If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you have come to the right place. The symptoms you are struggling with are REAL and they do have an underlying cause. These often go undiagnosed or untreated because our current medical system only views the digestive system in terms of disease or no-disease. However, there are many “dysfunctions” that can happen within the digestive system that can lead to the symptoms you are struggling with (bloating, gas, chronic diarrhea/constipation, reflux/heartburn, abdominal pain/cramping, unfavourable reactions to certain foods, etc). These can be addressed through changes to diet & lifestyle and with a personalized approach aimed at understanding your unique root cause(s).
Dr. Lovink has developed a clinical process of addressing digestive health concerns called the Gut Restore Program. Over the course of several months, you will work through each step of the program with the following goals in mind:
The extent of time and effort spent on each step will differ from person to person, since the root cause & level of health will vary.
Here is an overview of what your treatment plan may look like:
In order to get you feeling better as quick as possible, you will be prescribed a personalized diet that reduces inflammation and allows the digestive tract to reset. Additionally, there will be specific supplements and/or lifestyle changes that will help reduce symptoms quickly and support positive changes going forward to sustain a healthy digestive tract.
In order to achieve optimal and lasting digestive function it is crucial that the underlying cause(s) of dysfunction are identified and treated. Some of the most common causes include infections, dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria), the use of certain medications, a toxic diet, poor quality of sleep, and chronic stress. Dr. Lovink utilizes dietary intervention and testing to help in your diagnosis. This may include one or more of the following: an elimination diet, breath testing (for bacterial imbalances), stool testing, food sensitivity testing and/or blood tests.
Testing may be used at certain stages of your healthcare plan to either rule out another diagnosis and/or to provide clarity & specificity to the appropriate treatment chosen. It is not always necessary, but rather is a decision made on a case by case basis as to whether it would provide additional information that would change the course of your treatment.
This is a breath test done to identify bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. When positive this test helps to diagnose a condition called SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). In as many as 80% of patients who have been diagnosed with “IBS”, SIBO is one the underlying causes. Knowing this can help to direct treatment and to provide more specific treatment options.
This is a stool test that is done to help identify pathogenic and imbalanced normal flora in the large intestine. It also identifies inflammation, poor pancreatic/gallbladder function and other markers of intestinal function. This can be a helpful test when a patient has failed many other initial or foundational treatment options (eg. dietary changes, supplementation, lifestyle changes)
This step focuses on rebuilding the gut lining, restoring proper motility in the gut, re-inoculating with good bacteria and repairing/retraining the gut-brain axis.
Once the foundational pieces of healthy digestion have been established, Dr. Lovink will work with you to strategically reintroduce many of the foods that have been eliminated during the initial steps of the program. The ultimate goal is to have you back on the broadest diet possible, allowing you to enjoy life to its fullest while remaining symptom free.
The final step involves educating and empowering you with the tools to keep your gut healthy over the long term. While relapse of digestive symptoms can occur, through this process you will learn tools and strategies to utilize that will get you back on track quicker.