Unexplainable chronic digestive disease

"All disease begins in the gut." - Hippocrates

Looking for Answers to your “unexplainable”
digestive disease?
We provide natural help and healing for all types of digestive disorders. From Ulcerative colitis, Irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease, Crohns, pancreatitis, we’ve got you covered.

I Feel Your pain!

When I was in my early teen years I began to experience these severely intense stomach issues. When I had these episodes come on I would vomit constantly and could not keep anything down for the life of me. After about 8-10 hours of enduring this excruciating pain I would start to feel the effects of becoming severely dehydrated and tired from the constant vomitting. At this point my entire body would start to go into muscle spasms and contract, making the pain in my stomach even worse. And now I had to deal with my entire body painfully contracting.

At this point I would have to be taken to the hospital so I could get IV’s put in to rehydrate me and they would give me pain medications to help dull the pain. I was pretty young at that time and I didn’t care what they did as long as the pain went away.

Fast forward 6 month. I had another episode. And another. And another. The doctors could not explain what was happening. They ran all kinds of expensive and invasive testing on me and they just sent my mom and I away at the time with the diagnosis of an “upset stomach”. B.S!!!!!

Anyway. This experience is what started my journey into alternative and functional medicine. Due to the lack of answers in the medical community, I sought out the help of one of the first practitioners of what would become Functional Medicine.

Long story short, after a lot of cleansing and healing I was finally able to get back to normal and live my life without the worry that that horrible pain would come back again.

This issue is close to my heart. Digestive Diseases affect some 60-70 million Americans every year. There are over 48.3 million ER visits every year for digestive issues. The estimated cost of all these visits in 2004 was in excess of
$141 billion. This is a very expensive, painful and chronic issue that many people deal with on a daily basis.

Some of the Most common Digestive Issues We address:

  1. Reflux
  2. Peptic Ulcers
  3. Gallstones
  4. Diverticulitis
  5. Ulcerative Colitis
  6. Crohns disease
  7. Inflammatory Bowel disease
  8. Celiac
  9. Irritable bowel disease
  10. pancreatitis
  11. Unexplanable Digestive disease.

So What causes the majority of todays
unexplainable Digestive diseases?

While many Doctors and alternative doctors may solely point to the Standard American Diet (SAD) as the cause for the increase in the rate of all our digestive issues, this is simply not true. If that were the case I would have no digestive patients. Trust me, by the time a patient comes in to see me for digestive issues they have run the gamut of tests, medications, and home treatments galore. They have most likely had a great diet for well over 3 months by the time I see them. Most likely the diet helped, it always does. BUT! it didn’t fix the problem because it wasn’t the sole problem.

So what is the issue?

In my experience, there can be any number of reasons for the intestinal system to go awry. While this list is not all inclusive it will give you some insight into the thought process that we take with each and everyone of our patients to truly get to the route cause.

This list is in no particular order. Each patient is taken on an individual basis and we evaluate them as such. It is possible to have one or more of these issues or something completely different.

Infections - Many times an intestinal infection may be an occult assault on the body whose outwardly sign and symptoms are pretty obvious. That is not our patient. That patient will go to the doctor, get medication for a short period of time and get better. The patent that comes into my office with some type of infection is the patent that has had a very low grade smoldering infection for a long period of time. Often the traditional testing will yield normal results and the patient is told “you are fine, there is nothing wrong”. The most common infections that we see are either bacterial and viral in nature and include E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, H. Pylori, and a few other less common ones. While many of these bacteria and viruses can normally be found in a healthy individual, it is when an imbalance within the body occurs that theses opportunistic organisms take advantage and wreak havoc.

Intestinal Parasites - Again this is a lot more common that most people would think. A lot of people don’t like to think of the possibility of having an intestinal parasite, not very appetizing. The fact of the matter is that it is estimated that 1 in 3 Americans currently have an intestinal parasite. Most people are able to fight off these parasites if they have an intact immune system(which is another story all together), but if the immune system get run down for whatever reason the parasites are now able to take hold and cause an issue. This type of problem is often one where symptoms tend to come and go depending on how healthy the person is and what they eat.

Food Sensitivities - This one is a biggie and can have a huge influence on a persons overall health and not just their intestinal symptoms, although that is the most readably noticeable. Food sensitivities are different from food allergies. They are two different antibodies in the body that are causing the reactions. In a typical food allergy test that most people get sent for they are testing for IGE antibodies to food. Also known as immunoglobulins. These are the antibodies that cause an immediate allergic reaction. EX: you eat a peanut and swell up. - allergic reaction. The problem with this type of food testing is that most people already know what they are allergic to. They probably don’t know what they are sensitive to. A food sensitivity is a reaction that often happen 3 or more days later. In this type of test we are testing for IGG antibodies. Food sensitivities cause a breakdown in the intestinal lining of your gut and can lead to digestive disorders listed above. It can also lead to leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and an increased over all permeability.

Stress - Yes, stress can cause intestinal problems. We have all experienced emotional upset and gotten a stomach ache from it and the mind body connection is very strong in that way but stress goes a lot deeper in causing digestive disease. Let me give you short explanation. When we are chronically stressed it can often lead to varying degrees of adrenal fatigue or exhaustion. depending on what stage you are in you will have different levels of cortisol and DHEA. In short DHEA assist the body in cell growth and repair. Without it our bodies will struggle to keep up with the repair process. Cortisol is needed in the body as well. most people are concerned with levels that are too high. Seems like every recent article on health is about cortisol being too high. I’ve got news for you. Too low is bad too. Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. Without it those two things go up.

Hormonal Fluctuations - As any woman that is out of balance hormonally can tell you, hormones play a vital role in your digestive health, for men too. One way that it affect digestion is the intestinal system is one of the primary ways the body detoxifies estrogen from the system. If the intestines are not working right the body can often build up excess estrogen and create a viscous cycle. The reverse of this is also true. If there is too much estrogen it will mess up digestion and cause intestinal upset. In a lot of patients this is often a common occurrence. What tend to happen is that during our normal daily lives we are exposed to a lot of exogenous (non natural) estrogens. These estrogens build up in the body and we are not able to keep up. This will then initiate digestive dysbiosis, which sets the stage for intestinal infection by bacteria, viral or parasitic. Again leading to a cycle.

Thyroid issues - Thyroid issues can often be tied to adrenal fatigue, but in and of themselves can cause problems with digestion. Again, this can set the stage for other intestinal issues from taking hold. Thyroid hormones are the primary hormones regulating metabolism. If our metabolism slows our entire body will slow down, including digestion. If digestion slows, excretion of toxins(estrogen) build up in the body = more digestion issues = more digestion issues.

I think you starting to get the idea. A simple case of a chronic upset tummy can often be a more serious underlying problem that can cascade out of control.

Dr. Mortensen treats many patients with chronic intestinal issues that have no apparent cause with great success.


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Premier IFM - Integrative Functional Medicine Center
Dr. Craig Mortensen
151 N. Kraemer Blvd., #115
Placentia, CA 92870

1-(833) Dr-Craig
Fax 1-833-372-7244

Toll Free 1-(833) Dr-Craig (372-7244)