalized approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic disease. Holistic gastroenterologists often incorporate functional medicine in their approach by evaluating the digestive system's function and identifying imbalances or dysfunctions that may be causing symptoms. This approach helps holistic gastroenterologists develop personalized treatment plans that address the root cause of their patients’ problems and help them achieve optimum long-term health, wellbeing, and longevity.

5 Ways to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome Holistically

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder affecting millions worldwide. Traditional treatment options for IBS often involve medications and dietary restrictions. Here are five ways to treat IBS holistically. Please note the information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).:

  1. Identify and eliminate trigger foods
  2. Incorporate gut-friendly foods into the diet
  3. Address stress and anxiety
  4. Increase physical activity
  5. Use supplements and probiotics

Examples of how to treat IBS Holistically

Trigger foods

Keep a diary to track which foods trigger your symptoms and eliminate them from your diet. For example, if you notice that eating dairy products causes bloating and discomfort, eliminate dairy from your diet.

Gut-Friendly Foods

To help improve your digestion, try to include plenty of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. These foods help feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut and promote digestive health.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Try to regularly practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga to decrease stress and anxiety. These techniques will help calm the nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety.

Daily Exercise

Similar to stress-reducing techniques, regular exercise is another way to promote healthy digestion. Physical activity has also been known to reduce symptoms of digestive disorders. Even just simply going for regular walks could be beneficial.


Lastly, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut microbiome. This can be achieved by simply adding fermented foods to your diet such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, or sauerkraut.

7 Things You Should Know About Gut Health & Holistic Care

  1. The gut is the body's second brain.
  2. Poor gut health can lead to various health issues beyond digestive problems.
  3. The gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital to overall health.
  4. A healthy gut requires a diverse microbiome.
  5. Holistic care involves addressing the root cause of digestive problems.
  6. Holistic gastroenterologists consider lifestyle factors when developing treatment plans.
  7. A holistic approach to gut health can improve overall wellness.

Gut Health & Wellness

There are a few key things to remember regarding gut health and holistic care. Firstly, it's important to understand that gut health is not just about digestion. A healthy gut microbiome can impact everything from mood and energy levels to immune function and overall well-being. As such, a holistic approach to gut health will take into account various aspects of a person's health and lifestyle, not just the presence, absence, or severity of digestive symptoms.

Secondly, it's important to recognize that a holistic approach to gut health addresses underlying imbalances and promoting optimal gut health often takes significant time and requires a commitment to making sustainable lifestyle changes. This may include eating a nutrient-dense diet, managing stress levels, exercising regularly, and taking supplements or probiotics.

Holistic care also involves addressing the root causes of health issues rather than just treating symptoms. This means that a holistic gastroenterologist will work with patients to identify the underlying factors contributing to their gut health concerns and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to their needs.

Taking a holistic approach to gut health can help individuals sustainably and effectively improve their overall health and well-being effectively and sustainably.

Understanding the Digestive Tract

Holistic doctors, particularly holistic gastroenterologists, focus on the digestive system because it is vital to overall health and well-being. The gut is often called the "second brain" because it houses an extensive network of neurons that communicate with the brain. This communication is essential in regulating various bodily functions such as digestion, mood, and immune system response.

Moreover, research has shown that the gut microbiome, the community of microorganisms that reside in the gut, plays a crucial role in overall health. Dysbiosis, an imbalance in the microbiome, has been linked to various chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.

Holistic gastroenterologists understand that the digestive system is a complex system that affects many  functions and aspects of the body beyond the digestion of food. They believe that addressing the root cause of digestive problems can improve overall health and prevent future health problems. They take a comprehensive approach that considers lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, and exercise in addition to medical history and lab results. This approach allows them to develop personalized treatment plans that address the underlying imbalances and dysfunctions in the gut.

Integrative Gastroenterology

Integrative gastroenterology is a field of medicine that combines conventional gastroenterology with complementary and alternative therapies to address the root causes of digestive disorders. This approach recognizes the complex interplay between the mind, body, and environment and seeks to promote optimal health by addressing these factors.  Integrative gastroenterologists use various diagnostic tools, including laboratory testing and imaging to identify underlying imbalances and develop personalized treatment plans that may include dietary changes, stress management techniques, and natural supplements.

One of the key benefits of integrative gastroenterology is that it takes a more comprehensive and individualized approach to treatment. Rather than relying solely on medications or invasive procedures, integrative gastroenterologists work with patients to identify the underlying factors of their digestive disorder to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses these factors. By incorporating a more holistic approach, integrative gastroenterologists can help patients achieve optimal digestive health while minimizing the risk of side effects associated with conventional treatments. Integrative gastroenterology is an emerging field of medicine that offers a promising new approach to health care that is patient-centered, evidence-based, and holistic.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, holistic gastroenterologists offer a natural and personalized approach to treating digestive disorders. By utilizing functional medicine and addressing the root cause of digestive disorders, they can help patients achieve optimal gut health and overall wellness. By incorporating gut-friendly foods, reducing stress, and taking supplements, patients can improve their digestive function and prevent future health problems. With this approach, patients can take control of their health and lead a more healthy, vibrant life.